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ACS Content Review

ACS Content Review Overview

If you use and rely on American Community Survey statistics, we want to hear about it!

We take very seriously our responsibility to minimize the burden on households that receive the American Community Survey (ACS). We also take seriously our job to collect the information the nation needs to govern effectively.

The data collected in the ACS are critical for communities nationwide. At the same time, the public expects that the collection of information should be as minimally burdensome and intrusive as possible.

The Census Bureau regularly reviews the justifications for questions asked on the ACS to ensure that only the information needed is requested, and that the justifications provided by federal agencies for the ACS questions are current and valid.

As part of this content review, we posted an ACS Data User Feedback Form that asked for thoughts and feedback on ACS questions. While the formal data collection period closed July 18th, you can stay updated on the content review process by checking back with us for updates on this page, or you may subscribe to the ACS Content Review email notifications.

For more information about ACS questions, please visit Questions on the form and why we ask.

ACS Content Review Summit

On April 29, 2014, the Census Bureau hosted an ACS Content Review Federal Agency Summit at the Department of Commerce (DOC) auditorium. The purpose of the summit was to: (1) provide an overview of the Content Review; (2) clarify and answer questions regarding how the Census Bureau is collecting information from federal agencies; and (3) identify expected outcomes and next steps. Summit attendees included agency points of contact identified to the DOC for this effort, as well as subject matter experts familiar with the technical and programmatic uses of ACS topics and the legal basis for these uses. The summit presentation slides are available for download under Materials and Resources in the upper right corner of this page.

ACS Content Review Federal Register Notice and Next Steps

The results of the ACS Content Review analysis inform recommendations about which questions could be retained in their current form, which could be removed from the survey, and which could be candidates for further research. A Federal Register notice was posted from October 31 to December 30, 2014 to provide a 60-day comment period for the public to give feedback about current and future ACS content.

Next steps:

  • January - March 2015: Census Bureau analysts review all comments, refine recommendations
  • April 2015: Census Bureau submits recommendations to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
  • April - May 2015: OMB considers additional refinements, posts recommendations for an additional 30-day public comment period
  • June: OMB makes final determination after reviewing public comment
  • 2016: Earliest survey cycle any changes take effect
  • Ongoing: Census Bureau researches survey improvements to further reduce respondent burden

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | American Community Survey Office | Email ACS | Last Revised: December 31, 2014
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