Box 22, Folder 18, Document 3

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‘ 4 (\Juar,

Subcommittee on Executive Reorganization of the
Senate Committee on Government Operations

fternoon session ~ November 29, 1966.
Witness: Richard M. Scammon, Vice-President, Governmental Affairs
Institute, Washington.

Mr. Scammon testified on the need for a mid-decade Census, or an inter-
censal urban Census. He said that although the 1960 Census is out-of-date,
obviously the 1970 census count won't be available for five years.

A big factor in the obsolescence of data is the increased mobility of
population. According to.Mr. Scammon, there is & great need for area
rather than figures from a city as a whole. In the questioning by
Senator Ribicoff this point was elaborated upon and it was stated that i
information had been available concerning the situation in the Watts
area of Los Angeles, the riots could have been avoided. Senator Ribicoffr
said that when a census was taken of Los Angeles the bad figures from such
areas as Watts were offset by the figures from more affluent areas.

Senator Ribicoff pointed out that Mr. Cohen from the Department of HEW had
used figures which dated back to 1961 when he testified before the committee
and that government agencies cannot cure social ills without up-to-date
statistics which point definitively to the location of those ills.

Senator Ribicoff and Mr. Scammon both agreed that a mid-decade census is
necessary. Senator Ribicoff mentioned that the Office of Economic Opportunity
is planning to take a special census in 1968 in standard metropolitan areas

to complile pertinent data on such statistics as the median family income.

-Mr, Scammon laid the blame for the fact that a census is taken only every

ten years on the Budget Bureau. He said that the costs involved are so
tremendous that the Budget Bureau would not agree to a more frequent census.

Method of taking the census


Senator Ribicoff asked whether or not the method of taking the census is
important. He pointed out that a census was conducted in Wetts where
questionnaires were mailed to the residents. He questioned whether or

not people at these levels would be interested enoush to return the comple
forms. .


Lack of data on adult male Negroes

Senator Ribicoff also pointed out that in the last census between 15% and

20% of adult male Negroes were missed entirely. Mr. Scammon replied thet

there was a slippage in less affluent areas of cities, but he did not know
whether Senator Ribicoff's percentages were entirely correct.

Advantages of a five-year census

Senator Ribicoff said that almost all grant programs are based on the
number of people and their needs. - He claimed that we must weigh the
advantages of a five-year survey in relation to these programs. He said
that a five-year census would be better for decision making by such

administrators as the Secretary of HUD.

Central location for statistics.

Senator Ribicoff also asked whether there should be a central place for

the gathering and keeping of statistics, rather than allowing each Depart-
ment to have operations of its own. Mr. Scammon said that a task force
headed by Congressman Gallagher recommended setting up a central bank for
statistics, but that a big concern of the Task Force was the right of privacy
of individuals in responding to questionnaires. Senator Ribicoff contended
that where the information was merged, the problem of confidentiality was


Senator Ribicoff
to get people to
foreign areas of
in order to gain

said that the problem of taking an urban census has been

do the work. It was also pointed out that in problem or

a city, the census takers must be familiar with the area.
the confidence of the people who are interviewed.

Spending in. cities

Senator Kennedy asked through the Chairman whether it is possible to
determine how much the government is spending in each city to rebuild.
He wants to know how we can get better figures. Mr. Scammon said that
this information should be available from the Census Bureau or through
the Subcommittee. ,

Senators present:


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