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The American Community Survey

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Proposed collection; comment request.


The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paper work and respondent burden, invites the general public and other federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on Start Printed Page 70630proposed or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)).


Written comments must be submitted on or before February 7, 2005.


Direct all written comments to Diana Hynek, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6625, 14th and Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at

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Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument(s) and instructions should be directed to Lawrence McGinn, U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey Office, Washington, DC 20233. Phone: (301) 763-8050.

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I. Abstract

Given the rapid demographic changes experienced in recent years and the strong expectation that such changes will continue and accelerate, the once-a-decade data collection approach of a decennial census is no longer acceptable. To meet the needs and expectations of the country, the Census Bureau developed the American Community Survey. This survey will collect long-form data every month and provide tabulations of these data on a yearly basis. In the past, the long-form data were collected only at the time of each decennial census. The American Community Survey will allow the Census Bureau to remove the long form from the 2010 Census, thus reducing operational risks, improving accuracy, and providing more relevant data. After years of development and testing, the American Community Survey is ready for full implementation in FY 2005.

The American Community Survey will provide more timely information for critical economic planning by governments and the private sector. In the current information-based economy, federal, state, tribal, and local decision makers, as well as private business and nongovernmental organizations, need current, reliable, and comparable socioeconomic data to chart the future. The American Community Survey will provide up-to-date profiles of American communities every year beginning in 2006, providing policymakers, planners, and service providers in the public and private sectors with information every year—not just every ten years.

The American Community Survey must begin full implementation in 2005 to provide comparable data at the census tract level by summer of 2010.

The American Community Survey demonstration period began in 1996 in four sites. In 1999, the number of sites was increased to 31 comparison sites. The comparison with Census 2000 was designed to collect several kinds of information necessary to understand the differences between data from the 1999-2001 American Community Survey and data from the 2000 long form. The purpose of the comparison sites was to give a good tract-by-tract comparison between the 1999-2001 American Community Survey cumulated estimates and the Census 2000 long-form estimates and to use these comparisons to identify both the causes of differences and diagnostic variables that tend to predict a certain kind of difference.

In 2000-2004, the Census Bureau conducted supplementary surveys using the American Community Survey methodology. Each of these surveys had a sample of approximately 800,000 residential addresses per year. These surveys were conducted to study the operational feasibility of collecting long-form type data using a different methodology from the decennial census and demonstrate the reliability and stability of state and large area estimates over time.

For 2005-2008, the Census Bureau plans to conduct the American Community Survey in every part of the United States and also in Puerto Rico. In 2005, the Census Bureau will begin full implementation of the American Community Survey by increasing the sample to a total of approximately 250,000 residential addresses per month in the 50 states and the District of Columbia and approximately 3,000 residential addresses per month in Puerto Rico. Data will be collected by mail and Census Bureau staff will follow up with households that do not respond using computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) and computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI).

In addition to selecting a sample of residential addresses, the Census Bureau plans to select a sample of group quarters (GQs) and conduct the American Community Survey with a sample of persons within the GQs starting in January 2006. The Census Bureau will also conduct a reinterview operation with a small sample of households and persons in GQs to monitor the quality of data collected during the CAPI.

II. Method of Collection

The Census Bureau will mail questionnaires to households selected for the American Community Survey. For households that do not return a questionnaire, Census Bureau staff will attempt to conduct interviews via CATI. We will also conduct CAPI interviews for a subsample of nonrespondents.

For most types of GQs, Census Bureau field representatives (FRs) will conduct the interviews in person or, if necessary, leave questionnaires and ask respondents to complete.

Information from GQ contacts will be collected via FR interview.

The Census Bureau staff will provide Telephone Questionnaire Assistance (TQA) and if the respondent indicates a desire to answer by telephone, the TQA interviewer conducts the interview.

III. Data

OMB Number: 0607-0810.

Form Number(s): ACS-1, ACS-1 (SP), ACS-1PR, ACS-1PR (SP), ACS-1(GQ), ACS-1(GQ) PR, ACS-3(GQ), ACS-4(GQ), ACS-4(GQ) (SP), ACS-4(GQ) PR, ACS-4(GQ) PR (SP), ACS-290, ACS-290(SP), ACS-290PR, and ACS-290PR (SP).

Type of Review: Regular.

Affected Public: Individuals and households.

Estimated Number of Respondents: During the period of July 2005 through June 2008, we plan to contact the following number of respondents: 9,108,000 residential addresses; 537,500 persons in GQs; and 51,000 contacts in GQs. In addition, 106,000 residential addresses and 14,800 persons in GQs for reinterview will be contacted.

Estimated Time Per Response: Estimates are 38 minutes per residential address, 15 minutes per person in GQs, 25 minutes per contact in GQs, and 10 minutes per residential address and per person in GQs in the reinterview sample.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: The estimate is an annual average of 1,981,386 burden hours.

Estimated Total Annual Cost: Except for their time, there is no cost to respondents.

Respondent Obligation: Mandatory.

Authority: Title 13, United States Code, Sections 141 and 193.

IV. Request for Comments

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 Start Printed Page 70631collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collections techniques or other forms of information technology.

Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for the OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

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Dated: December 1, 2004.

Madeleine Clayton,

Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.

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[FR Doc. 04-26781 Filed 12-6-04; 8:45 am]