American Community Survey

American Community Survey

The American Community Survey (ACS) is a project of the U.S. Census Bureau that replaces the long form in the decennial census. It is an ongoing statistical survey, and thus more current than information obtained by the long form. Many Americans found filling out the long form to be burdensome, intrusive, and its unpopularity was a factor in the declining response rate to the decennial census. In 1995, the Bureau began a process to change the means of demographic, housing, social, and economic information from the census long form to the ACS. Testing began in 1996, and the ACS program began producing test data in 2000, 2001, and 2002. The full program is expected to be implemented by 2010.

The legal authority for the ACS is 13 USC 141 and 193.

The planned sample will be 3 million households in the U.S., in every county, American Indian and Alaska Native area, and Hawaiian Homeland, and in Puerto Rico. Data will be collected by mail, with Census Bureau follow up.

The processed information will provide annual estimates for all states, as well as all cities, counties, metropolitan areas, and population groups of 65,000 people or more. For smaller areas, the Census Bureau expects useful samples to develop over time: over 3 years in areas with 20,000 to 65,000 people, and 5 years in areas with fewer than 20,000 people. The quality of these samples is expected to match that of the decennial census. However, the small area and sub-group sample is not anticipated to be benchmarked to the 2010 Census short form for cities and smaller areas, but instead to total population estimates at the county level. This will create large differences in basic count 2010 ACS estimates and the 100% 2010 Census counts for cities and sub-areas, and for all sub-groups (ethnic, age...) within the county.

Survey Methods:
* Mail: Self-enumeration
* Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI), approximately after the mailout
* Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing by Census Bureau field representatives.

ee also

*Survey of Income and Program Participation
*Current Population Survey

External links

* [ American Community Survey site at the United States Census Bureau]
* [ American FactFinder - United States Census Bureau's Searchable Database]
* [ Access to all survey questionnaires used from 1996 to 2005]
* [ American Community Survey (ACS) User Guide for Disability Statistics]

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