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American Community Survey

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Is the American Community Survey mandatory?

Yes. It is a legitimate, mandatory survey sent to a small percentage of our population on a rotating basis. You are legally obligated to answer all the questions, as accurately as you can.

The relevant laws are Title 18 U.S.C Section 3571 and Section 3559, which amends Title 13 U.S.C. Section 221.

Your answers are important. As part of a sample, you represent many other people. Find out how each question helps your community, your state, and the federal government in questions on the form and why we ask.

Why is the ACS mandatory?

Response to the survey is mandatory because the American Community Survey is part of the decennial census, replacing the "long form" that previously was sent to a percentage of households once every 10 years. Learn more about what would happen to the American Community Survey if it was not mandated by law.

Can my address be removed?

No. An address may not be removed from the American Community Survey sample as the validity of sample data would quickly deteriorate if selected households were exempted.

We try to keep the number of households in the sample as small as possible in order to limit the cost of the survey and reduce the impact on respondents. We also take steps to reduce the chance that a household will get the survey more than once in a five-year period.

Thank you for your time and effort. It makes a difference!


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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | American Community Survey Office | Email ACS | Last Revised: September 18, 2014
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