American Community Survey Under Attack

Update 5/14/2012: The Senate is expected to consider its own version of the Department of Commerce/Census Bureau budget as early as Tuesday of this week. If you oppose the elimination of the American Community Survey, please contact your Senators and urge them to support the ACS.

5/10/2012: Today the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5326, the appropriations bill for the Departments of Commerce and Justice, NASA, and other related agencies.

H.R. 5326 includes an amendment that would prohibit the Department of Commerce from funding the American Community Survey (ACS), a yearly household survey conducted by the Census Bureau. ACS data is used by numerous organizations (including NPP) to track demographic indicators and plan policy and services.

The budget process is far from over, so this vote doesn’t necessarily mean that the ACS is going away. However, we’d be remiss not to point out that even while the idea of open government data continues to get traction, traditional sources of widely-used, government-produced, statistical data sources are under attack.