In November, the U.S. Census Bureau announced it would delay the release of the 2016-2020 American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year data, originally scheduled for December 2021, due to the impacts of COVID-19 on data collection. We continue to make progress towards a mid- to late-March 2022 data product release.
Since November, we have refined our methodology to reduce the impact of the nonresponse bias due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The methodology improves the 2020 data input by comparing characteristics for responding and nonresponding households using administrative, third-party and decennial census data. The 2020 input data are then integrated with the inputs from 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019, that were processed using the standard ACS methodology, in order to provide the basis for creating our 5-year data products.
The Census Bureau recognizes the critical importance of the ACS 5-year data, in particular, on government and business decision-making and the need for quality ACS data for that purpose. Over the next month, the Census Bureau will conduct quality reviews to ensure that this methodology is performing appropriately at all levels of geography and that the resulting data meet our quality standards.
We expect to provide another update early in 2022.