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Commerce Department

Economics And Statistics Administration

The Economics and Statistics Administration, supervised by the undersecretary for economic affairs, advises the president on economic developments and macroeconomic and microeconomic policy. It also makes economic forecasts and presents current economic data to the public through the National Trade Data Bank and the Economic Bulletin Board. The office oversees the Bureau of the Census and the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The Bureau of the Census was officially established as a permanent office on March 6, 1902 (32 Stat. 51). Its major duties are authorized by the Constitution (which requires that a census of the U.S. population be conducted every ten years) and by laws codified in Title 13 of the U.S. Code. By law, the census data collected from individuals must be kept confidential. However, statistics collected from the data are published for use by Congress, the executive branch, and the general public. The Bureau of the Census collects data on housing, agriculture, state and local governments, business, industry, and international trade. The bureau also publishes projections of future population trends. For a fee, the bureau will search records and furnish certificates to individuals who require evidence of age, relationship, or place of birth. The headquarters of the bureau is located in Suitland, Maryland, and the bureau operates 12 regional offices.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis, formerly the Office of Business Economics, was established on December 1, 1953. The bureau prepares and interprets statistics on the gross domestic product, personal income, foreign trade, and many other national accounts relating to commerce. It makes statistics available through numerous media and publications, including the monthly Survey of Current Business.

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