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Project Information

Project Information

Improving the American Community Survey: A Workshop

Project Scope:

A steering committee will organize and execute a 1.5­-day public workshop for the U.S. Census Bureau to discuss recent methodological research conducted by the Census Bureau to improve American Community Survey (ACS), which replaced the previous decennial census long-form sample. The workshop will examine efforts to improve communication materials provided to respondents to encourage response as well as the follow-up procedures with respondents. The workshop will also address evaluating administrative data as a replacement for survey questions, which may also improve accuracy and/or reduce costs.  After the workshop, a proceedings of the presentations and discussions will be prepared by a designated rapporteur in accordance with institutional guidelines.

Status: Current


Project Duration (months): 15 month(s)

RSO: Harris-Kojetin, Brian


Committee on National Statistics


Behavioral and Social Sciences
Surveys and Statistics

Geographic Focus:
North America

Committee Membership

Committee Post Date: 08/15/2018

Warren Brown - (Chair)
WARREN A. BROWN (chair designate) is senior research associate in the Cornell Institute for Social and Economic Research at Cornell University. Pertinent to this workshop, he was a speaker at both the ACS Respondent Burden and ACS Benefits and Burdens workshops, and was a member of both the Panel to Review the 2010 Census and its successor Standing Committee on Reengineering Census Methods—in both instances, actively participating in subgroup work on administrative records. He manages Cornell’s secure data services for restricted access data sets, including Cornell’s Federal Statistical Research Data Center. Previously, he directed the applied demography program at the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia, serving as the state demographer. He has served on the steering committee of the National State Data Center Network and as president of the Association of Public Data Users, a national association conducting educational programs for users of government statistics. In 2009, he authored a handbook in the Census Bureau’s “Compass” series on researchers’ use of the ACS. He has a B.A. degree in religious studies from the University of Virginia, an M.A. degree in sociology from the New School for Social Research, and a Ph.D. degree in development sociology from Cornell University.
Susan Brower
SUSAN BROWER is director of the Minnesota State Demographic Center, serving as the official state demographer since February 2012. Pertinent to this workshop, she was a participant in the ACS Benefits and Burdens workshop. As state demographer, she researches demographic trends related to the state’s economy/workforce and health, with particular emphasis on demographic shifts related to immigration and to changes in the state’s rural population. She joined the State Demographic Center after working as a researcher on the Minnesota Compass project at Wilder Research in St. Paul, and previously worked at the Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan. She holds a master’s degree in public policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Michigan.
Shawn J. Bucholtz
SHAWN J. BUCHOLTZ is director of the Housing and Demographic Analysis Division at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R). Pertinent to this workshop, he has led efforts to redesign the American Housing Survey (AHS), conducted by the Census Bureau with sponsorship from HUD, and has extensive experience with work to link survey data with third-party sources of property tax and housing data. At HUD PD&R since October 2010, he is also responsible for the production of other housing market surveys besides the AHS, including the Rental Housing Finance Survey, and the dissemination of the resulting statistical information. He previously served as branch chief for planning and analysis at the Farm Service Agency and as an economist and geographic information systems analyst at the Economics Research Service, both in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He has a B.S. degree in public resource management from Michigan State University, an M.S. degree in agricultural and resource economics from the University of Maryland, and a Ph.D. in computational social science from George Mason University.
Michael Davern
MICHAEL DAVERN is senior vice president and director of the Public Health Research Department at NORC at the University of Chicago. Pertinent to this workshop, he was a speaker on administrative records usage in the ACS at the ACS Response Burden workshop and served on the Panel on Addressing Priority Technical Issues for the Next Decade of the ACS. At NORC at the University of Chicago, his work focuses on survey research, public health data, linking surveys with administrative data, and Census Bureau data, as well as the use of these data for policy research simulation and evaluation. Previously, at the University of Minnesota, he was an assistant professor of health policy and management and research director of the State Health Access Data Assistance Center and codirector of the State Research Data Center. He also previously served as a statistician for the Labor Force and Transfer Programs Statistics Branch of the U.S. Census Bureau. A major focus of his work has involved applying state-level data to health policy issues and helping states monitor trends in health insurance coverage rates. He has an M.A. degree in sociology from Colorado State University, and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Notre Dame.
Donald A. Dillman
DONALD A. DILLMAN is Regents professor in the Department of Sociology at Washington State University and deputy director for research and development in the university’s Social and Economic Sciences Research Center. Pertinent to this workshop, he was key speaker on respondent communication at the ACS Response Burden workshop, is internationally recognized as a major contributor to the development of modern mail/telephone/Internet survey methods, and is a current member of CNSTAT. From 1991 - 1995, he served as the senior survey methodologist in the U.S. Census Bureau’s Office of the Director, and received the Roger Herriot Award for Innovation in Federal Statistics in 2000 for his work at the Census Bureau. He is past president of the American Association for Public Opinion Research and the Rural Sociological Society. In addition to his current CNSTAT service at the National Academies, he has chaired the Panel on Redesigning the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Surveys and served on its Panels on Redesigning the Commercial Building and Residential Energy Consumption Surveys and on Residence Rules in the Decennial Census. He has a B.A. degree in agronomy, an M.S. degree in rural sociology, and a Ph.D. in sociology, all from Iowa State University.
Beth Jarosz
BETH JAROSZ is senior research associate in U.S. Programs at the Population Reference Bureau (PRB). Pertinent to this workshop, she was a speaker at the ACS Benefits and Burdens workshop and has relevant knowledge of both ACS/census data and the use of data resources at the state and local levels. She joined PRB in 2013 after more than a decade of experience in demographic estimation, forecasting, and analysis as senior demographer at the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), the regional planning agency for the San Diego region. At SANDAG, she worked on a variety of topics ranging from transportation planning to public health. She has also served as an instructor of sociology at Pensacola State College. She has a B.S. degree in applied economics from the University of Rhode Island, and an M.A. degree in demographic and social analysis from the University of California, Irvine.
Patrice Mathieu
PATRICE MATHIEU is chief methodologist in the Social Survey Methods Division at Statistics Canada. Pertinent to this workshop, he participated in the July 31 - August 1, 2014, International Conference of Census Methods convened by the CNSTAT Panel to Review the 2010 Census, as a key speaker on Canada’s Internet response “wave methodology,” and has done work on the Canadian census interface with income/tax data. He joined Statistics Canada in 1999, and since that time has worked on numerous projects related to social and business surveys. He started working for the Canadian Census population in 2010; his team is responsible for the methodology of census collection. He has participated in numerous international projects, including the development of the first joint Canada/United States Survey of Health (in partnership with the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics), the International Census Forum meetings and working groups, a USCB/Statistics Canada interchange, the international peer review committee for the 2016 Australian census, and a United Nations task force for developing guidelines for conducting censuses. He has a B.A. degree in mathematics, and an M.A. degree in statistics, both from the University of Montréal.



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Lecture Hall 100

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If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Anthony Mann
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