Census Director Quits

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Census director Martha Farnsworth Riche announced Jan. 13 that she will leave her position at the end of the month. Riche has been involved in a lengthy dispute with members of Congress over Census 2000. For the census, she has suggested using "sampling," which uses a formula based on the people the census can reach to determine the number and characteristics of people it can't reach. Essentially, the system was devised as a way to count the many people who might be missed by regular surveying methods. While many have praised her efforts, Republicans in Congress have opposed sampling because they are concerned that more people would be counted in large cites with Democratic majorities -- and the results will be used to redistribute House seats to the states. The two sides reached a compromise last fall, allowing sampling to be used in test censuses but delaying a final decision. Deputy census director Brad Hunter is expected to take charge pending the selection of a new director.

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