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Comparing 2008 American Community Survey Data

 

Generally, you can compare American Community Survey (ACS) 1-year estimates with Census 2000 and other ACS 1-year data. However, since ACS variables change over time, some areas and subjects must be compared with caution, or not compared at all.

Subject Area1* 2008 ACS 1-Year with Census 2000 2008 ACS 1-Year with 2007 ACS 1-Year

Age and Sex (01)

Topic1* 2008 ACS 1-Year with Census 2000 2008 ACS 1-Year with 2007 ACS 1-Year
Age Compare with Caution

The entire population continually ages into older age groups over time and babies fill in the youngest age group. So, the population of a certain age is made up of a completely different group of people from one time period to the next. Since populations occasionally experience booms/increases and busts/decreases in births, deaths, or migration (for example, the postwar Baby Boom from 1946-1964), one should not necessarily expect that the population in an age group in Census 2000 should be similar in size or proportion to the population in the same age group in different data year(s). For example, Baby Boomers were age 36 to 54 in Census 2000 while they were age 44 to 62 in the 2008 ACS 1-year and between ages 42 to 62 in the multiyear 2006-2008 period. So, the age group 55 to 59 would show a considerable increase in population when comparing Census 2000 data with the single year or multiyear ACS data.

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Sex Compare

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Race (02)

Topic 2008 ACS 1-Year with Census 2000 2008 ACS 1-Year with 2007 ACS 1-Year
Race Compare with Caution

The ACS question on race was revised in 2008 to make it consistent with the Census 2010 race question. The change in estimates for 2008 may be due to demographic changes, as well as factors including questionnaire changes, differences in ACS population controls, and methodological differences in the population estimates, and therefore should be used with caution.This 2008 ACS race question is different from the Census 2000 race question, therefore comparisons should be made with caution.

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Compare with Caution

The ACS question on race was revised in 2008 to make it consistent with the Census 2010 race question. For more information,
see the "questionnaire changes document" [PDF 2.2MB]. The reporting of “Other Asian” groups (e.g., Pakistani), “Other Pacific Islander” groups (e.g., Fijian), and the reporting of “White” responses increased at the national level, and the reporting of “Some Other Race” responses decreased at the national level. The change in estimates from 2007 to 2008 may be due to several factors including questionnaire changes, population controls, and methodological changes to the population estimates, and therefore should be used with caution. For more information about the changes in the estimates, go here.

Hispanic Origin (03)

Topic 2008 ACS 1-Year with Census 2000 2008 ACS 1-Year with 2007 ACS 1-Year
Hispanic or Latino Origin Compare with Caution

The ACS question on Hispanic origin was revised in 2008 to make it consistent with the Census 2010 Hispanic origin question. The change in estimates for 2008 may be due to demographic changes, as well as factors including questionnaire changes, differences in ACS population controls, and methodological differences in the population estimates, and therefore should be used with caution. This 2008 Hispanic origin question is different from the Census 2000 question on Hispanic origin, therefore comparisons should be made with caution.

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Compare with Caution

The ACS question on Hispanic origin was revised in 2008 to make it consistent with the Census 2010 Hispanic origin question. For more information,
see the "questionnaire changes document" [PDF 2.2MB]. The reporting of specific Hispanic groups (e.g., Colombian, Dominican, Spaniard, etc.) increased at the national level. The change in estimates from 2007 to 2008 may be due to several factors including questionnaire changes, population controls, and methodological changes to the population estimates, and therefore should be used with caution. For more information about the changes in the estimates, go here.

Ancestry (04)

Topic 2008 ACS 1-Year with Census 2000 2008 ACS 1-Year with 2007 ACS 1-Year
Ancestry Compare

Ancestry is the only item for which a “not reported” category is published since missing ancestries are never assigned or allocated. The extent of missing ancestry answers was higher in Census 2000 than in the ACS. The difference in the level of response may contribute to the difference in the two distributions.

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Compare with Caution
(Scotch-Irish)

Beginning with the 2008 ACS 1-year data products, people who reported Irish-Scotch ancestry were classified under “Other groups”, whereas in the 2007 ACS and earlier they were classified as Scotch-Irish. Due to this classification change, the Scotch-Irish category decreased from 2007-2008.

Compare (all other ancestries)

Foreign Born; Citizenship; Year of Entry; Nativity (05)

Topic 2008 ACS 1-Year with Census 2000 2008 ACS 1-Year with 2007 ACS 1-Year
Citizenship Status Compare

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Nativity Compare

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Year of Entry Compare

Census 2000 represents data collected as of April 1, 2000 and thus the “2000” year of entry category accounts for the first quarter (Jan-Mar) in 2000 only. The ACS represents data collected throughout the entire year and thus the “2000” year of entry category accounts for the entire year of 2000.

No comparable detailed tables published

Compare

Place of Birth (06)

Topic 2008 ACS 1-Year with Census 2000 2008 ACS 1-Year with 2007 ACS 1-Year
Place of Birth Compare

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Residence 1 year ago; Migration (07)

Topic 2008 ACS 1-Year with Census 2000 2008 ACS 1-Year with 2007 ACS 1-Year
Residence 1 Year Ago (Migration) Do Not Compare

The ACS asked for residence 1 year ago whereas Census 2000 asked for residence 5 years ago.

No comparable detailed tables published

Compare with Caution

Beginning with the 2008 ACS, the migration section of the questionnaire was expanded to collect street address information for residence 1 year ago. The additional detail improves the accuracy of coding and updating residence 1 year ago to current geographical boundaries, which may affect the estimates for movers within the same city/town and movers from principal cities. Areas with recent boundary changes, vague boundaries, or duplicate names are most likely affected. For more information see the report titled Report P.3: Evaluation Report Covering Residence 1 Year Ago (Migration).

Journey to Work; Workers; Commuting (08)

Topic 2008 ACS 1-Year with Census 2000 2008 ACS 1-Year with 2007 ACS 1-Year
Means of Transportation to Work Compare

The ACS excludes taxicabs in the tabulation category of "public transportation" and includes them in the category "taxicab, motorcycle, bicycle or other means." However, Census 2000 includes taxicabs in the "public transportation" tabulation category.

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Place of Work Compare

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Private Vehicle Occupancy Compare

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Time Leaving Home Compare

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Travel Time to Work Compare

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Children; Household Relationship (09)

Topic 2008 ACS 1-Year with Census 2000 2008 ACS 1-Year with 2007 ACS 1-Year
Relationship to Householder Compare

The ACS used a joint relationship/marital status edit and Census 2000 did not. Also, Census 2000 provided more response categories than the ACS.

