(Glastonbury, Conn.) The Marketing Research Association (MRA) gave mixed reviews today to President Obama’s investment in work vital to the survey and opinion research profession.

“While we are delighted to see a 16.5% increase proposed for the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), MRA remains concerned about a massive reduction in funding for the Census,” said MRA’s Director of Government Affairs, Howard Fienberg, PLC.

MRA expressed their gratitude for the $162 million the President has proposed for NCHS in Fiscal Year 2011, a $23 million increase over FY 2010. NCHS produces valuable information for the survey and opinion research profession, particularly their in-depth data on cell-phone-only households.

However, MRA regrets the $1.267 billion FY11 budget proposed for the Census Bureau, a $6 billion cut from FY10. Mr. Fienberg lamented that the Census Bureau’s work is not yet complete. “The decennial Census does not end with the conclusion of the fiscal year. And the preparations for the next one are already under way even now,” commented Fienberg.

Data produced by the Census underpins nearly all aspects of survey and opinion research and MRA has lobbied for adequate funding for years. The Census forms the baseline sample units for virtually every survey performed in the United States; the innovative research methods that a well-funded Census can develop benefit researchers of almost every kind; and a properly financed Census can promote proper data use, minimize respondent burden, respect individual privacy, and ensure confidentiality.

MRA’s interim CEO, Kristen Darby, emphasized the Association’s continued dedication to these issues. “We look forward to working with our coalition allies to deliver the necessary support for the Census and NCHS.”