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National survey that determines key funding formulas at risk
The future of the American Community Survey and the 2012 Economic Census, which inform the funding formulas for and help many in the homeless, housing and community development industry do our jobs, is at risk.
See fact sheet below.
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From The Census Project
PRESERVING THE CENSUS BUREAU’S CORE PROGRAMS:
Why Eliminating (or Gutting) the American Community Survey (ACS)
And 2012 Economic Census Will Undermine an Economic Recovery
o During debate on H.R. 5326, the Fiscal Year 2013 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill, the U.S. House of Representatives cut $116 million from the President’s funding request for the Census Bureau, most of it coming from the account covering the decennial census, American Community Survey (ACS), and 2012 Economic Census.
o The House also voted to make ACS response optional and then voted to eliminate funding for the ACS entirely.
o The House-passed funding level would force the agency to cancel the ACS, which replaced the decennial census long form in 2005. The ACS is the only source of consistent, comparable, valid, and objective data about our population and housing for every community in the U.S.
o Congress would lose ACS data used to allocate at least $450 billion annually in federal aid to state and local governments. A majority of states also use ACS data, directly or indirectly, to set tax and spending limits!
o A congressionally ordered 2003 test of voluntary ACS response showed that mail response rates would drop (20 percent) and survey costs would increase (at least $60 million a year, or 30 percent more), both dramatically, threatening the validity and usefulness of all data for towns, neighborhoods, rural communities, the vast majority of counties, and other areas with population below 65,000, for which the ACS is the only source. The Census Bureau would not have the additional $60 - $70 million a year needed to overcome the significant drop in response.
o The ACS is a unique, invaluable source of information about the U.S. and its residents. No other federal survey or database provides comparable information in the same timely, comprehensive, and accessible manner. Further, the private sector cannot replicate the ACS, even if the federal survey disappeared. In fact, the ACS is the denominator for most public and private sector surveys, as well as for other core Census Bureau datasets.
o The 2012 Economic Census is the most comprehensive benchmark of our nation’s economic health and progress. Without the 2012 Economic Census, the nation would lose irreplaceable data that are a foundation of key economic indicators such as GDP and the national income accounts. The Economic Census also is the only source of information on veteran-, minority-, and women-owned businesses.
o With the loss of the Economic Census and all or most ACS data, American businesses would lose vital tools to guide capital investment, location of facilities, hiring, and merchandise and service decisions, all of which drive economic growth, job creation, and sustained business success.
o Congress has requested, directly or indirectly, all of the data gathered in the ACS. By law, Congress reviews the questionnaire each decade (13 U.S.C. §141(f)).
o The ACS is part of the decennial census program, which originates from the U.S. Constitution.
o To ensure the ACS remains a representative, valid source of information for the public and private sectors, Congress must fund the ACS and should not risk losing data for most American communities and counties by making participation optional.
o Congress should fund the 2012 Economic Census during the peak implementation year (FY2013) at the amount the Administration requested ($152.7 million).
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