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Compare with Caution

The “Child” and “In-law” categories were expanded in the 2008 ACS questionnaire. Use caution when comparing these categories between the 2007 ACS 1-year and 2008 ACS 1-year. See the "Changes in the Relationship Categories Between 2007 and 2008" for more information on category changes and comparisons. Changes in the questionnaire format and data capture procedures between 2007 and 2008 have resulted in changes in the total number of same-sex unmarried partners in 2008. The Census Bureau believes the change is due to reports of same sex spouses, which are changed to unmarried partner in the editing process. For more information about same-sex unmarried partners, go here.

Grandparent; Grandchildren (10)

Topic 2008 ACS 1-Year with Census 2000 2008 ACS 1-Year with 2007 ACS 1-Year
Grandparents as Caregivers Compare table crosswalk Compare

Household Type; Family Type; Subfamilies (11)

Topic 2008 ACS 1-Year with Census 2000 2008 ACS 1-Year with 2007 ACS 1-Year
Household/Family Type Compare

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Compare with Caution

Changes in the questionnaire format and data capture procedures between the 2007 and 2008 ACS have resulted in changes in the number of reported same-sex spouses and hence the total number of same-sex unmarried partners in 2008. All comparisons should be made with caution due to these formatting and data capture changes. For more information about same-sex unmarried partners, go here.

Subfamilies Compare with Caution

Census 2000 had more detailed relationship categories used to derive estimates of subfamilies than the ACS.

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Marital Status and History (12)

Topic 2008 ACS 1-Year with Census 2000 2008 ACS 1-Year with 2007 ACS 1-Year
Marital Status Compare

The ACS used a joint relationship/marital status edit and Census 2000 did not.

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Marital History Do Not Compare

The questions were not asked in Census 2000.

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Do Not Compare

The questions were not asked in 2007 ACS

Fertility (13)

Topic 2008 ACS 1-Year with Census 2000 2008 ACS 1-Year with 2007 ACS 1-Year
Fertility Do Not Compare

The question was not asked in Census 2000.

No comparable detailed tables published

Compare

School Enrollment (14)

Topic 2008 ACS 1-Year with Census 2000 2008 ACS 1-Year with 2007 ACS 1-Year
Type of School & School Enrollment Compare

The ACS reference period was 3 months preceding the date of interview, while the Census 2000 reference period was any time since February 1, 2000.

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Educational Attainment (15)

Topic 2008 ACS 1-Year with Census 2000 2008 ACS 1-Year with 2007 ACS 1-Year
Educational Attainment Compare

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Compare with Caution

New questions were added to the 2008 ACS CATI/CAPI instrument. Respondents who received a high school diploma, GED or equivalent were also asked if they had completed any college credit. Therefore, data users may notice a decrease in the number of high school graduates relative to previous years because those people are now being captured in the "Some college credit , but less than 1 year of college credit" or "1 or more years of college credit, no degree" categories. For more information see the report titled Report P.2.b:
Evaluation Report Covering Educational Attainment [PDF 330KB].

Language Spoken at Home and Ability to Speak English (16)

Topic 2008 ACS 1-Year with Census 2000 2008 ACS 1-Year with 2007 ACS 1-Year
Ability to Speak English Compare

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Compare with Caution
(estimates of Spanish speaking)

Changes to collection of data on Hispanic origin may have affected some language characteristics. The observed increase in the native Hispanic population speaking English "very well" is larger than anticipated and should be interpreted with caution. In some cases the overall English language ability in the population may have been affected. See the section on Hispanic Origin (03) for more information. For more information about the changes in the estimates, go here.

Language Spoken at Home Compare

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Compare with Caution
(estimates of Spanish speaking)

Changes to collection of data on Hispanic origin may have affected some language characteristics. The observed increase in the native Hispanic population speaking only English at home is larger than anticipated and should be interpreted with caution. In some cases the overall level of Spanish speaking in the population may have been affected. See the section on Hispanic Origin (03) for more information. For more information about the changes in the estimates, go here.

Poverty (17)

Topic 2008 ACS 1-Year with Census 2000 2008 ACS 1-Year with 2007 ACS 1-Year
Poverty Status of Families and People in Families Compare with Caution

The ACS collects data throughout the year on an on-going, monthly basis and asks for a respondent's income over the "past 12 months." Census 2000, however, collected the income data for a fixed period of time -- "during 1999" (the last calendar year). For example, the 2008 ACS 1-year data reflect incomes over 2007-2008 and the 2006-2008 ACS 3-year data reflect incomes over 2005-2008. In a comparison study between Census 2000 income data and the 2000 ACS, income collected in Census 2000 was found to be about 4 percent higher than that in the 2000 ACS. For more information on the differences of income in the ACS and Census 2000, download "Income in the American Community Survey: Comparisions to Census 2000" [PDF 336KB]. For specific questions and answers about sources of poverty data, see the "Questions and Answers About Sources of Poverty Data" [PDF 130KB].

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Compare with Caution

As ACS data are collected every month of the year, adjacent years will have some reference months in common. Hence, comparing the 2008 ACS 1-year with the 2007 ACS 1-year estimates is not an exact comparison of the economic conditions in 2008 with those in 2007. For a discussion of this and related issues, see Hogan, Howard, "Measuring Population Change Using the American Community Survey," Applied Demography in the 21st Century, Steven H. Murdock and David A. Swanson eds., Springer Netherlands, 2008. For specific questions and answers about sources of poverty data, see the "Questions and Answers About Sources of Poverty Data" [PDF 130KB].

Poverty Status of All People in the Poverty Universe Compare with Caution

The ACS collects data throughout the year on an on-going, monthly basis and asks for a respondent's income over the "past 12 months." Census 2000, however, collected the income data for a fixed period of time -- "during 1999" (the last calendar year). For example, the 2008 ACS 1-year data reflect incomes over 2007-2008 and the 2006-2008 ACS 3-year data reflect incomes over 2005-2008. In a comparison study between Census 2000 income data and the 2000 ACS, income collected in Census 2000 was found to be about 4 percent higher than that in the 2000 ACS. For more information on the differences of income in the ACS and Census 2000, download "Income in the American Community Survey: Comparisions to Census 2000" [PDF 336KB]. For specific questions and answers about sources of poverty data,
see the "Questions and Answers About Sources of Poverty Data" [PDF 130KB].

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Compare with Caution

As ACS data are collected every month of the year, adjacent years will have some reference months in common. Hence, comparing the 2008 ACS 1-year with the 2007 ACS 1-year estimates is not an exact comparison of the economic conditions in 2008 with those in 2007. For a discussion of this and related issues, see Hogan, Howard, "Measuring Population Change Using the American Community Survey," Applied Demography in the 21st Century, Steven H. Murdock and David A. Swanson eds., Springer Netherlands, 2008. For specific questions and answers about sources of poverty data, see the "Questions and Answers About Sources of Poverty Data" [PDF 130KB].

Disability (18)

Topic 2008 ACS 1-Year with Census 2000 2008 ACS 1-Year with 2007 ACS 1-Year
Hearing / vision difficulty Do Not Compare

The 2008 ACS disability questions are different from the Census 2000 disability questions, thus comparisons cannot be made. For information about definitions of disability in the ACS, Census 2000 and other Census Bureau surveys,
see the Census Bureau's disability site.

