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Census Bureau delays 5-year survey for first time ever due to COVID-19

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Census Bureau delays 5-year survey for first time ever due to COVID-19
The survey contains detailed population and housing data that are often used businesses, communities and elected officials to recognize various changes in their area.  File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 11 (UPI) -- For the first time ever, the Census Bureau has delayed the results of a five-year survey that contains various detailed data from U.S. households, due to COVID-19.

The bureau said on Wednesday that the American Community Survey, which collected data for 2016 through 2020, will not be released in December as planned.

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The reason, the bureau said, was because of changes in the survey's methodology brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead of December, the bureau said it now expects to release the survey in March.

The survey contains detailed population and housing data that are often used businesses, communities and elected officials to recognize various changes in their area.

"Additional time is needed to continue refining our methodology so that we can minimize the impact of nonresponse bias due to the COVID-19 pandemic," the Census Bureau said in a statement.

"The U.S. Census Bureau is committed to producing high-quality data. The Census Bureau recognizes the critical importance of the American Community Survey 5-year data, in particular, on government and business decision-making and the need for quality ACS data for that purpose."

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The survey is sent to about 3.5 million U.S. homes per year, or almost 300,000 each month. Data collected by the survey includes citizenship, education, income, language proficiency and employment.

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