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National Academy of Sciences
National Academy of Engineering
Institute of Medicine
National Research Council
Committee on National Statistics
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Health and Social Welfare


CNSTAT’s landmark report Measuring Poverty: A New Approach (1995) proposed revised poverty measures to more accurately measure economic disadvantage. After use by the Census Bureau on an experimental basis, a formula based on Measuring Poverty was adopted by New York City as its official poverty measure in 2008 and was used in a new Supplemental Poverty Measure published by the Census Bureau in 2011. CNSTAT’s work on welfare and poverty issues expanded to include a major study of measures of food insecurity and hunger, a study of measuring financial vulnerability from spending on medical care, and a workshop on developing a research agenda on the causes and consequences of child food insecurity and hunger. The Committee has also twice conducted in-depth reviews of the Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation.

Most recently, CNSTAT has begun a set of activities on measures of self-reported well-being—expanding on traditional economic measures to get a sense of the general “happiness” (or relative “misery”) of the population. Such measures have begun to gain traction in the United Kingdom and in other national statistical offices, and CNSTAT’s work helps bridge analytical work being done by researchers in the United States and around the world.


Current Projects


Standing Committee on Integrating New Behavioral Health Measures Into the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Data Collection Programs

Workshop on Data and Research to Improve the Food Availability Data System and Estimates of Food Loss

Completed Projects and Workshops

Design of the National Children’s Study and Implications for the Generalizability of Results

Measuring Medical Care Risk in Conjunction with the New Supplemental Poverty Measure

Measuring Subjective Well-Being in a Policy-Relevant Framework

Workshop on the Design of the National Children’s Study

Workshop on Research Gaps and Opportunities in Child Hunger

Workshop on Research Gaps and Opportunities for Exploring the Relationship of the Arts to Health and Well-Being in Older Adults




Relevant Reports

Data and Research to Improve the U.S. Food Availability System and Estimates of Food Loss: A Workshop Summary  (CNSTAT)

The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Economic Research Service's (ERS) Food Availability Data System includes three distinct but related data series on food and nutrient... Read more

Civic Engagement and Social Cohesion: Measuring Dimensions of Social Capital to Inform Policy  (CNSTAT)

People's bonds, associations and networks - as well as the civil, political, and institutional characteristics of the society in which they live - can be powerful drivers affecting the quality of life... Read more

The National Children's Study 2014: An Assessment  (CNSTAT,BOCYF,IOM)

The National Children's Study (NCS) was authorized by the Children's Health Act of 2000 and is being implemented by a dedicated Program Office in the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child... Read more

Research Opportunities Concerning the Causes and Consequences of Child Food Insecurity and Hunger: A Workshop Summary  (CNSTAT,FNB,IOM)

Section 141 of The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 20101 provides funding for a research program on the causes and consequences of childhood hunger and food insecurity, and the characteristics of... Read more

Design of the National Children's Study: A Workshop Summary  (CNSTAT,BOCYF,IOM)

The Children's Health Act mandated the National Children's Study (NCS) in 2000 with one of its purposes being to authorize the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) to study... Read more

Subjective Well-Being: Measuring Happiness, Suffering, and Other Dimensions of Experience  (CNSTAT)

Subjective well-being refers to how people experience and evaluate their lives and specific domains and activities in their lives. This information has already proven valuable to researchers, who have... Read more

The Subjective Well-Being Module of the American Time Use Survey: Assessment for Its Continuation  (CNSTAT)

The American Time Use Survey (ATUS), conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, included a subjective well-being (SWB) module in 2010 and 2012. The module, funded by the National Institute on Aging... Read more

Medical Care Economic Risk: Measuring Financial Vulnerability from Spending on Medical Care  (CNSTAT,HCS)

The United States has seen major advances in medical care during the past decades, but access to care at an affordable cost is not universal. Many Americans lack health care insurance of any kind, and... Read more

Accounting for Health and Health Care:Approaches to Measuring the Sources and Costs of Their Improvement  (CNSTAT)

It has become trite to observe that increases in health care costs have become unsustainable. How best for policy to address these increases, however, depends in part on the degree to which they... Read more

Databases for Estimating Health Insurance Coverage for Children: A Workshop Summary  (CNSTAT)

This report summarizes the proceedings of a workshop convened in June 2010 to critically examine the various databases that could provide national and state-level estimates of low-income uninsured... Read more

Improving Health Care Cost Projections for the Medicare Population:Summary of a Workshop  (CNSTAT)

Developing credible short-term and long-term projections of Medicare health care costs is critical for public- and private-sector policy planning, but faces challenges and uncertainties. There is... Read more

The Prevention and Treatment of Missing Data in Clinical Trials  (CNSTAT)

Randomized clinical trials are the primary tool for evaluating new medical interventions. Randomization provides for a fair comparison between treatment and control groups, balancing out, on average,... Read more

Improving the Measurement of Late-Life Disability in Population Surveys:Beyond ADLs and IADLs: Summary of a Workshop  (CNSTAT,CPOP)

Improving the Measurement of Late-Life Disability in Population Surveys summarizes a workshop organized to draw upon recent advances to improve the measurement of physical and cognitive disability in... Read more

Strategies for a BEA Satellite Health Care Account:Summary of a Workshop  (CNSTAT)

In March 2008, the Committee on National Statistics of the National Academies held a workshop to assist the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) with next steps as it develops plans to produce a... Read more

Improving Data to Analyze Food and Nutrition Policies  (CNSTAT)

