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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
National Surveys and Statistics

Issues of measurement, data, and statistics are key to virtually all areas of science and public policy. U.S. census data, for example, determines not only how states are represented in Congress but also how federal funds are allocated to communities for things like education, transportation, and public health. Our work strives to improve statistical information and methods to inform public policy decisions, as well as to help integrate the nation’s highly decentralized federal statistical system.  See also:

Current Projects

Future Directions for the National Science Foundation National Patterns of Research and Development

An ad-hoc committee will conduct a public workshop to review and consider future directions for the national patterns of research and development program of the Division of Science Resources Statistics (SRS) of the National Science Foundation (NSF).  Read more

Featured Reports

Medical Care Economic Risk: Measuring Financial Vulnerability from Spending on Medical Care



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 many others with insurance are ...Read more


Using the American Community Survey to Expand Access to School Meals Programs



This report says that using this data from the U.S. Census Bureau could reduce the amount of time and resources spent by schools and families to participate in the programs and potentially increase the number of eligible children who receive nutritious meals each day.  Read more


Other Reports of Interest

Benefits, Burdens, and Prospects of the American Community Survey: Summary of a Workshop  (CNSTAT)

In June 2012, the Committee on National Statistics (sponsored by the U.S. Census Bureau) convened a Workshop on the Benefits (and Burdens) of the American Community Survey (ACS)---the detailed... Read more

Estimating Illegal Entries at the U.S.-Mexico Border  (CNSTAT)

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is responsible for securing and managing the nation's borders. Over the past decade, DHS has dramatically stepped up its enforcement efforts at the... 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

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

Small Populations, Large Effects: Improving the Measurement of the Group Quarters Population in the American Community Survey  (CNSTAT)

In the early 1990s, the Census Bureau proposed a program of continuous measurement as a possible alternative to the gathering of detailed social, economic, and housing data from a sample of the U.S.... 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

Improving Measures of Science, Technology, and Innovation: Interim Report  (CNSTAT,STEP)

The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES), at the U.S. National Foundation, is 1 of 14 major statistical agencies in the federal government, of which at least 5 collect... Read more

Industrial Methods for the Effective Development and Testing of Defense Systems  (CNSTAT,BAST)

During the past decade and a half, the National Research Council, through its Committee on National Statistics, has carried out a number of studies on the application of statistical methods to improve... Read more

Communicating Science and Engineering Data in the Information Age  (CNSTAT,CSTB)

The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) of the National Science Foundation (NSF) communicates its science and engineering (S&E) information to data users in a very fluid... 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

Facilitating Innovation in the Federal Statistical System:Summary of a Workshop  (CNSTAT)

On May 8, 2009, the symposium, The Federal Statistical System: Recognizing Its Contributions, Moving It Forward was held in Washington, DC. One of the topics considered at that symposium was the... Read more

Allocating Federal Funds for State Programs for English Language Learners  (CNSTAT,BOTA)

As the United States continues to be a nation of immigrants and their children, the nation's school systems face increased enrollments of students whose primary language is not English. With the 2001... Read more

Change and the 2020 Census: Not Whether But How  (CNSTAT)

Sponsored by the Census Bureau and charged to evaluate the 2010 U.S. census with an eye toward suggesting research and development for the 2020 census, the Panel to Review the 2010 Census uses this... Read more

Measuring the Group Quarters Population in the American Community Survey: Interim Report  (CNSTAT)

Following several years of testing and evaluation, the American Community Survey (ACS) was launched in 2005 as a replacement for the census "long form," used to collect detailed social, economic, and... 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

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