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Mr. GOSNELL. And specifying the minimum and maximum rates of compensation.
TheCHAIRMAN. The Committee on Appropriations would ask you that anyhow. Mr. JACOBSTEIN. Would they not ask for a lump sum to cover that?
The CHAIRMAN. I presume it would come in as a lump sum, but information would have to be in the hands of General Lord and the Committee on Appropriations of the House. Of course we have nothing to do with that.
Mr. RANKIN. I was going to say that the limitation on expenditures is going to be looked after by the Committee on Appropriations.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes, by the Budget Bureau and the Committee on Appropriations.
Mr. RANKIN. Yes.
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. What is the estimated population for 1930— about 120,000,000?
Doctor HILL. 120,000,000, or a little over that.
Mr. GOSNELL. It will average higher than that; it will average 8 cents.
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. That is about $10,000,000 for the population census?
Mr. GOSNELL. Approximately that-well, it would not be quite that much; it would be about $7,000,000.
The CHAIRMAN. You will have the figures to submit to the Budget Bureau and the Committee on Appropriations, on which they can make their allocation?
Doctor Hill. Yes.
Mr. GOSNELL. This bill provides for the taking of the population census as of the first day of April.
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. Then these enumerators will be appointed in February or March, 1930?
Mr. ĜOSNELL. Yes, they will be selected at that time; but they will not receive any compensation until they actually begin the enumeration. .
May I make one more statement about rates of compensation? We had in the last census act, in 1920, a provision which permitted us to pay $2 per day, and so much per capita and so much per farm for the enumeration. We found in practically all cases, or in many cases, that those enumerators would draw a compensation of $2 per diem and probably not enumerate any person or any farm on many of those days. And that is the thing we are trying to get away from by taking the compensation on a piece price basis.
Mr. THURSTON. Have you any idea about what is the average time necessary on the part of the enumerator to perform the work in his district?
Mr. GOSNELL. Do you mean the time that will elapse?
Mr. GOSNELL. In the urban districts, from 15 to 30 days; in the rural districts, 30 to 40 days. In some cases, where bad weather, heavy snows, etc., may prevent the enumerator from working at all for three or four weeks, it may take three months.
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. . Of course, in this bill you propose to adopt an earlier enumeration?
Mr. GOSNELL. This bill provides for the enumeration of population at one time and the enumeration of agriculture at another.
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. When is the enumeration of population to begin? Mr. GOSNELL. The census of population is to be taken as of the 1st day of April, and the farm enumeration as of the 1st of the preceding November.
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. When you say “farm enumeration”, do you mean population on farms, or farm data?
Mr. GOSNELL. Farm data.
Mr. JacobsTEIN. But the population of the entire country will be taken on the same date?
Mr. GOSNELL. On the farms? Mr. JACOBSTEIN. No; just the population statistics? - Mr. GOSNELL. Yes. · The CHAIRMAN. The bill provides in section 6:
That the census of the population required by section 1 of this act shall be taken as of the first day of April and the census of agriculture shall be taken as of the first day of the preceding November, and it shall be the duty of each enumerator to commence the enumeration of his district on the day following, unless the Director of the Census in his discretion shall change the date. (Etc.]
Mr. RANKIN. Why do you fix the date as of November 1 for the farm enumeration? Mr. GOSNELL. That is a question that Doctor Hill can answer.
Mr. RANKIN. All right. I want to ask you some questions. What is your position?
Mr. GOSNELL. I am in charge of the field division.
Mr. RANKIN. I do not know whether you are the one for me to ask this question of or not; but what does your agricultural enumeration contain?
Mr. GOSNELL. That is a question for Mr. Austin to answer. He is the chief statistician.
Mr. RANKIN. All right. I will reserve that question, then.
Mr. GOSNELL. May I explain this? About six years ago the director consolidated the administration of the entire field force into one division, instead of having it spread all over the office, the idea being that if we sent a man to one town to obtain information of one type he should get all the information necessary for the census at that place at that time, whereas formerly we sent different agents to the different cities to collect special data.
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. May I ask a question right there? Does the Census Bureau have any method of checking up the quality of the work done at the time it is done?
