Since the early days of the nation, the federal government has collected information on the revenues, expenditures, and other features of state and local jurisdictions and their operations. Today, these data are collected primarily by the Governments Division of the U.S. Census Bureau, which has conducted a census of governments every 5 years since 1957. The division also manages a program of related annual and quarterly surveys, as well as a comprehensive directory of state and local governments. All of this work is now taking place in an environment of constrained resources, and there have been cutbacks in the availability and dissemination of the data.
In this context, State and Local Government Statistics at a Crossroads documents the uses of the state and local data and assesses the quality of the data for those uses. This book provides in-depth consideration of the efficiency of the surveys; the user base; and the timeliness, relevance, and quality of the data series. It also provides valuable background information and analysis and offers suggestions for program improvements. This information will be valuable to policy makers, state and local government workers, government contractors, budget analysts, economists, demographers, and others who rely on these data on government at the state and local levels and have a stake in ensuring that limited resources do not compromise the quality of the data on which they rely.
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