The U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) is part of the constitutionally required decennial census. While the census counts the population every ten years, the ACS (which replaced the traditional census long, or sample, form in 2005) provides more detailed information about the nation’s states, counties, cities, towns and rural communities, and neighborhoods every year. While these data are collected exclusively for federal purposes, they are put to use by all parts of our economy. Businesses of all sizes and sectors use a wide range of ACS data to make critical investment and operational decisions that generate economic activity, boost employment, and improve the standard of living in communities across the country. America’s business community relies on information from the ACS to make prudent decisions every day.
Many data users access ACS and other government information from private vendors who assemble and package government data for specialized commercial and non-commercial uses of the information. Data vendors also create value-added products based on a foundation of Census Bureau and other government data series. This avenue of data dissemination and use is less visible to policy makers and data producers yet it is a highly important component of our nation’s data infrastructure.
This webinar will showcase the importance of the American Community Survey for three private data vendors and their clients: PolicyMap, Nielsen, and Economic Modeling Services, Inc. Failure to adequately authorize and fund the ACS would severely hamper their private sector work, with adverse economic consequences for the business community and other data users. The early 2013 timing for this webinar is important, as data users need to educate new members of Congress about the vital nature of American Community Survey data. Congress must address Census Bureau funding by the end of March, when the Fiscal Year 2013 Continuing Resolution expires; the House of Representatives eliminated all funding for the ACS in its version of the FY2013 appropriations bill.
Moderator: Joan Naymark, JG Naymark Demographics
Elizabeth Nash, Director of Data and Policy Development, PolicyMap, A Service of the Reinvestment Fund
Ken Hodges, Chief Demographer, Nielsen Corporation
Terri Ann Lowenthal, The Census Project