It has been brought to our attention that the American Community Survey (ACS) portion of the U.S. Census Bureau is eliminating questions concerning marriage and divorce. For those who believe this change would adversely affect their family statistical research, you have until December 30th to share your opinion with officials.
The ACS is a supplemental survey sent out on a regular basis to gather statistical information from a small sampling of the U.S. population. The results are used to monitor trends and establish funding allocations based on local family statistics. The questions being eliminated from this survey are NOT associated with the ten year Census general form. The ACS is designed to gather statistical information each year, and was created to replace the long form included in the regular Census. With these new proposed changes to the yearly survey, the following questions will be eliminated:
- In the past 12 months did this person get married?
- In the past 12 months did this person get widowed?
- In the past 12 months did this person get divorced?
- How many times has this person been married?
- In what year did this person last get married?
Just a note to remind researchers: The answers to these questions are not name specific and will NOT be available for individual research in the future. However, they are designed to give us a statistical snapshot of the marriage and divorce rates each year within the U.S. If you feel the elimination of these questions might harm your research in the future, you can contact the following (by December 30th):
Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer
Department of Commerce
14th and Constitution Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20230
For additional information regarding the elimination of these questions, please see the official statement by the U.S. Census Bureau: Click Here
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