U.S. Department of Commerce

American Community Survey

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Question Corner
   for Survey Respondents

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Why do you need to know how much money I make?

Income data are used to determine poverty status, to measure economic well-being, and to assess the need for assistance. These data are included in federal allocation formulas for many government programs. More.

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Why did I get the American Community Survey form?

Your address was selected as part of a sample. Your responses will represent other households in your community. More.

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Why is the Census Bureau calling me?

If you don't mail back your form or if you leave questions blank, we may call you. More.

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Why do you ask what time I leave for work?

We ask about what time you leave for work to develop statistics on commuting patterns. Commuting data are essential for planning highway improvements and developing public transportation services. More.

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How do you protect my information?

We never reveal your identity to anybody else. By law, the Census Bureau cannot share respondents' answers with anyone, -- not the IRS, not the FBI, not the CIA, and not with any other government agency. More.

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Do I have to fill out the questionnaire?

Yes. You are legally obligated to answer all the questions, as accurately as you can. More.

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Is the American Community Survey legitimate?

Yes. The American Community Survey is legitimate. It is a survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. More.

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Can I respond to the survey online?

Yes. Most people can respond to the American Community Survey online. If you received a letter or postcard inviting you to complete the ACS online, you will need the materials to begin. More.

Language Brochures

Questions and Answers about the American Community Survey in 11 languages. [pdf format]

Call UsCall Us

  • General 1-800-923-8282
  • Questionnaire 1-800-354-7271
  • ¿Ayuda? 1-877-833-5625
What is the American Community Survey

The American Community Survey (ACS) is an ongoing statistical survey that samples a small percentage of the population every year -- giving communities the information they need to plan investments and services. Learn more.

Learn ways to respond to the ACS or get help with the survey. Learn more about how we protect your privacy; why you were selected; why it's important to participate; why we ask specific questions and more in About the Survey.

How can I use the ACS data?

We release new data every year — get the latest on American FactFinder, or get advice on choosing the right tool or data table for your needs. Learn more about our annual data releases or browse the supporting documentation.

Respond Online.

Respond Online

  • It's confidential & secure.
  • It's economical.
  • It's greener.
  • It's user-friendly.
Find out more about responding online.

Watch How to Respond Online Video

2008 - 2012 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates
Now Available

Includes detailed social, economic, housing, and demographic statistics
for large and small communities. Find out what is New and Notable for this release.

Explore the dataset using these tools:

Also released today

ACS Information Guide

ACS Information Guide

You have questions. We have answers! — in the ACS Information Guide — a comprehensive guide to all things ACS, covering everything from the historical origins of the ACS, to who uses the ACS data and why, to where to get more in-depth information.

Topics and Highlights from the guide include:

  • Importance of Participating in the ACS
  • The US Constitution, Title 13, and the ACS
  • Frequently Asked Question from Respondents
  • Data Tools Available at Census.gov
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American Community Survey form

Did you receive a survey?

Learn why you were selected; why you should participate; how to respond; how we protect your privacy; why we ask specific questions; and more in About the Survey.

American Community Survey interactive form

Explore the Interactive Form

Before you get started filling out the questionnaire, click through our interactive form that explains how the collected information helps communities. (Flash required). Or get our pdf's on why we ask specific questions.

Traffic Jam highlights Trends in Commuting Report

New Report on Out-of-State and Long Commutes

Trends in Commuting are explored in this new report. Highlights include which states have the longest commutes, the most out-of-state commuters and more. Download Out-of-State and Long Commutes: 2011 based on data collected from the American Community Survey.

How the ACS Works

How the ACS Works for Your Community

View a visual representation of the data collection process of the ACS and how this translates into dollars for your community to help fund school-lunch programs, place new hospitals, build new businesses and take other actions that lead to healthy towns and cites. (Text version also available.)

Transportation is a critical part of our nation's infrastructure

Transportation is a critical part of our nation's infrastructure

Learn how your answers on the American Community Survey help communities make smarter decisions about transportation resources to keep America moving.


[PDF] or PDF denotes a file in Adobe’s Portable Document Format. To view the file, you will need the Adobe® Reader® Off Site available free from Adobe.

Get Data Profile Tables on American FactFinderCurrent Data Profiles


Source: U.S. Census Bureau | American Community Survey Office | Email ACS | Last Revised: April 10, 2014
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