By Danika Brockman and Megan Schouweiler
One of the highlights of the past IPUMS USA release was the 2020 ACS 1-year Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) file. Due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on 2020 ACS data collection and data quality, the Census Bureau did not release the standard PUMS data. Instead, they released the 2020 ACS 1-year data with experimental weights designed to account for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on data quality. In this blog post, we discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the 2020 ACS and the development of the experimental weights, and we provide some recommendations for using the 2020 ACS 1-year PUMS file.
Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Data Collection and Data Quality and the Development of the Experimental Weights
The COVID-19 pandemic severely disrupted data collection for the 2020 ACS. All methods of data collection were either shut down or significantly reduced from March 2020 through the end of the year. Data collection for group quarters was particularly disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic; in-person visits to group quarter facilities were suspended or greatly reduced from March 2020 through the end of the year, and telephone interviews were not conducted due to logistical constraints. Beyond the impacts to data collection methods, the 2020 ACS had significant variability across the 2020 data collection year in response rates for both housing units and group quarters, and had the lowest overall response rate in the history of the ACS1.