This is in response to your letter of [Date], regarding your participation in the U.S. Census
Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS).
The ACS is part of the 2010 Decennial Census Program. It is a survey that is sent to a small
percentage of our population on a rotating basis. The ACS collects detailed information on the
characteristics of population and housing on an ongoing basis. These data were previously
collected only in census years in conjunction with the decennial census. During Census 2000
the Census Bureau asked for this detailed information from one in every six addresses. The
ACS questionnaire collects nearly the same information and is sent to approximately the same
number of addresses over a five-year period. However, since the ACS is conducted every year,
rather than once every ten years, it provides more current data throughout the decade.
Questions in the survey are required to manage or evaluate federal and state government
programs. For example, information about utilities is used by the U.S. Department of Housing
and Urban Development, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture
to administer their programs. Information on income is required for use by the Social Security
Act, the National School Lunch Program, the Low Income Energy Assistance Program, and by
the U.S. Department of Education for grant allocation.
This survey is conducted under the authority of Title 13, United States Code, Sections 141 and
193. Response to this survey is required by Section 221 of Title 13. The Census Bureau may
use this information only for statistical purposes. Title 13 requires the Census Bureau to keep
all information about you and all other respondents strictly confidential. Any Census Bureau
employee who violates these provisions is subject to a fine of up to $250,000 or a prison
sentence of up to five years, or both.
If you need more information or have further questions...