Using the American Community Survey (ACS) to Implement a Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM)
Trudi Renwick, U.S. Census Bureau
Kathleen S. Short, U.S. Census Bureau
Alemayehu Bishaw, U.S. Census Bureau
Charles Hokayem, U.S. Census Bureau
The Census Bureau plans to release preliminary Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) estimates in October 2011 using data from the Current Population Survey. However, since the Bureau recommends the use of the American Community Survey (ACS) for poverty estimates for sub-national geographic units, it is important to explore how this new measure could be estimated from ACS data. However, the ACS is missing a number of key data elements required to produce SPM estimates (including program participation, the value of SNAP benefits, taxes, child care expenses and medical out of pocket expenditures.) The purpose of this paper is to lay out a proposal for how these data limitations might be overcome to produce SPM estimates using ACS data. The paper will compare various approaches to imputing the missing data. The researchers will attempt to produce preliminary state level SPM estimates using either the 2009 or 2010 ACS.