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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.

Call UsCall Us

  • General 1-800-923-8282
  • Questionnaire 1-800-354-7271
  • ¿Ayuda? 1-877-833-5625

Language Brochures

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

What is the American Community Survey

The American Community Survey (ACS) is a mandatory, 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

Stats in Action: Infectious Diseases

Flash required to watch video here.  Click to go to YouTube

Learn how scientists use American Community Survey data to simulate the spread of disease, allowing decision-makers to prepare for the next potential outbreak.

New Data Every Year! from the American Community Survey

Includes detailed social, economic, housing, and demographic statistics for large and small communities.

Explore ACS using these tools:

> Next release: Fall 2014

OnTheMap for Emergency Management Using American Community Survey Data

OnTheMap for Emergency Management now includes information from the 2008-2012 ACS
5-year estimates. Learn about social, economic, housing, and demographic characteristics for areas experiencing:

  • Hurricanes and tropical storms
  • Floods
  • Winter storms
  • Wildfires
  • Disaster declaration areas
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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.

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: August 14, 2014
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