The main objective of the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) is and has been, to provide accurate and comprehensive sub-annual information about the income and program participation dynamics for individuals and households in the United States. The survey’s mission is to provide a nationally representative sample for evaluating: 1) annual and sub-annual income dynamics, 2) movements into and out of government transfer programs, 3) family and social context of individuals and households, and 4) interactions among these items. A major use of the SIPP has been to evaluate the use of and eligibility for government programs and to analyze the impacts of options for modifying them.
In response to budget pressures, the Survey of Income and Program Participation nearly ceased to exist in 2006. The survey, then beginning the process to convert the existing instrument format to more modern software, suspended the instrument conversion and prepared to shut down operations. Fortunately, the strident backlash and public petition from the public policy, academic, and partner agency communities led a large contingent of Senators and Representatives from Congress to endorse the petition to request the reinstatement of SIPP’s funding. With funding restored, the US Census Bureau began re-engineering the SIPP. The re-engineering focused on several key goals, including reducing burden on respondents, reducing program costs, improving accuracy, improving timeliness and accessibility, and improving relevance. The SIPP stakeholders and data users have been, and continue to be, critical partners for the SIPP program. We look forward to your continued input and to continuing to share information about the re-engineering, development, and evaluation of the new SIPP design.
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