COPAFS Newsletter: Winter 2000

In This Issue:

COPAFS Elects 2000 Officers and Executive Committee Members

At the December 1999 quarterly meeting, COPAFS representatives elected members who will provide leadership in 2000. The officers are: Chair: Jerry Fletcher, representing the American Agricultural Economics Association; Vice Chair: Maurine Haver, representing the National Association for Business Economics; Secretary: Robert Lehnen, representing the American Statistical Association; Treasurer: Don Muff, representing Donnelley Marketing; and Past Chair: Nicholas Zill, representing the American Association for Public Opinion Research. Executive Committee Members are John Cromartie, representing the Association of American Geographers; Richard Kulka, representing the Research Triangle Institute; Mark Nord, representing the Rural Sociological Society; and Sarah Zapolsky, representing AARP. The Executive Committee continues to benefit from the guidance of our honorary lifetime member Margaret Martin, former representative of the American Statistical Association.

Mr. Ronald Bosecker Named as Administrator of the National Agricultural Statistics Service

The Secretary of Agriculture has named Ron Bosecker as the Administrator of the National Agricultural Statistical Service (NASS). He replaces Don Bay who retired in 1999. As Administrator, Mr. Bosecker manages the headquarters staff in Washington, DC that works in conjunction with the agency's 45 state statistical offices in the United States. He also oversees the Census of Agriculture. From April 1999 until his selection as Administrator, Mr. Bosecker served as NASS's acting Deputy Administrator for field operations. He was director of the agency's Research Division from 1992 until 1999. From 1985 to 1992 he served first as chief of NASS's Methods Branch and then as chief of its Survey Sampling Branch. He was the deputy state statistician in NASS's California State Statistical Office, based in Sacramento, from 1981 to 1985. Mr. Bosecker holds a degree in agricultural economics from Southern Illinois University, as well as M.S. degrees in agricultural economics and in statistics, both from Ohio State University.

Lauress L. Wise II Nominated As Commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics

The President has announced his intention to nominate Lauress L. Wise II as Commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics. Since 1994, Dr. Wise has served as the President of Human Resources Research Organization, a nonprofit organization contracting with both government and the private sector to conduct high-quality research on human resources issues. Dr. Wise served on the National Academy of Sciences's committee to evaluate the National Assessment of Educational Progress. From 1990 to 1994, Dr. Wise directed the research and development program for the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. From 1974-1990, Dr. Wise was an Associate Research Scientist for the American Institutes of Research.

Washington Statistical Society Seeks Nominations for the 2000 Roger Herriot Award

Nominations are sought for the 2000 Roger Herriot Award for Innovation in Federal Statistics. The award is intended to reflect the special characteristics that marked Roger Herriot's career: dedication to the issues of measurement; improvements in the efficiency of data collection programs; and improvements and use of statistical data or policy analysis. Joseph Waksburg (Westat), Monroe Sirken (National Center for Health Statistics), Constance Citro (National Academy of Sciences), Roderick Harrison (Census Bureau), Clyde Tucker (Bureau of Labor Statistics), and Tom Jabine (Consultant) are previous recipients of the Herriot Award. A nomination form can be obtained by contacting Fritz Scheuren at 202-261-5886, by fax at 703-549-1119, or email All nomination forms should be returned to the Roger Herriot Award Committee, c/o Fritz Scheuren, 1402 Ruffner road, Alexandria, VA 22302. Completed nomination forms must be received by April 28, 2000.

Proposed Federal Statistical Budgets For FY 2001

As you can see below and in the budget table at the end of this newsletter, the FY 2001 proposed budgets for federal statistical agencies is highlighted by a large number of initiatives across all the agencies. Also note the ramping down of the Decennial Census, with the emphasis shifting to the delivery of the data products. We can also expect a greater emphasis on economic statistics, especially in the measurement of E-commerce expenditures. Much of the following review of the federal statistical budgets comes from the Analytical Perspectives, Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2001.

