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Census of Governments, 1992: Government Organization (ICPSR 4421)

Principal Investigator(s):


The United States Census Bureau conducts a Census of Governments every five years -- in years ending in "2" or "7" -- to collect information about governments in the United States. The Government Organization branch of the 1992 Census of Governments describes the organization and activities of local governments. The 1992 Local Government Directory Survey covered all county, municipal, town or township, school district, and special district governments that met the Census Bureau criteria for independent governments. The counts of local governments reflect those in operation on January 1, 1992. This collection includes three parts, each including information regarding a different type of government: (1) general purpose governments, (2) special district governments, and (3) school district governments (including dependent school systems but not Education Service Agencies). The data include information on various codes used to identify the government unit, its name, population in 1990, types of public services provided, or functions of special districts, political organization of general purpose governments as well as a detailed accounting of race and gender of elected and appointed officials. Special districts data provide information on area served, revenue powers, and functions, in addition to detailing race and gender counts of governing body members. School data provides enrollment information, number of schools, educational levels, area served, and a detailed accounting of race and gender of elected and appointed officials.

Series: Census of Governments Series

Access Notes

  • These data are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. Because you are not logged in, we cannot verify that you will be able to download these data.


DS1:  General Purpose Governments - Download All Files (42.7 MB)
DS2:  Special District Governments - Download All Files (59.3 MB)
DS3:  School District Governments - Download All Files (20.7 MB)

Study Description


United States Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census. Census of Governments, 1992: Government Organization. ICPSR04421-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research[distributor], 2014-02-11. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR04421.v2

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   government, government employees, government organizations, organizational structure, organizations, political appointments, political leaders, public sector, schools, workers

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Time Period:  

  • 1992-01-01

Date of Collection:  

  • 1991-10--1992-04

Unit of Observation:   local government

Universe:   Local governments in the United States.

Data Types:   census/enumeration data

Data Collection Notes:

For additional information on the Census of Governments, 1992: Government Organization, please refer to the United States Census Bureau Web site.


Study Purpose:   Census statistics on governments are designed to account for the totality of public sector activity without omission or duplication.

Sample:   Data that are derived from a census are not subject to sampling variability.

Time Method:   Cross-sectional

Weight:   There are no weight variables included in this collection.

Mode of Data Collection:   mail questionnaire

Response Rates:   The final response rate for the Government Organization Census was 88.2 percent.

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2014-02-11 SPSS, SAS, and Stata setup files, as well as SPSS and Stata system files, a SAS transport (CPORT) file, a tab-delimited data file, and an R data file have been added to the collection. Additionally, a codebook has been created.



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