Report Documents Effects of Eliminating the American Community Survey
A report issued by the Census Project documents both the national and state effects of eliminating the American Community Survey (ACS). The ACS replaced the so-called “long form” for the 2010 decennial census and collects data across the country's communities down to the local level that is used by both government and business. The government disburses more than $450 billion in annual funds based on the ACS for vital programs like public education, public health, roads, housing, community development and transportation. Businesses use the data to identify customers, locate manufacturing plants and to site retail operations.
In May of this year the U.S. House of Representatives voted to eliminate the ACS from the FY 2013 federal budget of the U.S. Census Bureau.
"The ACS is fundamental to our national statistical infrastructure. If we did not have the ACS and the long-form of the census we would know far less about a wide range of economic and social issues on which key policies have been based," said the American Economic Association. "We would also know far less about the racial and ethnic segregation and occupational segregation by gender and race."
The Census Project is a collaboration made up of more than 40 stakeholders ranging from the American Statistical Association to the National Education Association and the NAACP.
"The ACS' greatest strength is that it gives detailed information about us as a people," declared the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. "It can provide the impetus for government intervention in areas of high unemployment or influence local government to build a new highway or expand a public bus system."
The Census Project report entitled "Eliminating America’s Playbook" provides case studies and comments from a range of organizations, who believe that the ACS is important to both government and business.
"Without the ACS it would be all too easy for policymakers to overlook the needs of children, a population that is unable to vote or lobby for itself," continued the Children's Defense Fund.