Bureau of the Census: Funding is requested for Census 2000, for Census Bureau economic and demographic programs. For Census 2000, funding is requested to: (1) tabulate and disseminate data; (2) complete field work associated with the Accuracy and Coverage Evaluation (ACE) follow-up operations; (3) close out data capture centers and field offices that remained open longer as a result of increased work loads; (4) deliver to the President, by December 31, 2000, the data that will be used to apportion congressional seats among the States; (5) deliver local population counts to the States for redistricting by March 31, 2001; (6) compare data from the American Community Survey (ACS) with Census 2000 results; and (7) begin to evaluate census operations. For Census Bureau economic and demographic programs, funding is requested to: (1) measure E-business; (2) conduct an annual Survey of Minority-Owned Business Enterprises; (3) increase the coverage of export data; (4) continue planning for the 2002 Economic Censuses and Census of Governments; (5) improve measurement of economic well-being; and (6) redesign samples for household surveys.

Bureau of Labor Statistics: Funding is requested to: (1) extend Producer Price Index (PPI) coverage for the first time to the construction sector of the U.S. economy, and enhance coverage of the service sector in the PPI and in BLS productivity data; (2) begin a new survey to measure how Americans spend their time in order to improve assessments of national well-being and production, and produce diary estimates of time spent in market work to evaluate existing estimates of hours of work; (3) provide technical guidance for a new Federal-State cooperative employment projections program to enhance the comparability of data among the States, and between State and national projections; (4) increase the scope of labor market information for States and local areas, and improve the statistical quality of local area unemployment statistics used to allocate Federal funds; (5) deploy and operate a comprehensive and sound information technology security environment (through a central Department of Labor appropriation); and (6) contract with the National Research Council (NRC) to develop improved methods to measure discrimination in labor markets and employment relationships.

Bureau of Economic Analysis: Funding is requested to develop new data sources and methods to measure rapidly growing E-business activity and to incorporate that information into BEA's economic accounts. In order to account for the impact of E-business on the economy, BEA will work with other statistical agencies to: (1) ensure that E-business, including related investment, is captured in the estimates of Gross Domestic Product and other economic accounts data, and (2) develop estimates of the impact of E-business across products and industries, including investment, prices, and distribution.

Statistics of Income, IRS: The proposed funding for SOI provides annual income, financial, and tax data, based for individuals, corporations, partnerships, sole proprietorships and tax-exempt organizations. SOI also provides periodic data based on other returns, such as those filed by estates. Major program changes and new activities planned for FY 2001 include the introduction of new panel studies for individual income tax returns, sales of capital asset returns, and elimination of the sales of capital assets cross-section study. The Year 2000 Controlled Foreign Partnership Study will capture data for foreign partnerships controlled by U.S. taxpayers that are included in SOI's corporation and partnership samples. The 1998 Gift Tax "Retrospective Panel Study" will compile data on lifetime taxable gifts for a sample of individual taxpayers.

National Agricultural Statistics Service: Funding is requested to: (1) establish a computer security architecture to strengthen NASS's cybersecurity in light of the market sensitivity of the reports released; (2) conduct a monthly hog survey to provide information covering the 17 largest hog-producing States, which account for 92 percent of the U.S. inventory; and (3) collect additional pesticide use information for an expanded list of field crops to address gaps in data needed for accurate chemical risk assessments under the Food Quality Protection Act. The net decrease in the Census of Agriculture program reflects the completion of the Agricultural Economics and Land Ownership Survey that is conducted once each decade.

Economic Research Service: Funding is requested to: (1) analyze the effects of changes in the structure of the food and agriculture sectors on the competitiveness and efficiency of food and agricultural markets; (2) undertake research and outreach programs on international issues affecting the U.S. food and agriculture sectors and on alleviation of causes of global food insecurity; and (3) support an initiative on economic incentives for carbon sequestration and trace gas emissions control in agriculture.