No comparable detailed tables published

Do Not Compare

The 2008 ACS disability questions are different from the 2007 and prior ACS disability questions, thus comparisons cannot be made. For information about definitions of disability in the ACS, Census 2000 and other Census Bureau surveys,
see the Census Bureau's disability site.

Cognitive / Ambulatory / Self-care difficulty Do Not Compare

The 2008 ACS disability questions are different from the Census 2000 disability questions, thus comparisons cannot be made. For information about definitions of disability in the ACS, Census 2000 and other Census Bureau surveys, see the Census Bureau's disability site.

No comparable detailed tables published

Do Not Compare

The 2008 ACS disability questions are different from the 2007 and prior ACS disability questions, thus comparisons cannot be made. For information about definitions of disability in the ACS, Census 2000 and other Census Bureau surveys,
see the Census Bureau's disability site.

Independent Living difficulty Do Not Compare

The 2008 ACS disability questions are different from the Census 2000 disability questions, thus comparisons cannot be made. For information about definitions of disability in the ACS, Census 2000 and other Census Bureau surveys,
see the Census Bureau's disability site.

No comparable detailed tables published

Do Not Compare

The 2008 ACS disability questions are different from the 2007 and prior ACS disability questions, thus comparisons cannot be made. For information about definitions of disability in the ACS, Census 2000 and other Census Bureau surveys,
see the Census Bureau's disability site.

Income (Households and Families) (19)

Topic 2008 ACS 1-Year with Census 2000 2008 ACS 1-Year with 2007 ACS 1-Year
Household and Family Incomes Compare with Caution

The ACS collects data throughout the year on an on-going, monthly basis and asks for a respondent's income over the "past 12 months." Census 2000, however, collected the income data for a fixed period of time -- "during 1999" (the last calendar year). For example, the 2008 ACS 1-year data reflect incomes over 2007-2008 and the 2006-2008 ACS 3-year data reflect incomes over 2005-2008. In a comparison study between Census 2000 income data and the 2000 ACS, income collected in Census 2000 was found to be about 4 percent higher than that in the 2000 ACS. For more information on the differences of income in the ACS and Census 2000,
see the "Income in the American Community Survey: Comparisions to Census 2000" [PDF 336KB]. The Census Bureau recommends using CPI-U-RS adjustment factors published annually by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to adjust 1999 median, mean, and per capita income dollar amounts shown in Summary File 3 to 2008 dollars by multiplying the 1999 dollar amounts by the CPI-U-RS factor of 1.29219452. For CPI-U-RS inflation adjustment factors for other years
see: http://www.census.govhhes/www/income/income05/cpiurs.html. Furthermore, direct comparisons of income and earnings distributions between Census 2000 and the 2008 ACS are not possible due to inflation. Users interested in making distribution comparisons need to inflation adjust individual income records using the Public Use Microdata Samples (PUMS) files from Census 2000.

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Compare with Caution

As ACS data are collected every month of the year, adjacent years will have some reference months in common. Hence, comparing the 2008 ACS 1-year with the 2007 ACS 1-year estimates is not an exact comparison of the economic conditions in 2008 with those in 2007. For a discussion of this and related issues, see Hogan, Howard, "Measuring Population Change Using the American Community Survey," Applied Demography in the 21st Century, Steven H. Murdock and David A. Swanson eds., Springer Netherlands, 2008.

Sources of Income (households) Compare with Caution

The ACS collects data throughout the year on an on-going, monthly basis and asks for a respondent's income over the "past 12 months." Census 2000, however, collected the income data for a fixed period of time -- "during 1999" (the last calendar year). In a comparison study between Census 2000 income data and the 2000 ACS, income collected in Census 2000 was found to be about 4 percent higher than that in the 2000 ACS. For more information on the differences of income in the ACS and Census 2000,
see the "Income in the American Community Survey: Comparisions to Census 2000" [PDF 336KB]. The Census Bureau recommends using CPI-U-RS adjustment factors published annually by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to adjust 1999 median, mean, and per capita income dollar amounts shown in Summary File 3 to 2008 dollars by multiplying the 1999 dollar amounts by the CPI-U-RS factor of 1.29219452. For CPI-U-RS inflation adjustment factors for other years
see: http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/income05/cpiurs.html

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Compare with Caution

As ACS data are collected every month of the year, adjacent years will have some reference months in common. Hence, comparing the 2008 ACS 1-year with the 2007 ACS 1-year estimates is not an exact comparison of the economic conditions in 2008 with those in 2007. For a discussion of this and related issues, see Hogan, Howard, "Measuring Population Change Using the American Community Survey," Applied Demography in the 21st Century, Steven H. Murdock and David A. Swanson eds., Springer Netherlands, 2008.

Earnings and Income (Individuals) (20)

Topic 2008 ACS 1-Year with Census 2000 2008 ACS 1-Year with 2007 ACS 1-Year
Per Capita Income, Earnings (people), and Income (people) Compare with Caution

The ACS collects data throughout the year on an on-going, monthly basis and asks for a respondent's income over the "past 12 months." Census 2000, however, collected the income data for a fixed period of time -- "during 1999" (the last calendar year). For example, the 2008 ACS 1-year data reflect incomes over 2007-2008 and the 2006-2008 ACS 3-year data reflect incomes over 2005-2008. In a comparison study between Census 2000 income data and the 2000 ACS, income collected in Census 2000 was found to be about 4 percent higher than that in the 2000 ACS. For more information on the differences of income in the ACS and Census 2000,
see the "Income in the American Community Survey: Comparisions to Census 2000" [PDF 336KB]. The Census Bureau recommends using CPI-U-RS adjustment factors published annually by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to adjust 1999 median, mean, and per capita income dollar amounts shown in Summary File 3 to 2008 dollars by multiplying the 1999 dollar amounts by the CPI-U-RS factor of 1.29219452. For CPI-U-RS inflation adjustment factors for other years
see: http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/income05/cpiurs.html. Furthermore, direct comparisons of income and earnings distributions between Census 2000 and the 2008 ACS are not possible due to inflation. Users interested in making distribution comparisons need to inflation adjust individual income records using the Public Use Microdata Samples (PUMS) files from Census 2000."

