Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Census Ending Important Surveys on Families

Today's Washington Post reports that the Bush Administration is eliminating funding for current Census Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). While the article explains that SIPP reports on families' economic status -- with a particular focus on the poor -- that's actually just a portion of SIPP's research. SIPP reports on everything from how families provide their kids with child care to the rate of marriages and divorces in the U.S. SIPP studies family labor participation; health care coverage; children's living arrangements; housing affordability; families' economic well-being, just to name a few. I use the SIPP reports every day. And I'm appalled to see these end. Particularly since, according to a Census Statement (see the page attachment), funding for the current survey drops out in September, and they don't even have specific plans for what will replace it -- which won't happen until 2009, according to the Post.

So there will be no Census data on how many Americans are without health insurance or without day care or can't afford to buy a home for three years. (Check out the SIPP Comparison of its reports and others to see just what information is being lost.) Why can't SIPP continue its present work until a new procedure is in place, or, at least, they have made actual decisions as to what will replace it? The only answer I can think of is that the Bush Admin wants both candidates and voters alike to be uninformed on these issues -- throughout an entire presidential campaign cycle. It's just shocking. Absolutely shocking.


Post a Comment

<< Home