Energy Information Administration: Funding is requested to: (1) overhaul the natural gas and electricity surveys and data systems to recognize and accommodate the changes in the natural gas and electricity industries brought on by deregulation and restructuring; (2) update EIA's 20-year-old energy consumption surveys; (3) enhance EIA's international analysis capabilities in order to assess carbon mitigation, permit trading, and other global climate change issues; (4) reverse the deterioration in data quality and accuracy in crude oil, diesel, gasoline, and natural gas production surveys; and (5) continue development and integration of energy survey data collection and processing to reduce the costs and improve the timeliness of energy data.

National Center for Health Statistics: Funding is requested to: (1) continue work with States to improve the vital statistics system, including movement toward implementing new model birth and death certificates, and helping to develop electronic birth and death registration systems; (2) proceed with the sample redesign for the National Health Interview Survey, part of a government-wide redesign of household surveys following the decennial census; (3) continue the field operations for the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey; (4) make further improvements to surveys for monitoring the health care delivery system, including organizational and financial arrangements of providers, as part of a public/private effort to address major data gaps in this area; and (5) make data more readily available to users by improving timeliness and access through use of automated systems and the Internet.

National Center for Education Statistics: Funding is requested to: (1) continue redesign of the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System for a new web-based system; (2) improve dissemination of consumer information on college costs and prices; (3) support the Longitudinal Surveys Program, including the new Educational Longitudinal Study of 2002; (4) continue work on the Birth Cohort of the Early Child-hood Longitudinal Study; (5) support Institutional Census Surveys for the Common Core of Data and Libraries programs; (6) improve the Statistics Research and Development Program; and (7) enhance the National Assessment of Educational Progress' research capabilities in Longitudinal Research and Exceptional Children Exclusion Research.

Bureau of Justice Statistics: Funding is requested to: (1) develop an ongoing statistical program that provides systematic and recurring information on criminal victimization of persons with disabilities; (2) develop and monitor statistical measures designed to examine concerns about racial discrimination in the administration of justice; (3) gather administrative data from law enforcement agencies on the content and consequences of police-initiated stops of motorists for routine traffic violations; (4) begin converting existing paper-based collections of administrative data from State and local units of government to Internet-based, paperless collection programs; (5) gather information on changes over time in the incidence and prevalence, costs and con-sequences, and prosecutions, convictions, and sentencing of computer crime offenses; (6) produce consistent annual measures of the incidence of hate crimes; and (7) develop a tribal data collection program to collect data on the types and characteristics of criminal justice agencies operating in these jurisdictions.

Bureau of Transportation Statistics: Funding is requested to: (1) establish a statistical consulting service to assist department-wide statistical activities and provide support for improving data quality and timeliness for departmental GPRA-related data; (2) develop measures of risk versus measures of exposure to improve the quality of transportation safety data; (3) continue work with the Federal Highway Administration to combine and coordinate the Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey with the American Travel Survey; (4) manage development of the congressionally mandated Intermodal Transportation Data Base, an Internet-based data access and dissemination tool that enables quick response to data-related questions; (5) improve data analyses on patterns of passenger travel and goods movements; (6) initiate development of a comprehensive National Spatial Data Infrastructure by integrating road network data developed at State and local levels; 7) improve statistical tools for geospatial data analyses and promote their use in transportation applications; and (8) undertake analyses as directed by Congress in the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), including the International Trade Impact Study and other studies related to international transportation.