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Measuring Food Insecurity and Hunger: Phase 1 Report  (CNSTAT)

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Eliminating Health Disparities: Measurement and Data Needs  (CNSTAT)

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Improving Racial and Ethnic Data on Health: Report of a Workshop  (CNSTAT)

The panel convened the Workshop on Improving Racial and Ethnic Data in Health to review information about current private-sector and state data collection practices in light of existing federal,... Read more

Elder Mistreatment: Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation in an Aging America  (CNSTAT)

Since the late 1970s when Congressman Claude Pepper held widely publicized hearings on the mistreatment of the elderly, policy makers and practitioners have sought ways to protect older Americans from... Read more

Estimating Eligibility and Participation for the WIC Program:Final Report  (CNSTAT)

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Data Needs for the State Children's Health Insurance Program  (CNSTAT)

The State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) was established by Congress to provide health insurance to uninsured children whose family income was too high for Medicaid coverage but too low... Read more

Estimating Eligibility and Participation for the WIC Program: Phase I Report  (CBASSE)

Each year the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) must estimate the number of people who are eligible to participate in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children... Read more

Evaluating Welfare Reform in an Era of Transition  (CBASSE)

Reform of welfare is one of the nation's most contentious issues, with debate often driven more by politics than by facts and careful analysis. Evaluating Welfare Reform in an Era of Transition... Read more

Preparing for an Aging World: The Case for Cross-National Research  (CBASSE)

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY INTRODUCTION Is There a "Crisis of Aging"? The Value and Challenges of Cross-National Research Charge to the Panel Study Approach and Scope Cross-Cutting Issues Organization of This... Read more

Toward a Health Statistics System for the 21st Century: Summary of a Workshop  (CBASSE)

The Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT) convened a workshop on November 4-5, 1999, to identify new directions for health statistics and the implications for health data of changes in the health... Read more

Data and Methodological Issues for Tracking Former Welfare Recipients:A Workshop Summary  (CBASSE)

Read more

Evaluating Food Assistance Programs in an Era of Welfare Reform:Summary of a Workshop  (CBASSE)

This report was prepared in response to a request from the Economic Research Service (ERS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). It summarizes the discussions at a February 1998 workshop... Read more

Evaluating Welfare Reform: A Framework and Review of Current Work, Interim Report  (CNSTAT)

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Health Performance Measurement in the Public Sector: Principles and Policies for Implementing an Information Network  (CBASSE)

There is growing interest in using performance measurement as a means of holding federal, state, and local health agencies accountable for their use of public funds. Health Performance Measurement in... Read more

Measuring Functional Capacity and Work Requirements: Summary of a Workshop  (IOM)

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is reengineering its disability claims process for providing cash benefits and medical assistance to blind and disabled persons under the Social Security... Read more

Measuring Health Performance in the Public Sector:A Summary of Two Reports  (CBASSE)

The Panel on Performance Measures and Data for Public Health Performance Partnership Grants was established at the request of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Its charge is to... Read more

Review of the Disability Evaluation Study Design:Third Interim Report  (IOM,CBASSE)

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Small-Area Estimates of School-Age Children in Poverty: Interim Report 3  (CBASSE)

The U.S. Department of Education uses estimates of school-age children in poverty to allocate federal funds under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act for education programs to aid... Read more

Providing National Statistics on Health and Social Welfare Programs in an Era of Change: Summary of a Workshop  (CBASSE)

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Small-Area Estimates of School-Age Children in Poverty: Interim Report 2, Evaluation of Revised 1993 County Estimates for Title I Allocations  (CBASSE)

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The Immigration Debate: Studies on the Economic, Demographic, and Fiscal Effects of Immigration  (CBASSE)

The New Americans (NRC 1997) presents an analysis of the economic gains and losses from immigration--for the nation, states, and local areas--providing a scientific foundation for public discussion... Read more

Assessment of Performance Measures for Public Health, Substance Abuse, and Mental Health  (CBASSE)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is carrying out an ambitious new program to assure that funds for public health programs are spent as effectively as possible. Under the new program,... Read more

Disability Evaluation Study Design:First Interim Report  (NRC)

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Small-Area Estimates of School-Age Children in Poverty: Interim Report 1, Evaluation of 1993 County Estimates for Title I Allocations  (CBASSE)

Read more

The New Americans: Economic, Demographic, and Fiscal Effects of Immigration  (CPOP)

This book sheds light on one of the most controversial issues of the decade. It identifies the economic gains and losses from immigration--for the nation, states, and local areas--and provides a... Read more

Improving Data on America's Aging Population:Summary of a Workshop  (CBASSE)

The Committee on National Statistics and the Committee on Population, at the request of the NIA, convened a workshop in March 1996 to discuss data on the aging population that address the emerging and... Read more

Measuring Poverty:A New Approach  (CBASSE)

Each year's poverty figures are anxiously awaited by policymakers, analysts, and the media. Yet questions are increasing about the 30-year-old measure as social and economic conditions change.In... Read more

Trends in Disability at Older Ages: Summary of a Workshop  (CBASSE)

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The Aging Population in the Twenty-First Century:Statistics for Health Policy  (CBASSE)

It is not news that each of us grows old. What is relatively new, however, is that the average age of the American population is increasing. More and better information is required to assess, plan... Read more

Urban Change and Poverty  (CBASSE)

This up-to-date review of the critical issues confronting cities and individuals examines the policy implications of the difficult problems that will affect the future of urban America. Among the... Read more

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