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Compare with Caution

As ACS data are collected every month of the year, adjacent years will have some reference months in common. Hence, comparing the 2008 ACS 1-year with the 2007 ACS 1-year estimates is not an exact comparison of the economic conditions in 2008 with those in 2007. For a discussion of this and related issues, see Hogan, Howard, "Measuring Population Change Using the American Community Survey," Applied Demography in the 21st Century, Steven H. Murdock and David A. Swanson eds., Springer Netherlands, 2008. Also, the Census Bureau introduced an improved sequence of labor force questions in the 2008 ACS questionnaire. This impacted the number of full-time, year-round workers. Accordingly, we recommend using caution when making labor force data comparisons from 2008 or later with data from prior years. For more information on these questions and their evaluation in the 2006 ACS Content Test, see the "Evaluation Report Covering Employment Status" [PDF 1.0MB] and the "Evaluation Report Covering Weeks Worked" [PDF 508KB]. Additional information can also be found
at http://www.census.gov/people/laborforce/

Veteran Status (21)

Topic 2008 ACS 1-Year with Census 2000 2008 ACS 1-Year with 2007 ACS 1-Year
Period of Military Service Compare

Since Census 2000, the period of military service categories on the ACS questionnaire were updated to: 1) include the most recent period "September 2001 or later;" 2) list all "peace time" periods without showing a date-breakup in the list; and 3) update the Korean War and World War II dates to match the official dates as listed in US Code, Title 38. While the response categories differ slightly from those in Census 2000, data from the two questions can still be compared to one another.

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Veteran Status Compare

The ACS has two separate questions, whereas in Census 2000, it was a two part question. However, the actual questions remain the same.

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Service-Connected Disability Status and Ratings Do Not Compare

The question was not asked in Census 2000.

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Do Not Compare

The question was not asked in the 2007 ACS.

Food Stamps (22)

Topic 2008 ACS 1-Year with Census 2000 2008 ACS 1-Year with 2007 ACS 1-Year
Food Stamp Receipt Do Not Compare

The question was not asked in Census 2000 thus comparisons cannot be made.

No comparable detailed tables published

Compare with Caution(Food Stamp Receipt)

The wording of the food stamp question was revised in the 2008 ACS to ask respondents if they received "food stamps or a food stamp benefit card". Data users may see an increase in food stamp recipiency from the 2007 ACS 1-year estimates to the 2008 ACS 1-year estimates as a result of the questionnaire change. For more detailed information, see the "Evaluation Report Covering Receipt of Food Stamps" [PDF 4.7MB].



Do Not Compare (Food Stamp Benefit Amount)

The question was not asked in the 2008 ACS.

Employment Status; Work Experience; Labor Force (23)

Topic 2008 ACS 1-Year with Census 2000 2008 ACS 1-Year with 2007 ACS 1-Year
Employment Status Compare with Caution

The reference periods are different due to year-round ACS data collection. The ACS reference period is the week prior to the respondent completing the interview, or the field representative conducting the interview. Because questionnaires are mailed-out and field interviews are conducted throughout the year, there is a revolving reference period. For Census 2000, the reference period was the week prior to Census Day (April 1, 2000). The Census 2000 Summary File 3 (SF3) labor force data for some places where colleges are located appear to overstate the estimates of people in the labor force, the unemployed, and the percent unemployed because of data capture errors.

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Compare with Caution

The Census Bureau introduced an improved sequence of labor force questions in the 2008 ACS questionnaire. Accordingly, we recommend using caution when making labor force data comparisons from 2008 or later with data from prior years. For more information on these questions and their evaluation in the 2006 ACS Content Test,
see the "Evaluation Report Covering Employment Status" [PDF 1.04MB] and
the "Evaluation Report Covering Weeks Worked" [PDF 504KB]. Additional information can also be found on the
at Labor Force Statistics website.

Hours Worked Compare

The ACS reference period is 12 months preceding the date of interview, while the Census 2000 reference period was the 1999 calendar year.

No comparable detailed tables published

Compare
Weeks Worked Compare

The ACS reference period is 12 months preceding the date of interview, while the Census 2000 reference period was the 1999 calendar year.

No comparable detailed tables published

Compare with Caution

The Census Bureau introduced an improved sequence of labor force questions in the 2008 ACS questionnaire. Accordingly, we recommend using caution when making labor force data comparisons from 2008 or later with data from prior years. For more information on these questions and their evaluation in the 2006 ACS Content Test, see
the "Evaluation Report Covering Employment Status" [PDF 1.04MB] and the "Evaluation Report Covering Weeks Worked" [PDF 504KB]. Additional information can also be found on the
at Labor Force Statistics website.

Industry & Occupation; Class of Worker (24)

Topic 2008 ACS 1-Year with Census 2000 2008 ACS 1-Year with 2007 ACS 1-Year
Class of Worker Compare with Caution

The ACS median earnings Class of Worker tables combine "Unpaid family workers" with "Self-employed in own not incorporated business workers." The Census 2000 tables use different tabulation categories than the ACS. Also, the Census 2000 tables did not include the "full-time, year-round" population and there were no median earnings Class of Worker tables. Thus, comparisons cannot be made for this population or characteristic.

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Compare with Caution

The 2008 ACS median earnings Class of Worker tables combine "Unpaid family workers" with "Self-employed in own not incorporated business workers," while 2007 ACS tables list these categories separately.

Industry and Occupation Compare with Caution

The 2008 ACS industry codes are 4-digit codes based on the 2007 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Census 2000 codes are 3-digit codes based on the NAICS 1997. Codes and descriptions, particularly within the Electronic Shopping, Wholesale, and Information categories changed. Also, the tabulations from Census 2000 did not include the "full-time, year-round" population or median earnings by Industry or Occupation. Thus, comparisons cannot be made for this population or characteristic.

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Compare with Caution

The 2007 ACS 1-year industry data are coded using the 2002 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) while the 2008 ACS 1-year industry data are coded using the NAICS 2007. Codes and descriptions in the Information sector changed: "Broadcasting and telecommunications" and "Internet publishing and internet service providers" were deleted and "Broadcasting, internet publishing, and telecommunications services" was added.

Housing (25)

Topic 2008 ACS 1-Year with Census 2000 2008 ACS 1-Year with 2007 ACS 1-Year
Bedrooms Compare with Caution

Changes made to the 2008 ACS Bedrooms question involving the wording as well as the response option resulted in a noticeable increase in the "No bedroom" category and a decrease in the "1 bedroom" to "3 bedrooms" categories. For more detailed information about these changes, see the Bedrooms section of the "Subject Definitions" [PDF 463KB].

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Compare with Caution

Caution should be used when comparing data for Bedrooms between the 2007 and 2008 ACS. Changes made to the 2008 ACS Bedrooms question involving the wording as well as the response option resulted in a noticeable increase in the "No bedroom" category and a decrease in the "1 bedroom" to "3 bedrooms" categories. For more detailed information about these changes, see the Bedrooms section of the "Subject Definitions" [PDF 463KB].

Contract and Gross Rent Do Not Compare

For Census 2000, tables were not released for total renter-occupied units. The universe in the ACS is "renter occupied" whereas in Census 2000 the universe was "specified renter-occupied housing units," thus comparisons cannot be made.

