The American Community Survey (ACS) is an ongoing survey that provides data every year -- giving communities the current information they need to plan investments and services. Information from the survey generates data that help determine how more than $400 billion in federal and state funds are distributed each year.
Data services staff are well-versed in the wealth of the American Community Survey data available and monitors a large store of ACS data describing the socioeconomic characteristics of the Region (or any part within). Popular data requests include population, race and ethnicity, ancestry, age, sex, family, housing, income, poverty, education, language, commuting to work, employment, veterans status. The Data Clearinghouse page also has data for the five-county Bi-State Region, States of Illinois and Iowa, and the Nation. Or, to access multiple data sets and/or multiple geographies within the Nation, such as census blocks, tracts, voting districts, cities, counties and school districts, visit the Census’ American Factfinder: http://factfinder2.census.gov.
For additional information on the ACS, please contact our Data Services Staff.
Guidance for ACS Data Users
Three tips for using American Community Survey (ACS) data
1. The 2010 Census shows the number of people who live in the U.S. and the American Community Survey shows how people live.
• Use data from the American Community Survey to obtain demographic, social, economic, and housing characteristics.
• Use numbers from the 2010 Census to obtain counts of the population and their basic characteristics (sex, age, race, Hispanic origin, and homeowner status).
• Use data from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program in the years between censuses. The Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program produces official population estimates for the nation, states, counties, cities and towns, plus housing unit estimates for states and counties.
2. All American Community Survey data are estimates.
• The Census Bureau collects American Community Survey data from a sample of the population in the United States and Puerto Rico--rather than from the whole population. All ACS data are survey estimates. To help you interpret the reliability of the estimate, the Census Bureau publishes a margin of error (MOE) for every ACS estimate.
3. American Community Survey collects and releases data by the calendar year for geographic areas that meet specific population thresholds as follows:
• Populations of 65,000 + ACS 1-year estimates
• Populations of 20,000 + ACS 3-year estimates
• Populations of almost any size ACS 5-year estimates
• American Community Survey 1-, 3-, and 5-year estimates are period estimates, which means they represent the characteristics of the population and housing over a specific data collection period. Data are combined to produce 12 months, 36 months or 60 months of data. These are called 1-year, 3-year and 5-year data.
For more information visit http://www.census.gov/acs/www/ or contact our Data Services Staff.