Monday, December 6, 2010

Timeline: Major Events in American Community Survey History

Year

Event

1981

Use of a "rolling sample census" proposed by Leslie Kish before the House Subcommittee on Census and Population.

1989

Decade Census Program (DCP) proposed by Roger Herriott and others at the Census Bureau for a rolling sample across states over a decade.

1992

Response issues surrounding the 1990 Census result in the creation of a Continuous Measurement (CM) program at the Census Bureau, with Charles Alexander as the chief architect.

1993

Proposals call for initial sample of 500,000 households per month to create estimates for small areas, but budget requirements fix the initial sample at 250,000.

1995

Staff appointed to test new continuous measurement approach, now renamed the American Community Survey (ACS)

ACS testing begins in four counties.

1996

Decision to retain the long-form sample in Census 2000; comparisons planned with the ACS.

1999

ACS testing expands to 36 counties.

2000

Census 2000 Supplementary Survey (C2SS) tests the operational feasibility of the ACS in more than one-third of U.S. counties.

First meeting of the Federal Interagency Committee for the ACS.

2001

First national release of one-year estimates for geographic areas with 250,000 or more persons.

2004

ACS-long form comparison studies completed.

2005

ACS full national data collection for housing units begins (no group quarters included).

2006

First release of ACS one-year estimates of the population in housing units for all geographic areas with 65,000 or more persons.

ACS full national data collection begins for total population (housing units and group quarters).

First ACS Content Test.

2007

First release of ACS one-year estimates of total population (housing units and group quarters) for all geographic areas with 65,000 or more persons.

National Research Council Panel on the Functionality and Usability of the ACS (commissioned in 2004) publishes report "Using the American Community Survey: Benefits and Challenges".

2008

First release of three-year period estimates (2005-2007) of total population* for all geographic areas with 20,000 or more persons.

First major change to ACS content, including a revamped questionnaire format.

First in a series of Compass Handbooks published by the Census Bureau, providing guidance on use of ACS data.

2010

Second ACS Content Test.

First release of five-year period estimates of total population* (2005-2009) for all geographic areas down to the census tract and block group level.

2011

Planned sample size increase (pending budget approval) and new allocation of sample between large and small areas.

Note:

* Group quarters population for 2005 was estimated in order to derive total population for 2005-2007 and 2005-2009 periods.