The Federal Statistical System of the United States is the decentralized network of federal agencies which produce data and
official statistics Official statistics are statistics published by government agencies or other public bodies such as international organizations as a public good. They provide quantitative or qualitative information on all major areas of citizens' lives, such as e ...
about the
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, and
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In contrast to many other countries, the United States does not have a primary statistical agency. Instead, the statistical system is decentralized, with 13 statistical agencies, two of which are independent agencies and the remaining 11 generally located in different government departments. This structure keeps statistical work in close proximity to the various cabinet-level departments that use the information. In addition, three other statistical units of government agencies are recognized by the OMB as having statistical work as part of their mission. As of fiscal year 2013 (FY13), the 13 principal statistical agencies have statistical activities as their core mission and conduct much of the government’s statistical work. A further 89 federal agencies were appropriated at least $500,000 of statistical work in FY11, FY12, or FY13 in conjunction with their primary missions. All together, the total budget allocated to the Federal Statistical System is estimated to be $6.7 billion for FY13. The Federal Statistical System is coordinated through the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). OMB establishes and enforces statistical policies and standards, ensures that resources are proposed for priority statistical programs, and approves statistical surveys conducted by the Federal government under the
Paperwork Reduction Act The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980 (Pub. L. No. 96-511, 94 Stat. 2812, codified at ) is a United States federal law enacted in 1980 designed to reduce the total amount of paperwork burden the federal government imposes on private businesses and ...
. The Chief Statistician of the United States, also housed within OMB, provides oversight, coordination, and guidance for Federal statistical activities, working in collaboration with leaders of statistical agencies.

Centralization efforts

To streamline operations and reduce costs, several proposals have been made to consolidate the federal statistical system into fewer agencies, or even a single agency. In 2011, President
Barack Obama Barack Hussein Obama II ( ; born August 4, 1961) is an American politician who served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, Obama was the first African-American president of the ...
's proposal to reorganize the U.S. Department of Commerce included placing several statistical agencies under one umbrella.

Principal statistical agencies

Statistical units

These are subcomponents of agencies recognized by the OMB as having statistical work as part of their mission: * Microeconomic Surveys Unit, (Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve System) *
Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA; pronounced ) is a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is charged with improving the quality and availability of treatment and rehabilitative service ...
, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (Department of Health and Human Services) * National Animal Health Monitoring System,
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) based in Riverdale, Maryland responsible for protecting animal health, animal welfare, and plant health. APHIS is the lead ...
(Department of Agriculture)

See also

* Federal Statistical Research Data Centers


External links

*Statistical Programs and Standards, U.S. Office of Management and Budget
{{US Statistical Agencies Statistical organizations in the United States Agencies of the United States government