Mr. GOSNELL. Yes, it is checked by the supervisor. That is the purpose of the employment of supervisors' clerks, to check that work.
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. What does he do?
Mr. GOSNELL. He checks it to see that, so far as he can tell, the answers are approximately correct. He checks it, I believe, with the population at the last census of that particular territory, the number of farms, etc.
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. When would he do that?
Mr. GOSNELL. Immediately after the completion of the enumeration.
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. So that if he did discover any errors there would be very little opportunity for correction?
Mr. GOSNELL. Yes, there is plenty of opportunity for correction, because the supervisor discovers that before he sends the report to Washington.
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. Do you mean he orders a new census of that particular district to be taken?
Mr. GOSNELL. Yes. Many times we have enumerated districts twice.
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. How many second enumerations were made in the last census?
Mr. GOSNELL. I could not say exactly, but I should say somewhat less than 500.
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. Out of a total of how many?
Mr. THURSTON. Is it not a common practice on the part of the various chambers of commerce to complain that the census has not enumerated all the people in their town or village, and that there should be a recount?
Mr. GOSNELL. That is true in many cases. It is not as true as as it was 15 or 20 years ago. We find to-day that the chambers of commerce are more interested in getting an accurate census of the population than they are in “boosting" the population of their particular cities. We certainly find that to be the case in centers where chambers of commerce play an important part.
Mr. THURSTON. There is a decided improvement in that respect? Mr. GOSNELL. There is a decided improvement in that respect.
Mr. MOORMAN. These enumerators are not paid until the supervisor sees that the blanks are properly filled out, etc.?
Mr. GOSNELL. That is true. Here is another feature of the system: The enumerators are furnished a sheet showing the population of that particular district at the last census, and also the number of farms in that district at the previous census.
Mr. THURSTON. You also check by reports from the Department of Agriculture, do you not?
Mr. GOSNELL. I am not sure as to that. · Doctor Hill. There was a question raised about this, and I think it is appropriate to say at this time that the Director of the Census (and I think it is a very good idea), instead of waiting until all the schedules have come to Washington and we have been over them before announcing the population, intends to have the supervisor himself announce the population in his district when the canvass is completed, so that if there are any “kicks” or complaints, they will come at a time when the organization is still there.
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. That is what I had in mind. There would be no point in telling us that there are errors in these statistics after it was all over and the organization had been disbanded. We want to know about it in time to be able to correct it, while the organization is still there.
Doctor Hill. That is the idea.
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. May I ask a question of the field supervisor? I have not gone into this matter carefully; but Germany and England have taken censuses recently. Have they made any changes in their technique in getting population statistics, etc., that it might be of advantage to adopt here? Mr. GOSNELL. I could not say.
Doctor Hill. I am not familiar with recent developments in Europe; but my impression is that they are proceeding along, the same lines as heretofore.
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. I thought we might learn something as to technique from the recent censuses they have taken over there.
Doctor HILL. We will examine into that matter.
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. I do not think we ought to use Turkish methods. In Turkey, I am told they ordered that a certain day be designated as census day; and everybody had to stay at home that day; the police were in charge of the matter and they saw to it that everybody stayed at home on that day, and the census was completed on that one day for the whole Turkish Empire.
Mr. SELVIG. Mr. Chairman, I have one or two questions to ask regarding the proposed agricultural census. I have had occasion to study the census, especially with reference to the agricultural schedule, for the purpose of making a comparison during the census years with various estimates that come from other sources, especially the Department of Agriculture. And I find that every 5 or 10 years we have figures that do not agree between those two sources for that particular period. And I am wondering whether or not there will be anything in the new census which will probably result in greater accuracy, and also in providing more data with reference to agriculture. Now, there was a paper presented at one of the recent scientific meetings in Washington during the holidays, which I have found very interesting. It was prepared by Doctor Davis, of Leland Stanford University. I would like permission to insert in the record a brief abstract of that paper. I do not care to take the time of the committee this morning to read it.
The CHAIRMAN. Certainly; if it is agreeable to the committee, we will insert it in the record.
(The statement referred to was subsequently submitted by Mr. Selvig, and is as follows:)
In considering the taking of the regular decennial census of 1930, I wish to call to the attention of the committee certain facts regarding the agricultural census in order to secure, if possible, greater accuracy in the forthcomming census and data of greter value to the country.
