Fwd: Sample (long-form) items on the Year 2000 Census

Pablo Suarez Pablo.Suarez_Maldonado at soc.uu.se
Thu Mar 30 11:46:17 MST 1995

  I have just received this message and thought that researchers in
  the  social  sciences all over the world should be concerned with
  what seems to be a major threat to the study of society.

  Pablo Suarez, Department of Sociology, Uppsala University

----- Forwarded message begins here -----
From: Anthony Gill  <tgill at U.WASHINGTON.EDU>
To: Multiple recipients of list METHODS <METHODS at UNMVMA.BITNET>
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 1995 08:33:39 -0800
Subject: Sample (long-form) items on the Year 2000 Census (fwd)

I generally try to avoid proselytizing "causes" on the internet, but this
may be of direct interest to many of us (or it may not).  You can either
read it as a "call to action" or just a general interest "news item."


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 1995 10:26:58 -0500
From: Richard C. Rockwell <richard at icpsr.umich.edu>
To: IASSIST Discussion List <iassist at lists.Princeton.EDU>
Subject: Sample (long-form) items on the Year 2000 Census

As the representative to the Commerce Department's Advisory Committee on the
Year 2000 Census for the American Statistical Association and the former
chair of the Social Statistics Section, American Statistical Association, I
want to call your attention to a major threat to fundamental data for the U.S.

As you know, much of the information that is of vital importance for social
science research (as well as for many business and government applications)
is collected on "the long form" of each decennial census, which is given
only to a sample of the population. There is currently no substitute for
that instrument in the Federal Statistical System, and it is surely the most
cost-effective means of collecting these data.  Eventually, we may have
"continuous measurement" at the small-area level, but at this time there is
no other instrument that produces data on such items as income and education
for small areas of the nation.

All of those data are currently under severe attack, apparently by one
Congressman.  At the Census Bureau's appropriation hearing on its FY 1996
budget, Subcommittee Chair Harold Rogers expressed his view that the 2000
Census ought to be limited to the short form.  He apparently doesn't care
that many of the long form questions are mandated by law:  " I don't care if
it is authorized or mandated by law.  This subcommittee is not going to pay
for it."  And his idea of "the short form" is radical:  it seems as if we
might have a three-question or a five-question Census in 2000.

This would affect us in myriad ways, starting with our ability (and the
government's ability) to draw samples based on socioeconomic criteria.  I
urge that you contact your Congressional delegation immediately to express
your view that the nation cannot afford to lose these data.

I also strongly request that you forward this message in whole or in part to
relevant lists.  Mobilization is critical.

Copies sent to employees of the Federal Government are for their information

Richard C. Rockwell, Executive Director
Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
The University of Michigan     PO Box 1248, Ann Arbor, MI 48106 USA
(313)764-2570 (voice)  (313)764-8041 (fax)  richard at icpsr.umich.edu

------ Forwarded message ends here ------

Pablo Suarez, Associate Professor, Docent / Fax    +46 (0) 18 181 170
Dep. of Sociology, Uppsala University     / Phone: +46 (0) 18 181 181
Box 821, S-751 08 Uppsala, Sweden    / E-mail: pablo.suarez at soc.uu.se

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