Improving Small Area Estimates of Disability: Combining the American Community Survey with the Survey for Income and Program Participation


Multiple Data Sources, Data Linkage

Author: Jerry J. Maples (U. S. Census Bureau)

The Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) is designed to make national level estimates  of changes in income, eligibility for and participation in transfer programs, household and family composition, labor force behavior, and other associated events. Used cross-sectionally, the SIPP is the source for commonly accepted estimates of disability prevalence, having been cited in the findings clause of the Americans with Disability Act. Because of its sample size, SIPP is not designed to produce highly reliable estimates for individual states. The American Community Survey (ACS) is a large sample survey which is designed to support estimates of characteristics at the state and county level, however, the questions about disability in the ACS are not as comprehensive and detailed as in SIPP. We propose combining the information from the SIPP and ACS surveys using unit-level models to improve, i.e. lower variances of, state estimates of disability (as defined by SIPP).

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