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Automated data integration contributes to $5 billion saving for US Census

The US Census, conducted every ten years, is the largest civilian activity in America. It is used to apportion democratic representation in the House of Representatives and to determine the allocation of $400 billion of federal funds each year.

The entire census operation is underpinned by geographical data covering the addresses of 135 million homes, the boundaries of 40,000 government organisations and the entire road network of the US. The master database – MAF/TIGER – is updated with data from 3,200 counties and other organisations.

For the 2010 census, the validation and integration process was largely manual and very labour-intensive. The resulting changes required further field validation by employing 140,000 canvassers to walk or drive every street in the country.

The census bureau wanted to automate and streamline the process to reduce cost and support a more efficient census operation.

Case Study

Automated data integration contributes to $5 billion saving for US Census

“This is a large, complex and mission-critical spatial database that is growing at 10-15% annually. There are huge demands from the user community for spatial and temporal accuracy and quality, together with stringent processing deadlines. We believe that 1Spatial’s solution will meet our expectations to build an agile, service orientated architecture, whilst reducing our storage requirements.”

Tim Trainor Geography Division Chief | US Census Bureau


1Spatial proposed a solution built on 1Integrate to automate the validation and integration of data submissions. By automatically identifying differences between new data submissions and existing records, then making approved changes automatically, the solution enabled the bureau to process more files more quickly. As a result, MAF/TIGER was more accurate and up-to-date.


The automated integration solution meant that MAF/TIGER was more reliable and required less field canvassing to validate the records. The number of field canvassers required for 2020 will be just 25% of the 2010 figure.

The solution also enables census bureau to augment its data with existing records from other organisations, such as “Gone Away” records from the US Postal Service and road data from commercial data providers. Better information will reduce the need for post-census follow-up for non-completion.

Altogether, automated, rules-based validation and integration contribute to total costs avoided of $5 billion for the 2020 census.


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