No comparable detailed tables published

Compare
Cost of Utilities Compare

No comparable detailed tables published

Compare
Gross Rent as a Percentage of Household Income Do Not Compare

For Census 2000, tables were not released for total renter-occupied units. The universe in the ACS is "renter occupied" whereas in Census 2000 the universe was "specified renter-occupied housing units," thus comparisons cannot be made.

No comparable detailed tables published

Compare
House Heating Fuel Compare

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Compare
Kitchen Facilities Do Not Compare
(estimates for Puerto Rico)

2008 ACS 1-year data on kitchen facilities will not be shown for Puerto Rico. The results of a cognitive evaluation of the Spanish language translation of the questions on kitchen facilities indicated that respondents of the 2008 Puerto Rico Community Survey may not have clearly understood the intent of the revised questions.

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Do Not Compare
(estimates for Puerto Rico)

2008 ACS 1-year data on kitchen facilities will not be shown for Puerto Rico. The results of a cognitive evaluation of the Spanish language translation of the questions on kitchen facilities indicated that respondents of the 2008 Puerto Rico Community Survey may not have clearly understood the intent of the revised questions.

Compare with Caution
(estimates for the U.S.)

Changes made to the 2008 ACS question wording and translation to the Spanish questionnaire resulted in an inconsistency in the data. For more detailed information about these changes, see the Kitchen facilities section of the "Subject Definitions" [PDF 463KB].

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Compare with Caution
(estimates for the U.S.)

Caution should be used when comparing data for Kitchen Facilities in certain areas between the 2007 and 2008 ACS. Changes made to the 2008 ACS question wording and translation to the Spanish questionnaire resulted in an inconsistency in the data. For more detailed information about these changes, see the Kitchen facilities section of the"Subject Definitions" [PDF 463KB].

Monthly Rent Compare

No comparable detailed tables published

Compare
Mortgage Status Compare

Data for 'with a mortgage' and 'without a mortgage' were released in Census 2000 for both total owner-occupied units and specified owner-occupied units. In the 2008 ACS, data are only released for owner-occupied units.

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Occupants per Room Compare with Caution

Changes made to the 2008 ACS Rooms question involving the question wording as well as the response option resulted in a noticeable increase in the "1 room" category and a decrease in the "2 rooms" to "6 rooms" categories. For more detailed information about these changes, see the Rooms section of the "Subject Definitions" [PDF 463KB].

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Compare with Caution

Caution should be used when comparing data for Occupants per Room between the 2007 and 2008 ACS. Changes made to the 2008 ACS Rooms question involving the wording as well as the response option resulted in a noticeable increase in the "1 room" category and a decrease in the "2 rooms" to "6 rooms" categories. For more detailed information about these changes, see the Rooms section of the "Subject Definitions" [PDF 463KB].

Owner Costs as a Percentage of Household Income Compare with Caution

For Census 2000, tables with full distributions were released for total owner-occupied units but medians were not shown. When available, compare like universes.

Compare
Plumbing Facilities Do Not Compare
(estimates for Puerto Rico)

2008 ACS 1-year data on plumbing facilities will not be shown for Puerto Rico. The results of a cognitive evaluation of the Spanish language translation of the questions on plumbing facilities indicated that respondents of the 2008 Puerto Rico Community Survey may not have clearly understood the intent of the revised questions.

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Do Not Compare
(estimates for Puerto Rico)

2008 ACS 1-year data on plumbing facilities will not be shown for Puerto Rico. The results of a cognitive evaluation of the Spanish language translation of the questions on plumbing facilities indicated that respondents of the 2008 Puerto Rico Community Survey may not have clearly understood the intent of the revised questions.

Compare with Caution
(estimates for the U.S.)

Changes made to the 2008 ACS question wording and translation to the Spanish questionnaire resulted in an inconsistency in the data. For more detailed information about these changes, see the Plumbing facilities section of the "Subject Definitions" [PDF 463KB].

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Compare with Caution
(estimates for the U.S.)

Caution should be used when comparing data for Plumbing Facilities in certain areas between the 2007 and 2008 ACS. Changes made to the 2008 ACS question wording and translation to the Spanish questionnaire resulted in an inconsistency in the data. For more detailed information about these changes, see the Plumbing facilities section of the "Subject Definitions" [PDF 463KB].

Real Estate Taxes Do Not Compare

The universe in the ACS is "owner occupied" whereas in Census 2000, the universe was "specified owner-occupied housing units," thus comparisons cannot be made.

No comparable detailed tables published
Compare
Rooms Compare with Caution

Changes made to the 2008 ACS Rooms question involving the wording as well as the response option resulted in a noticeable increase in the "1 room" category and a decrease in the "2 rooms" to "6 rooms" categories. For more detailed information about these changes, see the Rooms section of the "Subject Definitions" [PDF 463KB].

table crosswalk

Compare with Caution

Caution should be used when comparing data for Rooms between the 2007 and 2008 ACS. Changes made to the 2008 ACS Rooms question involving the wording as well as the response option resulted in a noticeable increase in the "1 room" category and a decrease in the "2 rooms" to "6 rooms" categories. For more detailed information about these changes, see the Rooms section of the "Subject Definitions" [PDF 463KB].

Selected Monthly Owner Costs Compare with Caution

For Census 2000, tables with full distributions were released for total owner-occupied units but medians were not shown. When available, compare like universes.

table crosswalk

Compare
Telephone Service Compare with Caution

Changes made to the 2008 ACS Telephone Service Availability question involving the structure of the question as well as including an instruction to include cell phones resulted in a noticeable increase in respondents answering "yes" to the question. For more detailed information about these changes, see the Telephone Service Available section of the "Subject Definitions" [PDF 463KB].

No comparable detailed tables published

Compare with Caution

Caution should be used when comparing data for Telephone Service Availability between the 2007 ACS and the 2008 ACS. Changes made to the 2008 ACS Telephone Service Availability question involving the structure of the question as well as including an instruction to include cell phones resulted in a noticeable increase in respondents answering "yes" to the question. For more detailed information about these changes, see the Telephone Service Available section of the "Subject Definitions" [PDF 463KB].

Tenure Compare

table crosswalk

Compare
Units in Structure Compare

table crosswalk

Compare
Vacancy Status Compare with Caution

The tabulation category "Rented or sold, not occupied" in Census 2000 is separated into two categories "Rented, not occupied" and "Sold, not occupied" in the ACS.

table crosswalk

Compare
Value of Property Compare with Caution

The ACS allows a write-in for values while Census 2000 collected data in categories. For Census 2000, tables with full distributions, medians, and aggregate values were released for specified owner-occupied units as well as total owner-occupied units. When available, compare like universes.

table crosswalk

Compare

Changes made to the value question between the 2007 and 2008 ACS may result in an inconsistency in the value distribution for some areas. In 2008, the response option for the value question was a write-in. In 2007 and previous years, the value question included categorical response options with a write-in for values over $250,000. The presentation of the data is consistent between 2007 and 2008. For more information about this questionnaire change,
see the "Evaluation Report Covering Property Value" [PDF 4.9MB].