Statistical Efficiency Act of 1999 Passes in the House of Representatives

The Statistical Efficiency Act (H.R. 2885) introduced by Congressmen Steve Horn (R-CA) and Henry Waxman (D-CA) has passed the House. This bill is essentially the second part (Title II) of an earlier bill to establish a Federal Commission on Statistical Policy to study the reorganization of the federal statistical system and at the same time provide safeguards for confidentiality in data sharing. The current bill, which no longer addresses the issue of federal statistical agency consolidation, would establish Statistical Data Centers for the purpose of sharing of information under strict confidentiality. These would include the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Bureau of the Census, Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Agricultural Statistical Service, National Centers for Education and Health Statistics, the Energy End Use and Integrated Statistical Division of the Energy Information Administration, and the Division of Science Resources Studies in the National Science Foundation. Under strict confidentiality rules, the Centers could enter into joint statistical projects to improve the quality and reduce the cost of statistical programs, and identify opportunities to eliminate duplication and other costs by sharing information for exclusively statistical purposes. For analysts in the areas of health, education and labor, for example, this bill could yield substantial benefits through the development of more detailed data series. Action on the bill has new moved to the Senate. At present there still exists a bill (S. 205) sponsored by Senator Daniel Moynihan (D-NY) to establish a Federal Commission on Statistical Policy to study the reorganization of the federal statistical system, along with a second section similar to the bill passed in the House. Hopefully a bill similar to the one passed by the House will be introduced in the Senate.

Revisions to Metropolitan Area Standards Nearing Completion

Although the time for formal comments to the Office of Management and Budget has passed, we still recommend that anyone concerned about the current proposed changes to Metropolitan Area standards should contact James D. Fitzsimmons, U.S. Bureau of the Census, IPC-Population Division, Washington, DC 20233-8860. The final standards will be announced by April 1, 2000. The actual areas, based upon 2000 Census commuting information, will probably be available in 2003. The full text of the release is available from the COPAFS home page at:

To review: On October 20, OMB released the recommendations from the Metropolitan Area Standards Review Committee (MASRC) for changes to OMB's standards for defining metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. MASRC has recommended a Core-Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs) classification to replace the current Metropolitan Area (MA) classification. The cores (densely settled concentrations of population) for this classification would be Census Bureau defined urbanized areas and smaller densely settled "settlement clusters." The settlement clusters are new areas to be identified for the 2000 Census. CBSAs would be defined around these cores. This CBSA classification has three types of areas based on the total population of all cores in the CBSA: 1) Megapolitan Areas defined around cores of at least 1,000,000 population; 2) Macropolitan Areas defined around cores of 50,000 to 999,999 population; and 3) Micropolitan Areas defined around cores of 10,000 to 49,999 population. Those counties containing the cores, should become the central counties of the CBSA's. Territory outside of Megapolitan, Macropolitan and Micropolitan Areas would be termed "Outside CBSAs." The MASRC has recommended the use of counties and equivalent entities as the building blocks for statistical areas throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, including the use of counties as the primary building blocks for statistical areas in New England. MASRC also recommended that Minor Civil Divisions (MCDs) be used as building blocks for an alternative set of statistical areas for the New England States only. A single threshold of 25 percent to establish qualifying linkages between outlying counties and counties containing the CBSA cores has also been recommended.

Census Bureau Releases Decennial Census Products Release Schedule

On December 31, 2000 the Census Bureau will present to the President the first data from the 2000 Decennial Census - the population counts for the 50 states and the District of Columbia. These data are the key information needed to reapportion the U.S. House of Representatives. Starting in March of 2001 the Census Bureau will then release the 2000 Census Redistricting Data Summary File of population counts at the block level used for legislative redistricting. These data will all be available by April 1, 2001. Then, starting in June, 2001, all the population and housing data from the 100-percent data products files (the data from the short form received by most households) will be released on a flow basis. By July of 2002, the vast majority of 100-percent data products will be have been released. The Census Bureau will begin releasing sample data (derived from the long form that was sent to approximately 16 percent of the households) in December of 2001 in the form of demographic, social, economic, and housing characteristic profiles. The release of major data files for sample data will be completed by March of 2003. Public Use Microdata Sample Files (PUMS) will be released starting in April of 2002 and the release will be completed by December of 2002. For more information on Census 2000 data products, contact Louisa Miller of the Population Division at the Bureau of the Census, tel: (301)-457-2073, or by email at

