Evidence from Oregon: ACS and the 2000 Census
George C. Hough, Portland State University
David A. Swanson, University of Mississippi
Census 2010 could see the American Community Survey (ACS) replace the decennial census long-form (Census LF). This possibility represents a major change in that variables traditionally collected on a "snapshot" basis once every ten years would be collected on a "rolling" annual basis. Using Loss Function Analysis and other tools, this paper reports preliminary findings from a comparison of ACS and Census LF in Multnomah County, Oregon, one of several national test sites comparing ACS data collected at the time of Census 2000. Overall, we find ACS data collection quality to be as good or better than in Census LF 2000. We find notable differences for race and disability variables between ACS and Census LF. Differences also are found within each of four major areas of interest: (1) demographic characteristics; (2) social characteristics; (3) economic characteristics; and (4) and housing characteristics), with housing characteristics showing the least similarity overall.