Census Bureau Invites Public Comments on Proposal to Remove Marriage and Field of Degree Questions on the ACS

On October 31, the Census Bureau announced a proposal to remove seven questions from the American Community Survey (ACS):

  • marital history (questions #21a-c, 22, and 23); and
  • field of undergraduate degree question (question #12).

The Census Bureau identified these questions after conducting a comprehensive content review of the survey and assessing the costs and benefits of each question.

If you rely on these data, you have an opportunity to comment on and influence possible modifications to the Census Bureau’s proposed actions. Through December 30, 2014, the Census Bureau will accept public comments on the proposed questions slated for elimination.

The Federal Register notice is posted at:

The notice states that comments are invited on:

(a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility;

(b) the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information;

(c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

(d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

Comments are to be sent to: Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via email at jjessup@doc.gov).

For additional information, please go to the ACS Content Review webpage at: http://www.census.gov/acs/www/about_the_survey/acs_content_review/.

The presidents of the Population Association of America (PAA) and Association of Population Centers (APC) will be submitting comments later this month and posting the comments on the organizations’ home pages.