Vehicles Available Compare

table crosswalk

Compare
Year Moved In Compare

No comparable detailed tables published

Compare
Year Structure Built Compare

table crosswalk

Compare

Group Quarters (26)

Topic 2008 ACS 1-Year with Census 2000 2008 ACS 1-Year with 2007 ACS 1-Year
Group Quarters Compare with Caution

The total group quarters (GQ) population in the ACS may not be comparable with Census 2000 because: 1) There are some Census 2000 GQ types that were out of scope in the ACS such as domestic violence shelters, soup kitchens, regularly scheduled mobile food vans, targeted non-sheltered outdoor locations, crews of maritime vessels and living quarters for victims of natural disasters. Also, there are some Census 2000 GQ type categories that are no longer valid (residential care facility providing "Protective Oversight," hospitals/wards for the chronically ill and hospitals/wards for drug/alcohol abuse). The exclusion of these GQ types from the ACS may result in a small bias in some ACS estimates to the extent that the excluded population is different from the included population. 2) A sample of GQ facilities throughout the United States and Puerto Rico was selected for the ACS. ACS controls the GQ sample at the state level only. Therefore, for lower levels of geography, particularly when there are relatively few GQs in a geographic area, the ACS estimate of the GQ population may vary from the estimate from Census 2000.

No comparable detailed tables published

Compare with Caution at National and State level. Do Not Compare below State level

The weighting for the group quarters (GQ) population is controlled at the state level, but not at sub-state levels. For this reason, users may observe greater fluctuations in year-to-year ACS estimates of the GQ population at sub-state levels than at state levels. The causes of these fluctuations typically are the result of either GQs that have closed or where the current population of the GQ is significantly different than the expected population as reflected on the sampling frame. Substantial changes in the ACS GQ estimates can impact ACS estimates of total population characteristics for areas where either the GQ population is a substantial proportion of the total population or where the GQ population may have very different characteristics than the total population as a whole. Users can assess the impact that year-to-year changes in sub-state GQ total population estimates have on the changes in total ACS population estimates by accessing Table B26001 on American Fact Finder. Users should also use their local knowledge to help determine whether the year-to-year change in the ACS estimate represents a real change in the GQ population or may be the result of the lack of adequate population controls for sub-state areas.

Health Insurance (27)

Topic 2008 ACS 1-Year with Census 2000 2008 ACS 1-Year with 2007 ACS 1-Year
Health Insurance Do Not Compare

The question was not asked in Census 2000. For more information about health insurance questions in the ACS and other Census Bureau surveys,
see Health Insurance website.

No comparable detailed tables published

Do Not Compare

The question was not asked in 2007 ACS. For more information about health insurance questions in the ACS and other Census Bureau surveys,
see the Health Insurance website.

1* Each subject area is listed with its 2-digit code. This code corresponds to the second and third characters of the ACS table number. For example, Table B08303 - Travel Time to Work - has the digits of "08" in the second and third position. This corresponds to the subject Journey to Work; Workers; and Commuting.

Generally, you can compare American Community Survey (ACS) 3-year estimates with Census 2000 data. However, since ACS variables change over time, some areas and subjects must be compared with caution, or not compared at all.

1. When comparing estimates for different areas, use the same period length for each estimate. This means you should not compare a 1-year estimate to a 3-year estimate.

2. The Census Bureau discourages direct comparisons between estimates for overlapping periods. Instead, compare non-overlapping estimates. This means we discourage you from comparing the 2005-2007 ACS estimates to 2006-2008 ACS estimates. It is better for you to compare a 2005-2007 ACS estimate to a 2008-2010 ACS estimate.

Subject Area1* 2006-2008 ACS 3-Year with Census 2000

Age and Sex (01)

Topic1* 2006-2008 ACS 3-Year with Census 2000
Age Compare with Caution

The entire population continually ages into older age groups over time and babies fill in the youngest age group. So, the population of a certain age is made up of a completely different group of people from one time period to the next. Since populations occasionally experience booms/increases and busts/decreases in births, deaths, or migration (for example, the postwar Baby Boom from 1946-1964), one should not necessarily expect that the population in an age group in Census 2000 should be similar in size or proportion to the population in the same age group in different data year(s). For example, Baby Boomers were age 36 to 54 in Census 2000 while they were age 44 to 62 in the 2008 ACS 1-year and between ages 42 to 62 in the multiyear 2006-2008 period. So, the age group 55 to 59 would show a considerable increase in population when comparing Census 2000 data with the single year or multiyear ACS data.

Sex Compare

Race (02)

Topic1* 2006-2008 ACS 3-Year with Census 2000
Race Compare with Caution

The ACS question on race was revised in 2008 to make it consistent with the Census 2010 race question. Any change, compared with Census 2000, may be due to demographic changes, questionnaire changes, differences in ACS population controls, and/or methodological differences in the population estimates.

Hispanic Origin (03)

Topic1* 2006-2008 ACS 3-Year with Census 2000
Hispanic or Latino Origin Compare with Caution

The ACS question on Hispanic origin was revised in 2008 to make it consistent with the Census 2010 race question. Any change, compared with Census 2000, may be due to demographic changes, questionnaire changes, differences in ACS population controls, and/or methodological differences in the population estimates.

Ancestry (04)

Topic1* 2006-2008 ACS 3-Year with Census 2000
Ancestry Compare

Ancestry is the only item for which a "not reported" category is published since missing ancestries are never assigned or allocated. The extent of missing ancestry answers was higher in Census 2000 than in the ACS. The difference in the level of response may contribute to the difference in the two distributions.

Foreign Born; Citizenship; Year of Entry; Nativity (05)

Topic1* 2006-2008 ACS 3-Year with Census 2000
Citizenship Status Compare
Nativity Compare
Year of Entry Compare

Census 2000 represents data collected as of April 1, 2000 and thus the "2000" year of entry category accounts for the first quarter (Jan-Mar) in 2000 only. The ACS represents data collected throughout the entire year and thus the "2000" year of entry category accounts for the entire year of 2000.

Place of Birth (06)

Topic1* 2006-2008 ACS 3-Year with Census 2000
Place of Birth Compare

Residence 1 year ago; Migration (07)

Topic1* 2006-2008 ACS 3-Year with Census 2000
Residence 1 Year Ago (Migration) Do Not Compare

The ACS asked for residence 1 year ago whereas Census 2000 asked for residence 5 years ago.

Journey to Work; Workers; Commuting (08)

Topic1* 2006-2008 ACS 3-Year with Census 2000
Means of Transportation to Work Compare

The ACS excludes taxicabs in the tabulation category of "public transportation" and includes them in the category "taxicab, motorcycle, bicycle or other means." However, Census 2000 includes taxicabs in the "public transportation" tabulation category.

