The U.S. Census Bureau is undertaking a top-to-bottom review of the American Community Survey (ACS). One part of that process includes seeking input from ACS data users. The Census Bureau wants to learn what data from the ACS are used most frequently, how they are used, and if the ACS is the only source for these data. The ACS provides annually updated information on demographic, social, economic, and housing characteristics of U.S. households at every level of geography, from the national to the neighborhood level.
This review is taking place because some survey respondents and Members of Congress have voiced concerns about the personal nature of some ACS questions. Through the content review process, the Census Bureau will better understand the justifications for the questions. At the end of the process, it is possible that the Census Bureau will determine that some questions should be altered or even eliminated. Therefore, it is important for housing advocates to let the Census Bureau know which questions are especially critical to their work.
The Census Bureau has a feedback form that allows respondents to select up to five questions that are most important to them or that they use most often. After selecting up to five questions, respondents will be able to describe in detail how the information from those questions is used.
Advocates are urged to provide feedback, even if they do not directly use ACS data, but do use any of the data that NLIHC provides based on the ACS. NLIHC could not produce materials such as Out of Reach or the Congressional District Profiles and State Housing Profiles without data from the ACS.
The Census Bureau will be collecting feedback through July 18.
The Census feedback form is available at: http://1.usa.gov/ScTh5E
More information about the ACS Content Review is available at: http://1.usa.gov/1syMZ10
Contact Megan Bolton, NLIHC Research Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.