Census Bureau delaying five-year data for first time ever

Census Bureau delaying five-year data for first time ever
© Getty Images

The Census Bureau issued a statement Wednesday announcing a delay in the release of the American Community Survey (ACS) five-year data, which is critical for many governments and businesses.

The data comes from surveys taken between 2016 and 2020 and is being delayed due to quality concerns from potential disruptions in data from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Census Bureau stated. 

“To reflect our quality standards ... 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 wrote in its statement. 

The survey was initially intended for release in December of this year but will now be scheduled for release in March. The Census Bureau has noted that it plans to provide an update on the ACS in December. 

The Washington Post initially reported the Census Bureau's delay in the ACS five-year data and pointed out that the bureau did not put out an official one-year estimate on the 2020 ACS this year, which was also reportedly due to the pandemic affecting quality standards.