Trey Dimsdale

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Census Bureau: 4 family questions in the balance

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) -- Beginning in 1940, select households began receiving the American Community Survey, or ACS. This is the census "long form" with more detailed questions about Americans, their households and their socio-economic circumstances. Included on this form are four simple questions related to marriage. Questions 20-23 ask respondents to indicate marital status and marital history in very generic terms. There is no invasion of privacy or prying in these questions. This year, the Census Bureau has suggested the deletion of these questions, an omission that has the potential to hurt families.