Changes in Federal Surveys Due to and During COVID-19 Brief
On a recent webinar, the U.S. Census Bureau made the announcement that they will not be releasing 2020 data from the American Community Survey (ACS) as usual in September. Instead, due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, “experimental” estimates will be available in November. This substantial change to the data release of a major federal survey highlights one (among many) of the disruptive effects of the coronavirus—the interruption of data collection processes and falling response rates for yearly federal surveys.
Other federal agencies have made their own attempts at adapting surveys to address pandemic-related challenges: delaying data release dates, shifting in-person collection methods to phone and email, adding COVID-related questions to their questionnaire, canceling survey collection for the year, or even creating an entirely new survey, such as the Census Bureau’s new Household Pulse Survey (HPS).
A new brief from SHADAC summarizes these and other COVID-era changes and challenges for four major federal surveys—American Community Survey (ACS), Current Population Survey (CPS), Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), and National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)—and explains what effects these adaptations may have for understanding 2020 data as it becomes available.
For more announcements and information related to the 2020 ACS data release changes, visit our webpage.