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American Community Survey (ACS)

Additional Information

Description

The American Community Survey (ACS) is an annual nationwide survey designed to supplement the decennial census. The survey, based on the decennial census long form, produces population and housing information every year instead of every 10 years. Annual estimates of demographic, social, economic, and housing characteristics are available for geographic areas with a population of 65,000 or more. This includes the nation, all states, the District of Columbia, all congressional districts, approximately 800 counties, and 500 metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas. Multi-year estimates are available for smaller geographic areas. During the demonstration stage (2000 to 2004), the U.S. Census Bureau carried out large-scale, nationwide surveys and produced reports for the nation, the states, and large geographic areas. The full implementation stage began in January 2005, with an annual housing unit (HU) sample of approximately 3 million addresses throughout the United States and 36,000 addresses in Puerto Rico. And in 2006, approximately 20,000 group quarters were added to the ACS so that the data fully describe the characteristics of the population residing in geographic areas.

Supplier(s)

  • U.S. Census Bureau (Census)

Data Years Available

2005-present

Periodicity

Annual

Mode

Mail survey. Telephone and personal follow-up may also be used.

Selected Content

Demographic characteristics, gnomonic and labor force characteristics (e.g., income, occupation), housing characteristics (e.g., type of housing unit, number of rooms), and health insurance coverage.

Population covered

The U.S. population, including the population living in group quarters.

Methodology

For a detailed description of the survey methodology, please see: American Community Survey: Design and Methodology, April 2009. Available at: http://www.census.gov/acs/www/methodology/methodology_main

Response rate and sample size

The annual survey sample includes about 3 million housing units and group quarters. Response rates exceed 97%.

References

http://www.census.gov/acs/www and related web pages. Accessed August 24, 2010.