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Census director touring booming North Dakota

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - U.S. Census Bureau Director John Thompson says the agency is up to the challenge of counting North Dakota's exploding population.

Thompson is touring North Dakota to see firsthand what's occurring in the fastest-growing state in the nation.

North Dakota's population has climbed to record levels with the state's robust economy. Some officials have criticized the Census Bureau for undercounting the state's population, which is pegged at 723,000 residents.

Thompson says the agency's count is accurate and officials are "working very hard to produce high-quality data.''

He says the Census Bureau increasingly is using mapping technology to help find people. But he says the agency still relies on census takers knocking on doors.