Census Bureau Releases Economic Census Reports on CD-ROM

The Census Bureau has developed new software to retrieve reports from the 1997 Economic Censuses. As compared to the 1992 Economic Censuses, the new software is Windows based and will provide Quick Reports, along with expanded search, query, export and display capabilities. Data will be released in three separate CD volumes. Volume 1 will be a quarterly subscription series and will contain all North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) based files. Volume 2 is a biannual subscription series that will contain the bridge between NAICS and Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) based files. The third volume will contain all NAICS based files from the 1997 Economic by Zip Code. The CD's can be ordered from the Census Bureau's Customer Services Office at (301) 457-4100.

National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Releases the 1997 Census of Agriculture on CD-ROM

NASS has released a three volume CD-ROM set, including new software to retrieve data from the 1997 Census of Agriculture. The software enables users to retrieve and export predefined reports, search for profiles of data at the national, state and county level, and retrieve specific agriculture data items by geographic area. The software is Windows based. Also included is the ability to view PDF data files with Adobe Acrobat. For further information, contact the NASS Customer Service Census at 1-800-727-9540, or email them at:

Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) Releases the 1995 American Travel Survey CD-ROM

The American Travel Survey (ATS) was conducted by BTS to obtain information about the long distance travel of persons living in the United States. The survey collected quarterly information related to the characteristics of persons, households, and trips taken for approximately 80,000 households. The ATS data provides detailed information on state-to-state travel as well as travel from metropolitan areas by mode of transportation. The CD-ROM contains data presented in 29 tables and eight data files that can be accessed using Beyond 20/20 software, licensed by Ivation Datasystems, Inc.. Custom tables can also be developed using household and person demographic files, or household and person trip files. For further information contact BTS at202-366-DATA.

Census Bureau Releases the Third Edition of the American Community Survey CD-ROM

The American Community Survey CD-ROM, which comes with its own software, allows users to access information in narrative and tabular formats. Users also can view or print charts, maps and reports from prepackaged tabulations, replicating those found in standard decennial reports, and conduct complex data manipulations and customized cross-tabulations. Data are displayed in three formats: community profiles, detailed summary tables (similar to those from the 1990 census), and public-use microdata. The 1998 CD-ROM includes data for two new sites, as well as multi-year data for many 1996 and 1997 sites. The data may be viewed with Windows 95, 98 or NT operating systems. The CD-ROM includes Beyond 20/20 licensed by Ivation Datasystems, Inc. A Hands-On Guided Tour includes tutorial "movies" about how to use the software to find the information the user needs. The Quick Start Guide has been updated to direct the user through more complex data manipulations and features. A copy of the American Community Survey questionnaire is provided, along with information about methods, concepts and definitions related to the data. For more information on the survey or to request a free copy of the CD-ROM, please call 1-888-456-7215 or send an e-mail to

Bureau of Economic Analysis Releases Fixed Reproducible Tangible Wealth in the United States, 1925-1994

This volume presents estimates of fixed reproducible tangle wealth. The estimates cover the stock of privately owned and government owned durable equipment and structures and of durable goods owned by consumers in the United States. These estimates are consistent with the national income and product account (NIPA's). They incorporate the definition and statistical improvements introduced in the comprehensive revision of the NIPA's that was completed in May 1997, including the use of an improved methodology for calculating depreciation, and the revised NIPA estimates for 1994 published in the 1997 survey of Current business. The estimates in this volume are part of BEA's work on measuring the tangible wealth of the nation. The chapters include a discussion of the conceptual and statistical considerations underlying the BEA wealth estimates, an explanation of the calculations of the investment flows used to derive the wealth estimates, and explanations of the terms used in the tables. The balance of the volume consists of tables containing the BEA wealth estimates and the investment flows used to derive them. For more information contact the BEA at 1-800-704-0415.