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Killing the American Community Survey Blinds Business

Killing the American Community Survey Blinds Business
Photograph by Rita Newman/Anzenberger/Redux

Last week we wrote about how funding for economic data-gathering agencies such as the U.S. Census Bureau was under threat from House Republicans looking for ways to cut spending. Apparently, they mean business.

On May 9 the House voted to kill the American Community Survey, which collects data on some 3 million households each year and is the largest survey next to the decennial census. The ACS—which has a long bipartisan history, including its funding in the mid-1990s and full implementation in 2005—provides data that help determine how more than $400 billion in federal and state funds are spent annually. Businesses also rely heavily on it to do such things as decide where to build new stores, hire new employees, and get valuable insights on consumer spending habits. Check out this video of Target executives talking about how much they use ACS data.