Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology (FCSM) Equitable Data Toolkit

About the FCSM Equitable Data Toolkit

The Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology (FCSM) developed the FCSM Equitable Data Toolkit (Toolkit) to provide federal agencies with tools that support equity analyses with a focus on historically underserved populations. It is intended to support an increase in available data, improve the accuracy of analyses, and ensure ethical and secure data governance to improve the representation of underserved populations in federal data and analyses. The choice of which populations to examine in the Toolkit was influenced by Executive Order 13985 (Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government), which stated that:

"The term 'equity' means the consistent and systematic fair, just, and impartial treatment of all individuals, including individuals who belong to underserved communities that have been denied such treatment, such as Black, Latino, and Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other persons of color; members of religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons; persons with disabilities; persons who live in rural areas; and persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality."

It is noted that the FCSM provides materials on LGBTQ+ outside of the Toolkit on the webpage Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Sex Characteristics Subcommittee.

Historically underserved populations are often "hard to measure" in sample surveys and even administrative data systems. In some cases, the population group is small, and its members are difficult to locate and include in probability-based surveys. In addition, obtaining the information needed to properly classify individuals as members of the population group of interest can be difficult.

Measuring experiences and outcomes for these groups involve a wide range of methodological challenges, including:

The Toolkit provides information and resources for Statistical Officials, Chief Data Officers, agency staff, and practitioners seeking guidance on:

The information and resources provided here are general. Those who use the Toolkit will need to assess the extent to which it is helpful to strive for consistency across agencies and their data collections and when it is helpful to develop an approach tailored for a specific purpose.

The Toolkit considers these topics and others in one or more of its three sections:

For a downloadable copy of this information click:
Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology (FCSM) Equitable Data Toolkit


The authors of the FCSM Equitable Data Toolkit gratefully acknowledge reviews and comments provided by Liana Fox and Jasen Taciak (U.S. Census Bureau); Thesia Garner (Bureau of Labor Statistics); Daniel Palmeri (Office of Rural Health, Veterans Health Administration, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs); and Thomas Worth and Jessica Todd, (Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture)