Changes in Federal Surveys Due to and During COVID-19
The U.S. Census Bureau recently announced 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. A new issue brief from our colleagues at SHADAC summarizes 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.