The American Community Survey

The American Community Survey (ACS) is a detailed annual survey sent to approximately 3 million homes. It is designed to collect important information about who we are and how we live. The data collected is used to make more than $400 billion in fiscal decisions each year. If current Congressional proposals are passed, this essential research tool could be lost.

As with the decennial Census, anyone who receives the ACS is required to fill it out by law. It can be a long, complex task but, by answering all the questions to the best of one’s ability, the data helps determine:

  • Where new schools or municipal facilities should be built.
  • Where new roads may ease commuter congestion.
  • Where the largest employment gaps are.

Those are just a few policy and research questions that may use ACS data. Take a look at research in REHABDATA, ERIC, or PubMed and you’ll see a wide range of research issues being addressed. Visit or the StatsRRTC to see ACS data research in action.

The ACS is vital to understanding who we are as a country. Please consider telling your member of Congress to save the ACS.

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