There are some shortcomings in the basic agricultural data in the agricultural census of 1925 with respect to crop acreage and production to which I wish to call your attention. In comparing census figures for acreage and production of certain crops with revised estimates subsequently published by the Department of Agriculture, it is found that the department figures for acreage are 2 to 4 per cent higher than the census figures, for most crops, and much higher for several of the lesser crops (e. g. rye, rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, tobacco). The production figures of the Department of Agriculture are much further above those of the census--in wheat 8 per cent, in most other crops considerably more. I will insert a table showing that these differences are very marked.
The data of animal population in the 1925 census and the statistics showing the production of meat, lard, milk, butter, and other animal products differ materially from data issued by the Department of Agriculture. The output of the animal industries is a large and increasing portion of the total of the agricultural production and is, therefore, of the greatest importance in connection with agricultural statistics.
Unfortunately there have already been three changes in the date when the census for animal products has been taken. For the years 1850 to 1900 the figures were as of June 1, for 1910 as of April 15, and for 1920 and 1925 as of January 1.
The bill under consideration provides that the census should be taken as of April 1. These changes in date make it difficult to secure figures that are properly comparable.
In this field of animal statistics there are in some instances radical differences between the estimates of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics of the Department of Agriculture and the Census figures. In the case of sheep and lambs the census figures show an increase of sheep and lambs of 556,000 or 172 per cent, while the Department of Agriculture figures show a decrease of 2,131,000, of 5 per cent. For hogs the census data shows a decline of 8,492,000, or about 14 per cent, while the Department of Agriculture shows a decline of only 4,245,000, or only 7 per cent. There should not be this difference in animal population figures for the same year. Both figures can not be correct. In most of these the Department of Agriculture figures are higher than those given in the census for the same year.
I will insert a table showing these differences.
Since 1907 the Department of Agriculture has issued annually estimates of the annual production of meat and other livestock products. The differences between the figures covering this part of our agricultural production in the census and the estimates prepared by the Department of Agriculture are in many cases radical where it is possible to make comparisons.
It is important to obtain more adequate basic data within the range of work to be undertaken by the census.
My only purpose in calling this matter to the attention of the committee is to secure if possible a solution to this problem and to bring before the committee concrete suggestions looking to the improvement in procedure in respect to the 1930 census as it relates to the agricultural schedules. I wish to emphasize first the importance of securing future census data on agriculture that will be as accurate and as complete as possible. The taking of the census entails a considerable expenditure of public funds. Producers as well as consumers are vitally interested in having as accurate and complete agricultural data in the census as it is possible to secure.
It is likely that additional funds will be needed but the importance of the work justifies this additional expenditure.
Trained agricultural economists should be secured to assist in making up the agricultural schedules and to suggest studies that should be undertaken to insure more accurate and complete data in the census of 1930.
It is suggested further that there should be close coooperation between the members of the staff of the Census Bureau with the Department of Agriculture and associated State agencies.
It has been suggested also that studies should be made that will lead to carefully checked and thoroughly reliable revisions, State by State, for a considerable series of years in the past in the statistics involving both crop and animal products. These studies should from time to time be issued and would assist materially in improving subsequent census data.
Annual livestock and animal products data taken by the Census Bureau would seem to be a necessary step in order to give the food producers in the United States reliable information for their benefit.
I am submitting two tables which were compiled by Dr. Joseph S. Davis, food research institute, Stanford University, California, in a paper read before the American Statistical Association in Washington, D. C., December 27, 1927.
Table I gives the acreage and production of certain crops in 1924 according to census reports and revised estimates of the Department of Agriculture. You will note that the differences in acreage are very great with respect to some of these crops, particularly rye, rice, and potatoes. In each instance the estimate by the Department of Agriculture is higher than the census data for the same year. The differences between these two sources of information in the production of important crops is radical, as will be seen by referring to Table I.
Table II gives the livestock count January 1, 1920 and 1925, according to census reports and revised estimates of the Department of Agriculture. In looking over these tables, it is found again that the estimates by the Department of Agriculture are higher than figures given in the census.