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FAQs - ACS Content Review

What is the ACS Content Review?

In 2014 the U.S. Census Bureau will complete a top-to-bottom review of the American Community Survey (ACS), the nation's only available data source that provides annually updated information on demographic, social, economic, and housing characteristics of U.S. households at every level of geography, from the nation to the neighborhood.

As the country changes, we need to be able to provide data to address the needs of our nation today. The goal of the ACS content review is to understand the benefits of the data from questions on the ACS against cost associated with collecting the information from respondents, enabling the Census Bureau to determine how to improve the survey in the future.

Why are you conducting the ACS Content Review?

The Census Bureau regularly reviews the justifications for questions on the ACS to ensure that it includes only the information needed. We also review the justifications provided by federal agencies for the ACS questions to ensure they are current and valid.

Who are you contacting to provide feedback?

We are reaching out and requesting feedback from a wide array of stakeholders including: federal agencies, think tanks, statistical organizations, state, local, and tribal government groups and individuals.

Do I have to be part of a specific organization in order to provide feedback?

No. We welcome feedback from the public and are interested in your use of and interaction with ACS.

What is the deadline for providing feedback?

The Census Bureau will begin accepting public feedback online beginning in the first few months of 2014 and continuing through the summer.

What is the expected outcome/benefit of this review?

The Content Review will ensure that the survey addresses only the information needed and places the least possible burden on those responding to the survey.

Will specific topics or questions be eliminated from the ACS questionnaire?

The Census Bureau will compile and analyze information collected as part of the Content Review. Depending on the findings, there is a possibility that recommendations could be made for changes to the ACS questionnaire.

Who makes final decisions on ACS content?

The Census Bureau, along with the Economics Statistics Administration (ESA), Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Interagency Council of Statistical Policy (ICSP), will review proposed content changes. Should the Content Review lead to any proposed changes to the ACS questionnaire, members of the public will have an opportunity to comment via the Federal Register in late fall 2014.

When and how can I receive a final report?

Any proposed changes to the ACS questionnaire will be posted to the ACS website in late winter of 2015.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | American Community Survey Office | Email ACS | Last Revised: March 06, 2014
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