As a result of tight budgetary considerations, the U.S. Census Bureau has proposed permanently discontinuing a statistical product from the American Community Survey beginning in fiscal year 2016. The product, often called the “3-year estimates,” combines three years of data collection into a three-year rolling average and is available for communities with populations of 20,000 or more.
Although the Census Bureau would discontinue this product, every community in the nation will continue to receive a detailed statistical portrait of its social, economic, housing and demographic characteristics through other American Community Survey products. Specifically, the Census Bureau will continue producing annual estimates for communities of 65,000 or more, and communities of all sizes, including the nation’s smallest, will continue to receive updated five-year rolling averages each year.
The Census Bureau has proposed dropping the three-year product in order to prioritize funding for activities that enhance the quality of the entire data set and enhance the experience for the survey respondent. For example, these activities include additional training for field representatives, continued review of the survey questions and the way they are asked, and expanded outreach and partnership with stakeholders.
Spending plans for fiscal year 2015 are currently under review by the Office of Management and Budget. For more information about the Census Bureau’s fiscal year 2016 budget, please visit http://www.osec.doc.gov/bmi/budget/FY16BIB/EntireDocument-WebVersionWithCharts.pdf.
As always, we look forward to engaging with our American Community Survey data users. So, we hope you will join us at the second American Community Data Users Conference to be held May 11-13, 2015 in College Park, Maryland. The conference agenda is under development and will include both contributed presentations by American Community Survey data users and invited Plenary sessions with leading experts and key government Executive staff. To receive updates about this conference and more, please join the American Community Survey data user on-line community network at www.acsdatausers.org.
The ACS provides reliable statistics that are indispensable to anyone who has to make informed decisions about the future. These statistics are required by all levels of government to manage or evaluate a wide range of programs, but are also useful for research, education, journalism, business and advocacy. If you have questions about this survey, please call our Customer Services Center on 1 (800) 923-8282
American Community Survey Office
U.S. Census Bureau