Place of Work Compare
Private Vehicle Occupancy Compare
Time Leaving Home Compare
Travel Time to Work Compare

Children; Household Relationship (09)

Topic1* 2006-2008 ACS 3-Year with Census 2000
Relationship to Householder Compare

The ACS used a joint relationship/marital status edit and Census 2000 did not. Also, Census 2000 provided more response categories than the ACS.

Grandparent; Grandchildren (10)

Topic1* 2006-2008 ACS 3-Year with Census 2000
Grandparents as Caregivers Compare

Household Type; Family Type; Subfamilies (11)

Topic1* 2006-2008 ACS 3-Year with Census 2000
Household/Family Type Compare
Subfamilies Compare with Caution

Census 2000 had more detailed relationship categories used to derive estimates of subfamilies than the ACS.

Marital Status (12)

Topic1* 2006-2008 ACS 3-Year with Census 2000
Marital Status Compare

The ACS used a joint relationship/marital status edit and Census 2000 did not.

Fertility (13)

Topic1* 2006-2008 ACS 3-Year with Census 2000
Fertility Do Not Compare

The question was not asked in Census 2000.

School Enrollment (14)

Topic1* 2006-2008 ACS 3-Year with Census 2000
Type of School & School Enrollment Compare

The ACS reference period was 3 months preceding the date of interview, while the Census 2000 reference period was any time since February 1, 2000.

Educational Attainment (15)

Topic1* 2006-2008 ACS 3-Year with Census 2000
Educational Attainment Compare

Language Spoken at Home and Ability to Speak English (16)

Topic1* 2006-2008 ACS 3-Year with Census 2000
Ability to Speak English Compare
Language Spoken at Home Compare

Poverty (17)

Topic1* 2006-2008 ACS 3-Year with Census 2000
Poverty Status Compare with Caution

The ACS collects data throughout the year on an on-going, monthly basis and asks for a respondent's income over the "past 12 months." Census 2000, however, collected the income data for a fixed period of time -- "during 1999" (the last calendar year). For example, the 2008 ACS 1-year data reflect incomes over 2007-2008 and the 2006-2008 ACS 3-year data reflect incomes over 2005-2008. In a comparison study between Census 2000 income data and the 2000 ACS, income collected in Census 2000 was found to be about 4 percent higher than that in the 2000 ACS. For more information on the differences of income in the ACS and Census 2000, see the "Income in the American Community Survey: Comparisions to Census 2000" [PDF 366KB]. For specific questions and answers about sources of poverty data, see the "Questions and Answers About Sources of Poverty Data" [PDF 130KB].

Income (Households and Families) (19)

Topic1* 2006-2008 ACS 3-Year with Census 2000
Income, Sources of Income Compare with Caution

The ACS collects data throughout the year on an on-going, monthly basis and asks for a respondent's income over the "past 12 months." Census 2000, however, collected the income data for a fixed period of time -- "during 1999" (the last calendar year). For example, the 2008 ACS 1-year data reflect incomes over 2007-2008 and the 2006-2008 ACS 3-year data reflect incomes over 2005-2008. In a comparison study between Census 2000 income data and the 2000 ACS, income collected in Census 2000 was found to be about 4 percent higher than that in the 2000 ACS. For more information on the differences of income in the ACS and Census 2000, see the "Income in the American Community Survey: Comparisions to Census 2000" [PDF 366KB].

Direct comparisons of income and earnings between Census 2000 and the 2008 ACS are not possible due to inflation. The Census Bureau recommends using CPI -  U-RS adjustment factors published annually by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to adjust 1999 median and mean income dollar amounts shown in Summary File 3 to 2008 dollars by multiplying the 1999 dollar amounts by the CPI-U-RS factor of 1.29219452. For CPI-U-RS inflation adjustment factors for other years. see: http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/income05/cpiurs.html. Users interested in making distribution comparisons need to inflation adjust individual income records using the Public Use Microdata Samples (PUMS) files from Census 2000.

Earnings and Income (Individuals) (20)

Topic1* 2006-2008 ACS 3-Year with Census 2000
Per Capita Income, Earnings (people), and Income (people) Compare with Caution

The ACS collects data throughout the year on an on-going, monthly basis and asks for a respondent's income over the "past 12 months." Census 2000, however, collected the income data for a fixed period of time -- "during 1999" (the last calendar year). For example, the 2008 ACS 1-year data reflect incomes over 2007-2008 and the 2006-2008 ACS 3-year data reflect incomes over 2005-2008. In a comparison study between Census 2000 income data and the 2000 ACS, income collected in Census 2000 was found to be about 4 percent higher than that in the 2000 ACS. For more information on the differences of income in the ACS and Census 2000, see the "Income in the American Community Survey: Comparisions to Census 2000" [PDF 366KB].

Direct comparisons of income and earnings between Census 2000 and the 2008 ACS are not possible due to inflation. The Census Bureau recommends using CPI-U-RS adjustment factors published annually by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to adjust 1999 median, mean, and per capita income dollar amounts shown in Summary File 3 to 2008 dollars by multiplying the 1999 dollar amounts by the CPI-U-RS factor of 1. 29219452. For CPI-U-RS inflation adjustment factors for other years. see: http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/income05/cpiurs.html. Users interested in making distribution comparisons need to inflation adjust individual income records using the Public Use Microdata Samples (PUMS) files from Census 2000.>

Veteran Status (21)

Topic1* 2006-2008 ACS 3-Year with Census 2000
Period of Military Service Compare

Since Census 2000, the period of military service categories on the ACS questionnaire were updated to: 1) include the most recent period "September 2001 or later;" 2) list all "peace time" periods without showing a date-breakup in the list; and 3) update the Korean War and World War II dates to match the official dates as listed in US Code, Title 38. While the response categories differ slightly from those in Census 2000, data from the two questions can still be compared to one another.

Veteran Status Compare

The ACS has two separate questions, whereas in Census 2000, it was a two part question. However, the actual questions remain the same.

Food Stamps (22)

Topic1* 2006-2008 ACS 3-Year with Census 2000
Food Stamp Receipt Do Not Compare

The question was not asked in Census 2000 thus comparisons cannot be made.

Employment Status; Work Experience; Labor Force (23)

Topic1* 2006-2008 ACS 3-Year with Census 2000
Employment Status Compare with Caution

The reference periods are different due to year-round ACS data collection. The ACS reference period is the week prior to the respondent completing the interview, or the field representative conducting the interview. Because questionnaires are mailed-out and field interviews are conducted throughout the year, there is a revolving reference period. For Census 2000, the reference period was the week prior to Census Day (April 1, 2000). The Census 2000 Summary File 3 (SF3) labor force data for some places where colleges are located appear to overstate the estimates of people in the labor force, the unemployed, and the percent unemployed because of data capture errors.

Hours Worked Compare

The ACS reference period is 12 months preceding the date of interview, while the Census 2000 reference period was the 1999 calendar year.

