ACS

Committee on National Statistics Releases Report on Reducing Burden in the American Community Survey

The Committee on National Statistics of the Division of Behavioral and Social Science and Education (DBASSE) at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine has published a report on their March workshop dedicated to improving the American Community Survey (ACS). The workshop examined different approaches to reducing the burden on respondents, including reducing the number of questions asked to individual respondents though matrix sampling, eliminating the need for some questions by using administrative records, increasing cooperation with the survey, reducing the length of the survey. The full report is available here. Back to this issue’s table of contents. 

National Academies Holds Workshop on ACS Respondent Burden

In March, the Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held a “Workshop on Respondent Burden in the American Community Survey,” which brought together experts from the Census Bureau and the broader statistical community to discuss how to make the American Community Survey (ACS) a more pleasant, less intrusive experience for respondents.

Census Releases New ACS Estimates

The Census Bureau has released a new set of annual data from the American Community Survey (ACS). The 2014 1-Year estimates provide information for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico on the dozens of economic, housing, social, and demographic topics covered by the ACS. The new data can be accessed here. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

ACS Launches New Website

The American Community Survey (ACS) has a new website.  The new site, according to the ACS office, “has a look and feel consistent with census.gov,” and should allow for easy user navigation. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

House Passes FY16 NSF, Census, Justice Spending Bill

After two days of debate and consideration of dozens of amendments, the House passed the fiscal year (FY) 2016 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) appropriations bill this evening on June 4 by a vote of 242 to 183. Twelve Democrats voted in favor of the bill with 10 Republicans voting against. As previously reported, this annual spending bill–which provides funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Justice (DOJ) research programs, and the Census Bureau and other federal statistical agencies–includes very troubling provisions impacting social and behavioral science research (see COSSA’s analysis for full details). There were no amendments…

Census Bureau Outlines Content Changes to American Community Survey

The Census Bureau issued a Federal Register Notice on May 29 outlining its proposal for updating the content and methodologies of the American Community Survey (ACS). As previously reported the Census Bureau proposes to retain the field of degree and marriage questions originally slated for elimination from the ACS beginning in 2016.  In addition, the proposal plans to remove a couple of other questions that have been deemed of no or low benefit.  The Notice states these changes are an “initial step in a multi-faceted approach to reducing respondent burden.” Public comment on the proposal is due by June 28;…

The Census Project Sheds Light on the American Community Survey

The Census Project held an informational briefing, The Census Bureau’s American Community Survey: Ten Years of Delivering Data for Smart Decision-Making, on May 27 that focused on the wide use of data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) and the reasons to support keeping the survey mandatory. COSSA was one of the cosponsors of this event. 

House FY 2016 CJS Bill Advances to the Floor

On May 20, the House Appropriations Committee passed the FY 2016 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations bill by voice vote.  Amendments to increase funding for the National Science Foundation and make other improvements to the bill were either defeated or withdrawn.  The bill now heads to the House floor. The CJS bill totals $51.4 billion, which is a 2.5 percent increase over the FY 2015 CJS bill. CJS Subcommittee chairman John Culberson (R-TX) noted during the May 14 Subcommittee markup that this amount “is sufficient to fund essential programs.” The bill keeps within the spending caps currently tamping down discretionary spending,…

ACS to Retain Marriage, Field of Degree Questions Proposed for Elimination

The Census Bureau will retain several questions in the American Community Survey (ACS) originally identified for removal: Person Question No. 12, undergraduate field of degree, and Person Question Nos. 21-23, which are related to marital history. The questions were proposed for elimination as part of the Bureau’s 2014 Content Review of the ACS and were released to the public for comment in the fall (see Update, November 3, 2014). COSSA objected to the removal of these questions in a written comment, as did many other organizations in the scientific community. According to Census’ request to the Office of Management and…

COSSA Urges Census to Maintain Field of Degree, Marriage Questions in ACS

On December 9, COSSA submitted public comment to the U.S. Department of Commerce urging the decision to remove several questions from the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS) be reversed. As previously reported, the ACS recently underwent a comprehensive review of its current 72 questions, which resulted in a proposal to remove questions deemed of “low benefit.” COSSA’s comments outline the importance of Person Question No. 12—Undergraduate Field of Degree—and Person Questions No. 21-23, relating to marital history, to the social science research community. The Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS), a COSSA sister organization, also submitted public comment. More information on the…

Reminder: Comments on Proposed Elimination of ACS Questions Due December 30

On October 31, the U.S. Census Bureau within the Department of Commerce issued a request for public comment related to the 2014 Content Review of the American Community Survey (ACS). According to the Federal Register Notice, the 2014 review “is the most comprehensive effort ever undertaken by the Census Bureau to review content on the survey, seeking to understand which federal programs use the information collected by each question, the justification for each question, and assess how the Census Bureau might reduce respondent burden.” The review looked at the ACS’s 72 questions and proposed removal of seven from the annual questionnaire….

Census Releases New ACS Data, Special Feature on Young Adults

On November 4, the Census Bureau released 2009-2013 five-year estimates from the American Community Survey (ACS). The release includes new tables on field of bachelor’s degree, health insurance status, poverty status, and year of naturalization. In addition, a new Census Explorer feature, Young Adults: Then and Now, allows users to compare young adults (18-34) across the 1980, 1990, and 2000 decennial censuses and the 2009-2013 ACS five-year estimates and track changes in demographic, social, economic, and housing characteristics. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

Census Bureau Seeks Comment on Proposed Elimination of ACS Questions

On October 31, the U.S. Census Bureau within the Department of Commerce issued a request for public comment related to the 2014 Content Review of the American Community Survey (ACS). According to the Federal Register Notice, the 2014 review “is the most comprehensive effort ever undertaken by the Census Bureau to review content on the survey, seeking to understand which federal programs use the information collected by each question, the justification for each question, and assess how the Census Bureau might reduce respondent burden.” The review looked at the ACS’s 72 questions and proposed removal of seven from the annual…

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