Earlier this month members of the House voted to cut funds from the Census Bureau in order to support other projects in the same Appropriations bill. Coupled with the persistent efforts to gut the American Community Survey and it seems likely we may need to prepare for a future where this resource may not be available.
That may seem like a daunting task, but I think it’s not impossible. I say this because of the effort of Nathan Yau, who has created a 2015 version of the Statistical Atlas of the United States. He wasn’t happy that the Census Bureau was not producing a new edition of the Atlas (or of the Census Atlas it released based on 2000 Census data).
It’s a lovely piece of work, and if he had some extra help (and/or more time), I think Yau, or other data scientists, could take the raw data and create updated versions of statistical resources providing need context to policy decisions and other important questions. But without the data that the American Community Survey can provide, we all lose.