A RESEARCH NOTE
In order to assess the role and function of federal agencies in general and the civil rights regulatory agencies in particular, the researcher must rely on the statistics that are produced by these agencies as they perform their day-to-day functions. The facts are gathered in the form of "numerical quantities like counts, measurements, averages, ratios and so forth." 1 These are reported to the general public and other branches of government as a basis for making decisions, designing public policy, or as proof that something has been accomplished and that the mandate for the office is being carried out.
William Kruskal writes: "The Constitution of the United States of America provided in its first article that the federal government shall collect statistics, a decennial census . . . (and) in . . . years since the first census, ... the federal statistical system has grown persistently." 2
He continues: "From a relatively few economic and demographic indexes, the variety of federal statistics (in the numerical sense) is now enormous: in economics from budget studies to national income accounts; in demography from fertility studies to detail small-area age distributions; . . . and in nearly every other area of national concern, numerical statistics are generated in new profusion and variety." 3 When the civil rights regulatory agencies started to collect racial and ethnic data, they were doing nothing new. The collection of