New Report Detailing Children’s Well-Being and Daily Activity Again Underscores Importance of SIPP Data

Jan 11, 2007
Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – The Census Bureau today released A Child’s Day: 2003, an insightful and informative report on American children’s well-being and daily activity that was produced using data from the Bureau’s Survey on Income and Program Participation (SIPP). In his FY07 budget, President Bush proposed eliminating funding for the SIPP before redesigning it in 2010.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY-14), a longtime champion of census accuracy who has fought hard to preserve SIPP’s funding, is skeptical that the administration would actually redesign SIPP after it is eliminated. Today she singled out A Child’s Day as another example of information that will disappear if the SIPP is eliminated.

“Without reports like this, policymakers would be in the dark about the overall well-being of America’s children, and policy would suffer,” said Maloney. “The administration’s plan to do away with the SIPP would leave many government programs without direction. Eliminating the data on children that SIPP provides would leave children behind.”

Background

Maloney, along with Sen Jack Reed (D-RI), has introduced legislation that would keep this SIPP intact and create a multi-agency commission to review proposed changes to or elimination of the survey (https://maloney.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1167&Itemid=61).

The Survey of Income and Program Participation was created by the Census Bureau in 1984 to gather more detailed information about the impact of government aid on people’s lives and how they move in and out of government programs. Rather than just capturing information at a point in time, the SIPP is unique because it questions thousands of the same people every few months for several years, providing a greater understanding of transitions into and out of government programs.

The rich and detailed data generated by this survey allow researchers and lawmakers to examine the real-world impact of a wide variety of government programs, such as welfare reform, Medicaid, child-support enforcement, and unemployment insurance. The survey provides essential information on the extent to which programs meet families’ basic needs and promote upward mobility. The SIPP also provides more in-depth information than other government surveys on work-family issues, such as maternity leave, child care usage and costs, and the work schedules of couples.                                                                                

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