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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Committee on National Statistics
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Federal Household and Business Surveys

An important role fulfilled by CNSTAT panels is to evaluate federal household and business surveys and consider ways in which they can be improved and updated. CNSTAT panels have made recommendations on topics ranging from increasing the efficiency of the data collection methods to enhancing the usability of the data.

A recent study advised the Bureau of Labor Statistics on options for redesigning the Consumer Expenditure Surveys, which are the principal source of knowledge about changing patterns of consumer spending in the United States. Another recent study evaluated redesign options for the Energy Information Administration’s Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey and Residential Energy Consumption Survey, which are the most relevant sources of data available to researchers and policy makers interested in residential and commercial energy consumption. CNSTAT panels have also provided guidance on improving the Survey of Income and Program Participation, the National Crime Victimization Survey, the Agricultural Resource Management Survey, the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics surveys of research and development expenditures (in academia, the business sector, and government), and other flagship household and business surveys of the federal statistical system.

Workshops organized by CNSTAT have brought together leaders in the statistical, policy analysis, and research communities to discuss challenges common to federal household surveys, such as declining response rates, and challenges common to business surveys, such as impediments to developing a synchronized business address list for use in government surveys.


Current Projects

Review and Evaluation of the 2014 Survey of Income and Program Participation Content and Design

Completed Projects and Workshops

Measuring What We Spend: Toward a New Consumer Expenditure Survey

Measuring Rape and Sexual Assault in BJS Household Surveys








Relevant Reports

Estimating the Incidence of Rape and Sexual Assault  (CNSTAT)

The Bureau of Justice Statistics' (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) measures the rates at which Americans are victims of crimes, including rape and sexual assault, but there is concern... Read more

Nonresponse in Social Science Surveys: A Research Agenda  (CNSTAT)

For many household surveys in the United States, responses rates have been steadily declining for at least the past two decades. A similar decline in survey response can be observed in all wealthy... Read more

Measuring What We Spend: Toward a New Consumer Expenditure Survey  (CNSTAT)

The Consumer Expenditure (CE) surveys are the only source of information on the complete range of consumers' expenditures and incomes in the United States, as well as the characteristics of those... Read more

Effective Tracking of Building Energy Use: Improving the Commercial Buildings and Residential Energy Consumption Surveys  (CNSTAT,BEES)

The United States is responsible for nearly one-fifth of the world's energy consumption. Population growth, and the associated growth in housing, commercial floor space, transportation, goods, and... Read more

The Future of Federal Household Surveys: A Workshop Summary  (CNSTAT)

Federal household surveys today face several significant challenges including: increasing costs of data collection, declining response rates, perceptions of increasing response burden, inadequate... Read more

Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey Letter Report  (CNSTAT)

The Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) is a survey of commercial buildings in the United States, mandated by Congress to provide comprehensive information about energy use in... Read more

Reengineering the Survey of Income and Program Participation  (CNSTAT)

Beginning in 2006, the Census Bureau embarked on a program to reengineer the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) to reduce its costs and improve data quality and timeliness. The Bureau... Read more

Surveying Victims: Options for Conducting the National Crime Victimization Survey  (CNSTAT,CLAJ)

It is easy to underestimate how little was known about crimes and victims before the findings of the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) became common wisdom. In the late 1960s, knowledge of... Read more

The National Children's Study Research Plan: A Review  (CNSTAT,BOCYF,BPH)

The National Children's Study (NCS) is planned to be the largest long-term study of environmental and genetic effects on children's health ever conducted in the United States. It proposes to examine... Read more

Understanding American Agriculture: Challenges for the Agricultural Resource Management Survey  (CNSTAT)

The Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) is the federal government's primary source of information on the financial condition, production practices, and resource use on farms, as well as the... Read more

Food Insecurity and Hunger in the United States: An Assessment of the Measure  (CNSTAT)

Read more

Measuring Personal Travel and Goods Movement: A Review of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics' Surveys -- Special Report 277  (CNSTAT,TRB)

TRB Special Report 277 - Measuring Personal Travel and Goods Movement recommends a series of actions the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) should take to... Read more

Measuring Housing Discrimination in a National Study: Report of a Workshop  (CBASSE)

Federal law prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of seven protected classes including race. Despite 30 years of legal prohibition under the Fair Housing Act, however, there is evidence of... Read more

Letter Report to the Census Bureau on the Design for the Accuracy and Coverage Evaluation (ACE) Survey  (CBASSE)

Read more

Longitudinal Surveys of Children  (CBASSE)

The Committee and the Board on Children, Youth, and Families convened in September a workshop to discuss ways to foster greater collaboration and sharing of information among principal investigators... Read more

The Future of the Survey of Income and Program Participation  (CBASSE)

This book evaluates changes needed to improve the usefulness and cost-effectiveness of the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). Conducted by the Census Bureau, SIPP is a major continuing... Read more

Toward a National Health Care Survey:A Data System for the 21st Century  (CBASSE)

The nation's health care system has changed dramatically and the country is debating further significant changes. Comprehensive information is needed to guide policymakers in understanding and... Read more

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