UCF sociologists defend annual census survey

Recent efforts by Congress to eliminate a lengthy U.S. census survey — which some lawmakers view as costly and intrusive — have distressed a wide range of Florida researchers who see the comprehensive questionnaire as essential to their work.

The list ranges from a think tank for the Florida Chamber of Commerce to sociologists at the University of Central Florida; all advocate for a continuation of the American Community Survey, sent to about 3.5 million households annually. Robert Groves, director of the Census Bureau, has written that cutting the survey “devastates the nation’s statistical information about the status of the economy and the larger society.”

And at UCF’s sociology department, researchers are using ACS data for a project on the relationship between burglaries and foreclosures in Orange County. One aim is to help local law enforcement better manage its officers and their patrols.

“It has a direct relevance for smarter use of police resources,” said Jay Corzine, a UCF sociology professor.

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