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Understanding and Using American Community Survey Data: What Congress Needs to Know

Congress needs accurate, up-to-date information to make good decisions—from allocating federal program funds to developing program eligibility requirements, monitoring compliance with federal laws, and evaluating community needs. Congressional staff also need timely data to support communication efforts, respond to constituent inquiries, draft legislation, analyze legislative proposals, and conduct legislative research.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) provides members of Congress the data they need for decision-making. This guide provides a brief overview of how members of Congress use ACS data for important legislative purposes.

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