Research Award

Assessing the American Community Survey Program

Professor Amy O’Hara and her MDI team were recently awarded two grants, one from the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) for $30,000 and one from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for $300,000. 

 The Common Denominator grant funded by SSRC will support the development of a Research Area Mapping Platform (RAMP).  The Common Denominator RAMP is designed to help both expert and non-expert data users better understand Census products and their methods. The RAMP will be a public-facing website with interviews, a knowledge base, and other materials to educate, inspire discussion, and share perspectives on census data and population measurement.

The second grant entitled “American Community Survey: Possible Changes and Impacts” will assess the American Community Survey (ACS) program and its methodology as-is and the impact any future shifts in sample size, funding, or disclosure avoidance could have on users.  American Community Survey (ACS) data are widely used for program planning and funding and also influence census data products, but a thorough inspection of the current methodology as well as future potential changes to ACS collection have not been written.

“We are very excited to continue our research on population measurement, building on the trainings and tools we produced for the 2020 Census.  Through these new projects, we will continue our efforts to engage data user communities in discussions about data collection, processing, and privacy protection methods that impact the accuracy and completeness of data needed to inform policy development and evaluation. “

-Amy O’Hara