Free seminar: The Census and ACS


fred and chipThe Center for Research on Vermont is presenting a free seminar for data professionals this month: Research-in-Progress Seminar #222: "Counting Vermont in the 21st  Century: The 2010 Census and Changes to Data on Our State and Communities."

Presented by Fred Schmidt (top) of the University of Vermont (UVM) and Chip Sawyer (bottom) of UVM's Center for Rural Studies, the session takes a look at the changing face of data collection in light of the new American Community Survey.

The event will be held Thursday, Sept. 24, at 7:30 p.m., in the Memorial Lounge, Waterman Building, at the University of Vermont.

In April 2010, every person and housing unit in Vermont will be counted by the U.S. Census Bureau. The decennial census, America’s largest non-military mobilization of workers, has been a part of our history since 1790.

Every decade Vermonters have awaited the updated counts of people and housing units in our state, counties, and local communities. However, this decade will be a little different.

For the 2010 Census, government workers will fan out across the nation to perform basic headcounts, and that will be all. No longer will our 10-year Census provide data on income, employment, poverty, education, migration, ancestry, disability, language, transportation, or the cost and condition of housing.

Vermonters and all Americans will now get these valuable data points from a new source: the American Community Survey.

Beginning in 2010, we'll have access to American Community Survey data on our state, counties, and communities in annual releases. This new arrangement will take some getting used to: The data for our towns and villages will be released in rolling five-year averages. Every data point will be accompanied by a margin of error. The rules of what type of resident can fill out the survey have also changed.

What do these changes mean, and why were they made? What data can we expect from the 2010 Census, and for what information will we now have to turn elsewhere?

Fred and Chip will discuss the many changes we can expect from the data on our state and its communities from the new American Community Survey. They'll also discuss areas that have not changed as well as the preparations being made for the 22nd U.S. Census.

For more information on the event, contact the Center for Research on Vermont at 802.656.4389, email or visit the Center's Web site.