The business of counting

How Moab businesses can benefit from a complete Census, and where to access the data

Deanne Zebelean, an official with the U.S. Census Bureau, speaks about the U.S. Census to local business leaders at a luncheon Tuesday, Jan. 21. Aggregated census data is publicly available and used by businesses for many purposes, including to make investment and hiring decisions. Photo by Carter Pape

Deanne Zebelean, an official with the U.S. Census Bureau, presented on Tuesday, Jan. 21 to the Moab Chamber of Commerce during its monthly luncheon about the 2020 U.S. Census and how businesses can help ensure a complete count. Zebelean also talked about the benefits that the freely available information from Census results can provide to businesses.

After they are collected, U.S. Census data are not available at an individual level for over 70 years, and the Census Bureau is the only government entity that is permitted to handle the individual-level responses. Census data are compiled anonymously to form locals, regional-, state- and national-level data sets that are designed to not be traceable back to individuals.

The compiled data is freely available to the public through the Census Bureau and forms the basis of many demographic and related studies, including those done by The Times-Independent. For example, data on population growth and demographics contributes to reports about crash data, tourist visitation and the local housing market.