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e-CFR data is current as of November 25, 2020

Title 15Subtitle BChapter I → Part 90


Title 15: Commerce and Foreign Trade


PART 90—PROCEDURE FOR CHALLENGING POPULATION ESTIMATES


Contents
§90.1   Scope and applicability.
§90.2   Policy of the Census Bureau.
§90.3   Definitions.
§90.4   General.
§90.5   Who may file a challenge.
§90.6   When a challenge may be filed.
§90.7   Where to file a challenge.
§90.8   Evidence required.
§90.9   Review of challenge.

Authority: 13 U.S.C. 4 and 181.

Source: 78 FR 259, Jan. 3, 2013, unless otherwise noted.

Effective Date Note: At 85 FR 1101, Jan. 9, 2020, part 90 was stayed indefinitely, effective Jan. 9, 2020.

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§90.1   Scope and applicability.

Between decennial censuses, the Census Bureau annually prepares statistical estimates of the number of people residing in states and their governmental units. In general, these estimates are developed by updating the population counts produced in the most recent decennial census with demographic components of change data and/or other indicators of population change. These rules prescribe the administrative procedure available to governmental units to request a challenge to the most current of these estimates.

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§90.2   Policy of the Census Bureau.

It is the policy of the Census Bureau to provide the most accurate population estimates possible given the constraints of time, money, and available statistical techniques. It is also the policy of the Census Bureau to provide governmental units the opportunity to seek a review and provide additional data to these estimates and to present evidence relating to the accuracy of the estimates.

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§90.3   Definitions.

As used in this part (except where the context clearly indicates otherwise) the following definitions shall apply:

(a) Census Bureau means the U.S. Census Bureau, Department of Commerce.

(b) Population Estimates Challenge means, in accordance with this part, the process a governmental unit may use to provide additional input data for the Census Bureau's population estimate and the submission of substantive documentation in support thereof.

(c) Director means Director of the Census Bureau, or an individual designated by the Director to perform under this part.

(d) Population estimate means a statistically developed calculation of the number of people living in a governmental unit to update the preceding census or earlier estimate.

(e) A governmental unit means the government of a county, municipality, township, incorporated place, or other minor civil division, which is a unit of general-purpose government below the State.

(f) A non-functioning county or statistical equivalent means a sub-state entity that does not function as an active general-purpose governmental unit. This situation exists in Connecticut, Rhode Island, for selected counties in Massachusetts, and for the Census Areas in Alaska.

(g) For the purposes of this program, an eligible governmental unit also includes the District of Columbia and non-functioning counties or statistical equivalents represented by a FSCPE member agency.

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§90.4   General.

This part provides a procedure for a governmental unit to request a challenge of a population estimate of the Census Bureau. The Census Bureau, upon receipt of the appropriate documentation, will attempt to resolve the estimate with the governmental unit.

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§90.5   Who may file a challenge.

A request for a challenge of a population estimate generated by the Census Bureau may be filed only by the chief executive officer or highest elected official of a governmental unit. In those instances where the FSCPE member agency represents a non-functioning county or statistical equivalent, the governor will serve as the chief executive officer or highest elected official.

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§90.6   When a challenge may be filed.

(a) A request for a challenge to a population estimate may be filed any time up to 90 days after the release of the estimate by the Census Bureau. Publication by the Census Bureau on its Web site (www.census.gov) shall constitute release. Documentation requesting a challenge of any estimate may also be filed any time up to 90 days after the date the Census Bureau, on its own initiative, revises that estimate.

(b) If, however, a governmental unit has a sufficiently meritorious reason for not filing in a timely manner, the Census Bureau has the discretion to accept the late request.

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§90.7   Where to file a challenge.

A request for a population estimate challenge must be prepared in writing by the governmental unit and filed with the Chief, Population Division, Census Bureau, Room 5H174, Mail Stop 8800, Washington, DC 20233. The governmental unit must designate a contact person who can be reached by telephone during normal business hours should questions arise with regard to the submitted materials.

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§90.8   Evidence required.

(a) The governmental unit shall provide whatever evidence it has relevant to the request at the time of filing. The Census Bureau may request further evidence when necessary. The evidence submitted must be consistent with the criteria, standards, and regular processes the Census Bureau employs to generate the population estimate. The Census Bureau has revised the challenge process to no longer accept estimates developed from methods different from those used by the Census Bureau. In the revised challenge process, the Census Bureau will only accept a challenge when the evidence provided identifies the use of incorrect data, processes, or calculations in the estimates.

(b) For counties and statistical equivalents, the Census Bureau uses a cohort-component of change method to produce population estimates. Each year, the components of change are updated. These components include births, deaths, migration, and change in the group quarters population. The Census Bureau will consider a challenge based on additional information on one or more of the components of change or about the group quarters population in a locality.

(c) For minor civil divisions and incorporated places, the Census Bureau uses a housing unit method to distribute the county population. The components in this method include housing units, occupancy rates, and persons per household plus an estimate of the population in group quarters. The Census Bureau will consider a challenge based on data related to changes in an area's housing stock, such as data on demolitions, condemned units, uninhabitable units, building permits, or mobile home placements or other comparable housing inventory based data. The Census Bureau will also consider a challenge based on additional information about the group quarters population in a locality.

(d) The Census Bureau will also provide a guide on its Web site as a reference for governmental units to use in developing their data as evidence to support a challenge to the population estimate. In addition, a governmental unit may address any additional questions by contacting the Census Bureau at the address provided in §90.7.

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§90.9   Review of challenge.

The Chief, Population Division, Census Bureau, or the Chief's designee shall review the evidence provided with the request for the population estimate challenge, shall work with the governmental unit to verify the data provided by the governmental unit, and evaluate the data to resolve the issues raised by the governmental unit. Thereafter, the Census Bureau shall respond in writing with a decision to accept or deny the challenge. In the event that the Census Bureau finds that the population estimate should be updated, it will also post the revised estimate on the Census Bureau's Web site (www.census.gov).

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