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About Veterans

The Census Bureau currently collects veterans data using three national surveys:

The American Community Survey (ACS)

The American Community Survey (ACS) is a nationwide survey designed to provide critical economic, social, and demographic, and housing information to the nation’s communities every year. It is a critical element in the Census Bureau’s reengineered decennial census program. The ACS collects and produces population and housing information every year instead of every ten years. The ACS began in 1996 in a sample of counties across the country. Today the survey is conducted in all U.S. counties and in Puerto Rico, where it is called the Puerto Rico Community Survey.

Current Population Survey (CPS)

The Current Population Survey (CPS) is a monthly survey of about 50,000 households conducted by the Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The survey has been conducted for more than 50 years. The CPS is the primary source of information on the labor force characteristics of the U.S. population, a variety of economic and demographic indicators are available for analysis. The CPS also includes an annual veterans supplement which provides estimates on the demographic and labor force characteristics of veterans 18 years and over, including those who have a service-connected disability.

Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP)

The Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) is a longitudinal survey which interviews the same respondents three times a year over the course of three to four years, with sample size ranging from approximately 14,000 to 36,700 interviewed households. The SIPP provides national-level data that collects the source and amount of income, labor force information, program participation and eligibility data, and general demographic characteristics to measure the effectiveness of existing federal, state, and local programs; to estimate future costs and coverage for government programs, such as food stamps; and to provide improved statistics on the distribution of income and measures of economic well-being in the country.

Decennial Census (2000 and earlier)

The decennial census counts every resident in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Island Areas every 10 years. Census 2000 was the last decennial census that included a long form (distributed to approximate 1 in 6 households), which included questions on veteran status and period of military service. Similar data are now available annually from the American Community Survey (ACS)


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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Veterans |  Last Revised: 2013-05-21T15:34:48.999-04:00