Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The StatAb Is Dead, Long Live the StatAb

The Statistical Abstract of the United States (1878-2011) is now officially dead. We’ve managed 131 editions of this book. We’ve managed to produce it right through World War I, the Depression, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, and on—until now budget cuts have killed it. Here is the official announcement from the Census Bureau (link):

The U.S. Census Bureau is terminating the collection of data for the Statistical Compendia program effective October 1, 2011. The Statistical Compendium program is comprised of the Statistical Abstract of the United States and its supplemental products — the State and Metropolitan Area Data Book and the County and City Data Book. In preparation for the Fiscal Year 2012 (FY 2012) budget, the Census Bureau did a comprehensive review of a number of programs and had to make difficult proposals to terminate and reduce a number of existing programs in order to acquire funds for higher priority programs. The decision to propose the elimination of this program was not made lightly. To access the most current data, please refer to the organizations cited in the source notes for each table of the Statistical Abstract.
Never mind. Long live the StatAb. The spirit it represented is still alive and well. It was an effort to empower a well-informed citizenry with straight facts—straight from their own Census Bureau—with lots of help from other stellar statistical agencies of the United States government. Those people are still there, although diminished in numbers. We salute and join you in bowing our heads. The StatAb Shall Rise Again!

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