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Deborah H. Griffin, Joan K. Broadwater, Theresa F. Leslie, Susan P. Love, Sally M. Obenski, David A. Raglin
Component ID: #ti1576437421

Executive Summary

The American Community Survey (ACS) is one of three program components required to achieve the 2010 Census re-engineering strategy goals. The ACS would replace the once-a-decade collection of detailed demographic, housing, and socioeconomic data that occurs as part of the decennial census with an ongoing sample survey that produces annual and multi-year estimates of these same characteristics. The Census 2000 Supplementary Survey (C2SS) was a national implementation of ACS methods that the Census Bureau conducted as part of Census 2000 to demonstrate the operational feasibility of the ACS. To date, the Census Bureau has issued reports addressing questions of ACS operational feasibility, technical performance of the ACS, and the implications of changing the ACS to a voluntary survey (U.S. Census Bureau 2001b, U.S. Census Bureau 2002, and U.S. Census Bureau 2003b). This report is one of a series of reports focusing on validating the quality of the ACS by assessing how the results from the C2SS compare with results from Census 2000. Specifically, the report includes comparisons of the general demographic and housing data of age, sex, household relationship, Hispanic origin, race, occupancy status, and tenure. The report finds that the C2SS estimates are highly similar to the corresponding Census 2000 results, and suggests possible explanations for those differences that were found.

While the results of this comparison affirm the suitability of the ACS to replace the decennial long form sample, the results also identify several areas requiring improvement. First, the Census Bureau has determined that it should, whenever consistent with best survey practices, seek to ensure conformity between the decennial census and the ACS. This includes a review of data collection and data processing methods and procedures. Second, working groups must address several issues including the collection of race and Hispanic origin data and ACS weighting and estimation procedures. The Census Bureau must remain committed to the examination of performance and quality measures in the ACS to identify areas warranting improvement.

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