Weeks Worked Compare

The ACS reference period is 12 months preceding the date of interview, while the Census 2000 reference period was the 1999 calendar year.

Industry & Occupation; Class of Worker (24)

Topic1* 2006-2008 ACS 3-Year with Census 2000
Class of Worker Compare with Caution

The ACS median earnings Class of Worker tables combine "Unpaid family workers" with "Self-employed in own not incorporated business workers." The Census 2000 tables use different tabulation categories than the ACS. Also, the Census 2000 tables did not include the "full-time, year-round" population and there were no median earnings Class of Worker tables. Thus, comparisons cannot be made for this population or characteristic.

Industry and Occupation Compare with Caution

The 2008 ACS industry codes are 4-digit codes based on the 2007 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Census 2000 codes are 3-digit codes based on the NAICS 1997. Codes and descriptions, particularly within the Electronic Shopping, Wholesale, and Information categories changed. Also, the tabulations from Census 2000 did not include the "full-time, year-round" population or median earnings by Industry or Occupation. Thus, comparisons cannot be made for this population or characteristic.

Housing (25)

Topic1* 2006-2008 ACS 3-Year with Census 2000
Bedrooms Compare with Caution

Changes made to the 2008 ACS Bedrooms question involving the wording as well as the response option resulted in a noticeable increase in the "No bedroom" category and a decrease in the "1 bedroom" to "3 bedrooms" categories. For more detailed information about these changes, see the Bedrooms section of the "Subject Definitions" [PDF 463KB].

Contract and Gross Rent Do Not Compare

For Census 2000, tables were not released for total renter-occupied units. The universe in the ACS is "renter occupied" whereas in Census 2000 the universe was "specified renter-occupied housing units," thus comparisons cannot be made.

Cost of Utilities Compare
Gross Rent as a Percentage of Household Income Do Not Compare

For Census 2000, tables were not released for total renter-occupied units. The universe in the ACS is "renter occupied" whereas in Census 2000 the universe was "specified renter-occupied housing units," thus comparisons cannot be made.

House Heating Fuel Compare
Kitchen Facilities Do not Compare (estimates for Puerto Rico)

2006-2008 ACS 3-year data on kitchen facilities will not be shown for Puerto Rico. The results of a cognitive evaluation of the Spanish language translation of the questions on kitchen facilities indicated that respondents of the 2008 Puerto Rico Community Survey may not have clearly understood the intent of the revised questions.

Compare with Caution (estimates for the U.S.)

Changes made to the 2008 ACS question wording and translation to the Spanish questionnaire resulted in an inconsistency in the data. For more detailed information about these changes, see the Kitchen facilities section of the "Subject Definitions" [PDF 463KB].

Monthly Rent Compare
Mortgage Status Compare

Data for 'with a mortgage' and 'without a mortgage' were released in Census 2000 for both total owner-occupied units and specified owner-occupied units. In the 2006-2008 ACS, data are only released for owner-occupied units.

Occupants per Room Compare with Caution

Changes made to the 2008 ACS Rooms question involving the question wording as well as the response option resulted in a noticeable increase in the "1 room" category and a decrease in the "2 rooms" to "6 rooms" categories. For more detailed information about these changes, see the Rooms section of the "Subject Definitions" [PDF 463KB].

Owner Costs as a Percentage of Household Income Compare with Caution

For Census 2000, tables with full distributions were released for total owner-occupied units but medians were not shown. When available, compare like universes.

Plumbing Facilities Do not Compare (estimates for Puerto Rico)

2006-2008 ACS 3-year data on plumbing facilities will not be shown for Puerto Rico. The results of a cognitive evaluation of the Spanish language translation of the questions on plumbing facilities indicated that respondents of the 2008 Puerto Rico Community Survey may not have clearly understood the intent of the revised questions.

Compare with Caution (estimates for the U.S.)

Changes made to the 2008 ACS question wording and translation to the Spanish questionnaire resulted in an inconsistency in the data. For more detailed information about these changes, see the Plumbing facilities section of the "Subject Definitions" [PDF 463KB].

Real Estate Taxes Do Not Compare

The universe in the ACS is "owner occupied" whereas in Census 2000, the universe was "specified owner-occupied housing units," thus comparisons cannot be made.

Rooms Compare with Caution

Changes made to the 2008 ACS Rooms question involving the wording as well as the response option resulted in a noticeable increase in the "1 room" category and a decrease in the "2 rooms" to "6 rooms" categories. For more detailed information about these changes, see the Rooms section of the "Subject Definitions" [PDF 463KB].

Selected Monthly Owner Costs Compare with Caution

For Census 2000, tables with full distributions were released for total owner-occupied units but medians were not shown. When available, compare like universes.

Telephone Service Compare with Caution

Changes made to the 2008 ACS Telephone Service Availability question involving the structure of the question as well as including an instruction to include cell phones resulted in a noticeable increase in respondents answering "yes" to the question. For more detailed information about these changes, see the Telephone Service Available section of the "Subject Definitions" [PDF 463KB].

Tenure Compare
Units in Structure Compare
Vacancy Status Compare with Caution

The tabulation category "Rented or sold, not occupied" in Census 2000 is separated into two categories "Rented, not occupied" and "Sold, not occupied" in the ACS.

Value of Property Compare with Caution

The ACS allows a write-in for values while Census 2000 collected data in categories. For Census 2000, tables with full distributions, medians, and aggregate values were released for specified owner-occupied units as well as total owner-occupied units. When available, compare like universes.

Vehicles Available Compare
Year Moved In Compare
Year Structure Built Compare

Group Quarters (26)

Topic1* 2006-2008 ACS 3-Year with Census 2000
Group Quarters Population Compare with Caution

The total group quarters (GQ) population in the ACS may not be comparable with Census 2000 because: 1) there are some Census 2000 GQ types that were out of scope in the ACS such as domestic violence shelters, soup kitchens, regularly scheduled mobile food vans, targeted non-sheltered outdoor locations, crews of maritime vessels, and living quarters for victims of natural disasters, 2) there are some Census 2000 GQ type categories that are no longer valid (residential care facility providing "Protective Oversight," hospitals/wards for the chronically ill, and hospitals/wards for drug/alcohol abuse) and the exclusion of these GQ types from the ACS may result in a small bias in some ACS estimates to the extent that the excluded population is different from the included population, and 3) the ACS controls the GQ sample at the state level only, therefore, for substate geographies the ACS estimate of the GQ population may vary from the estimate from Census 2000, particularly when there are relatively few GQs in a geographic area.

1* Each subject area is listed with its 2-digit code. This code corresponds to the second and third characters of the ACS table number. For example, Table B08303 - Travel Time to Work - has the digits of "08" in the second and third position. This corresponds to the subject Journey to Work; Workers; and Commuting.



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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | American Community Survey Office | Email ACS | Last Revised: September 18, 2014
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