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SpatialNews Press Release

Census Bureau Releases Census 2000 Supplementary Survey Data Long Form-Type Data Show Capabilities of American Community Survey

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The Commerce Department's Census Bureau today released initial data from a survey of 700,000 households called the Census 2000 Supplementary Survey (C2SS). The survey was designed to test the operational feasibility of collecting long form-type data simultaneously, but separately from a decennial census.

Census 2000 Supplementary Survey data are available in both narrative and tabular profiles, as well as in more detailed summary tables, for the country, the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The data illustrate some of the following household population characteristics:

- Education -- In 2000, 82 percent of people age 25 years old and over had graduated from high school; about 25 percent had a bachelor's degree or higher.

- Language spoken at home -- Among people age 5 years old and over, 18 percent spoke a language other than English at home. Of these, 60 percent spoke Spanish.

- Housing value -- The median value of owner-occupied housing units was $120,162.

"We have demonstrated with the release of these first data that we can collect long form-type data concurrently with a decennial census," said Kathleen Cooper, the Commerce Department's under secretary for economic affairs. "This was a necessary and important first step in exploring a redesigned short form-only census in 2010."

The Census 2000 Supplementary Survey, which used the American Community Survey (ACS) methodology and questionnaire, is the largest survey ever conducted by the Census Bureau outside a decennial census. As part of a 2010 census re-engineering plan, the American Community Survey would eliminate the need for a census long form by producing up-to-date data every year for all communities and population groups of all sizes beginning in 2008.

The Census Bureau plans to implement the American Community Survey beginning in 2003 in every county, American Indian and Alaska Native area, and Hawaiian homeland, as well as in Puerto Rico, pending congressional funding.

The first wave of Census 2000 Supplementary Survey estimates released today are based on a monthly sample of about 58,000 households in 1,203 counties. Additional data for most cities and counties of 250,000 or more are scheduled for release in the fall and winter.

Because of methodological differences between the Census 2000 Supplementary Survey and Census 2000, race and Hispanic-origin data are not strictly comparable. Similarly, because some questions are more detailed on national surveys, such as the Current Population Survey, data on certain topics such as unemployment also are not comparable. However, for other characteristics the C2SS data provide estimates of demographic, economic, housing and social changes during the 1990s. The Census 2000 Supplementary Survey also provides a preliminary look at data similar to those that will be available next year from the Census 2000 long form. An important next step will be to study these data in relation to Census 2000 long-form findings. This analysis will present more detailed findings and suggest areas for further research.

Statistics from sample surveys are subject to sampling and nonsampling error. The Census 2000 Supplementary Survey uses the 2000 Master Address File (MAF) as the base for its sample.

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    Aug 6, 2001 Jun 26, 2002

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