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IDEAS THAT WORK

Community Research You Can Use-Free

Successful church planning responds to the needs and opportunities in a local community. The Census Bureau offers statistics that reveal what some of those needs might be, and the information is free.

During 1993, the U.S. Census Bureau is releasing data gathered during the 1990 census. More than ninety characteristics of residents' income, age, race, sex, homes, and mobility are grouped by census tracts (neighborhood-size urban areas or subdivisions of rural counties).

At least one library in each congressional district, usually a university or large public library, is a "federal repository library," which will provide this information to anyone who requests it.

Most libraries have the census data in printed form. Federal repository libraries also have tract data on computer disks called CD-ROM. With this technology, the data is more accessible and can easily be printed out.

Family composition information, for example, can provide clues to which ministries ...

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