Deriving State-Level Estimates from Three National Surveys: A Statistical Assessment and State Tabulations. III. ABILITY OF THE THREE NATIONAL SURVEYS TO PRODUCE STATE ESTIMATES


The most current databases for each of the three surveys were examined to assess their ability to provide state-level estimates. For the CPS, the most current data are from the March 1996 survey. For SIPP the 1993 panel data are available.

In future years there will be data from the 1996 SIPP panel and from the SPD. The SPD combines the respondents from the 1992 and 1993 SIPP. However, since only approximately three-quarters of the original respondents to these two waves remain in the SPD, there is a strong potential for bias in some of the estimates produced from this survey. While a larger sample will be available from the 1996 SIPP panel, the basic structure will be similar to the 1993 panel. The new panel assures the inclusion of every state in the survey, but the procedure that was implemented still uses strata that cross state boundaries and does not improve the ability to produce direct estimates for every state. Low-income households have in general been oversampled, resulting in a larger number of poor persons being included in the survey. However, the differential weights resulting from the oversampling may significantly affect the gains in precision that would be expected to result from the oversampling. Thus, it is not possible to make clear generalizations from the 1993 panel to the newer data series based solely on the changes in sample sizes.

Because the most recent NHIS data are for 1993 and the NHIS sample was completely redesigned in 1995, no NHIS data are examined. However, some discussion of the ability of the NHIS to provide the desired estimates is included.

The Bureau of the Census is making plans to introduce the American Community Survey (ACS) beginning around 2002. This survey will collect information from more than one million households annually, using a revised versions of the Census Long Form. If questions of interest to ASPE are included in the ACS, it can be expected to provide more accurate state-level estimates than those described below from the three smaller existing surveys. It is our understanding, however, that it is not certain that this survey will be annual.

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