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Thursday, May 24th, 2012

New ACS Data Released

New American Community Survey Race, Tribal, Hispanic and Ancestry Group Data is now available. According to the Census Bureau this is the first time this level of statistical detail has been available for groups since Census 2000. The tables compile five years of data to produce detailed estimates at multiple levels of geography for hundreds of race, Hispanic origin, ancestry and tribal groups.

2006-2010 ACS 5-Year Selected Population Tables:

  • Estimates of characteristics for selected race, Hispanic origin, tribal, and ancestry populations
  • Based on sample data collected from January 1, 2006 to December 31, 201

2006-2010 ACS 5-Year American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) Tables:

  • Estimates of characteristics for selected American Indian and Alaska Native tribal populations
  • Based on sample data collected from January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2010

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Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

ASA Press Release: ASA Executive Officer Criticizes House Effort to Cut Census Bureau Funding

WASHINGTON, DC, May 15, 2012 — American Sociological Association (ASA) Executive Officer Sally T. Hillsman, PhD, criticized the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday for passing a bill last week that would cut funding to the U.S. Census Bureau and result in the elimination of several important Census Bureau programs. Sociologists are among the primary users of census data in their roles as applied researchers as well as scholars.

“The House of Representatives’ recent attempt to cut Census Bureau funding, which would abolish the American Community Survey and potentially eliminate the 2012 Economic Census, is extremely shortsighted,” said Hillsman.

On May 10, the House passed its version of the FY 2013 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations bill (H.R. 5326), which funds the Census Bureau and other federal agencies. According to Census Bureau Director Robert Groves, the House bill would force cancellation of the 2012 Economic Census which measures the health of the U.S. economy. In addition, the bill would abolish the American Community Survey, the only source of objective, consistent, and comprehensive information about the nation’s social, economic, and demographic characteristics down to the neighborhood level. The House bill would also prevent the Census Bureau from developing and implementing innovative, cost saving strategies and tools for conducting the next decennial census in 2020.

“The House bill would devastate the ability of U.S. cities and communities to receive critical information about their economies and social demographics that they need to make informed, effective decisions,” Hillsman said. “As the Senate drafts its version of the legislation, it should ensure that the Census Bureau is fully funded and that the Economic Census, the American Community Survey, and the 2020 Census efforts are unscathed. To do anything less would adversely affect our nation’s social and economic future.”

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Great Summary on Importance of House’s CJS Bill

Here is a great summary from AAAS of the House’s recent vote on the CJS Appropriations bill. http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2012/05/house-takes-pot-shots-at-research.html?ref=em#.T7ES0PpV0bc.email

The Senate will now consider its version of the CJS funding bill by Memorial Day.

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Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Census Bureau Funding Update

Here’s a quick update on the status of funding for the Census Bureau in the FY13 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill (H.R. 5326).

Yesterday (Tuesday), the House approved an amendment offered by Rep. Lynch (D-MA) to shift $4 million from Periodic Censuses account to state/local law enforcement assistance programs in Justice Department, by voice vote.

But it DEFEATED, on a recorded vote (190 – 218), the Michaud (D-ME) amendment to shift $38 million from Periodic Censuses to EDA.  Good work, team!

Next up are direct attacks on the ACS.  They will come in the form of “limiting” amendments (i.e. how funds can/can’t be spent) at the end of the bill, which could be today or tomorrow.  The amendments to prohibit the expenditure of funds for Census or Justice to enforce sec. 221 of Title 13 (the Census Act) with respect to the ACS WOULD, in fact, have the effect of making response to the ACS voluntary, despite what you might hear from proponents.  That section is the one that provides for penalties for non-response for both the decennial census and, therefore, the ACS.  If you can’t tell respondents they are required by law to respond, then the survey becomes voluntary.

NOTE: There also are amendments to ELIMINATE ALL FUNDING FOR THE ACS.  Remember, roughly $450 billion/year in federal program funds are allocated to state or local governments based on ACS data.  To make the case to specific members of Congress who might be on the fence (as ridiculous as these amendments might seem), go to the recent Brookings Institution report to see the allocations by program and state.  <http://www.brookings.edu/reports/2010/0726_acs_reamer.aspx>

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Amendments Proposed to Cut Census Funding Further

The full House of Representatives will consider the Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill (H.R. 5326), the bill that funds the Census Bureau and NSF, under “Open Rule.” Meaning members are NOT required to submit amendments in advance, but amendments printed in the Congressional Record will be given priority consideration. Two amendments have been posted so far that will take money from the Bureau, which is already seeing a $92 million cut from the President’s budget.

  • Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) — Reduce Periodic Census funding by $4 million; shift to funding for State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance.
  • Rep. Michael Michaud (D-ME), to add money for the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) by shifting funds either from the Census Bureau or Mars exploration. Rep. Michaud offered an amendment in FY12 or FY11 to increase EDA funding by shifting a significant amount from the Census Bureau.
  • Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) will offer an amendment to the FY13 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill (H.R. 5326) to make response to the American Community Survey (ACS) voluntary.

We will keep monitoring the Census’ budget.




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