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Mary Ries
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211 Thompson Library
1858 Neil Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210-1285
Phone: 614-688-8770

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Census of Government

Contents


Introduction

Data on government finance first appeared in the 1840 Decennial Census.   The first Census of Government was first taken in 1850.  It has been conducted every five years, in years ending in "2" and "7", since 1957.  Prior to that, it was taken approximately every ten years. 

The Census of Governments collects data on government organization, finance, and employment as part of the Census Bureau's Economic Census program. Data are collected from governments on the topics of government organization, public employment, and government finances. Organization data include location, type, and characteristics of local governments and officials. Finances and employment data are the same as in comparable annual surveys and include revenue, expenditure, debt, assets, employees, payroll, and benefits.

The Census of Governments provides the only source of periodic information that identifies and describes all federal, state, and local government organizations in the U.S. and reflects the use of nationally consistent definitions and classifications. The purpose of the program is to provide periodic and comprehensive statistics about governments and governmental activities.

In addition to the Census of Governments, the Census Bureau collects other information from government organizations more frequently. Information is collected annually on employment, finances, and public employee retirement systems. Information on property and other state and local tax collections is collected on a quarterly basis.

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Data Availability

Current (2012)

Online American Fact Finder

Online Census of Governments - 2012 Census of Governments

Previous (2007)

Online Census of Governments - 2007 Census of Governments

Historical (1957 - 2002)

Online Census of Governments - Historical Data (1992-2002)

Online HathiTrust. Selected Census of Government  volumes are available through the HathiTrust Digital Library at the University of Michigan.

Print Check catalog under title "Census of Governments" for OSU Libraries' holdings and status.  (2007 was the last tangible edition published)

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Other Resources

Annual State and Local Public Employment & Payroll. (United States Census Bureau) 1992-.

Annual Survey of Public Employment & Payroll. (United States Census Bureau) 1992-.

Annual Survey of State and Local Government Finances. (United States Census Bureau) 1992-.

Annual Survey of State Government Finances. (United States Census Bureau) 1992-.

Annual Survey of State Government Tax Collections. (United States Census Bureau) 1992-.

Budget of the United States Government. (FDsys) 1996-.

Public School System Finances. (United States Census Bureau) 1992-.

Publications. (United States Census Bureau)  Census publications arranged by year from 1793 to the present. Some of which deal with Census of Government topics for all levels local to federal.  Ranging from property taxes to prosecutions, from long-term debt to liquor monopolies, from federal, state, and local government officials to fiscal planning, etc.  Publications issued before 2014 and after 2014.

Quarterly Summary of State & Local Tax Revenue. (United States Census Bureau) 1962-.

State and Local Government Finances. (United States Census Bureau) 1992-.

State and Local Government Finances Summary:  2008 Jeffrey L. Barnett.  Washington, D.C.:  U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S. Census Bureau, April 2011. 

State and Local Government Finances Summary:  2009 Jeffrey L. Barnett.  Washington, D.C.:  U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S. Census Bureau, October 2011.

State and Local Government Finances Summary:  2010 Jeffrey L. Barnett and Phillip M. Vidal.  Washington, D.C.:  U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S. Census Bureau, September 2012 (Reissued July 2013).

State Government Book:  A program inventory of the State of Ohio’s Cabinet Departments…  Columbus, OH:  Ohio Office of Budget and Management. [1st-3rd editions]   [4thedition]

State Government Finances Summary:  2009.  Christopher Pece, Cheryl H. Lee, and Nancy I Higgins.  Washington, D.C.:  U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S. Census Bureau, January 2011.

State Government Finances Summary:  2010.  Cheryl H. Lee, Robert Jesse Willhide, and Nancy Higgins. Washington, D.C.:  U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S. Census Bureau, December 2011.

State Government Finances Summary:  2011.  Cheryl H. Lee, Mara Beleacov, and Nancy Higgins. Washington, D.C.:  U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S. Census Bureau, December 2012.

State Government Finances Summary:  2013.  Cheryl H. Lee, Tereese Dyson, Matthew Park, Calvin Handy, and Marquita Buchanan Reynolds.  Washington, D.C.:  U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S. Census Bureau, February 2015.

State Government Finances Summary Report:  2012.  Cheryl H. Lee, Robert Jesse Willhide, and Edward Pome. Washington, D.C.:  U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S. Census Bureau, January 23, 2014.

State Government Tax Collections Summary Report:  2013.  Sheila O'Sullivan, Russell Pustejovsky, Edward Pome, Angela Wongus, and Jesse Willhide.  Washington, D.C.:  U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S. Census Bureau, April 8, 2014.

State Government Tax Collections Summary Report:  2014.  Cheryl H. Lee, Edward Pome, Mara Beleacov, Daniel Pyon, and Matthew Park.  Washington, D.C.:  U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S. Census Bureau, April 16, 2015.

Survey of Public Pensions:  State and Local Data. (United States Census Bureau) 1993-.

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Further Reading

Census of Governments - About the Data. (U.S. Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census)   

Factfinder for the Nation:  Statistics on Governments. (U.S. Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census)

History of the Decennial Censuses of Governments:  1850 to 1942. (U.S. Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census)

Historical Overview of U.S. Census Bureau Data Collection Activities about Governments:  1850 to 2005. (U.S. Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census)

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