Introducing a new way to navigate by topics. Access the latest news, data, publications and more around topics of interest.
Our population statistics cover age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, migration, ancestry, language use, veterans, as well as population estimates and projections.
This section provides information on a range of educational topics, from educational attainment and school enrollment to school districts, costs and financing.
We measure the state of the nations workforce, including employment and unemployment levels, weeks and hours worked, occupations, and commuting.
Our statistics highlight trends in household and family composition, describe characteristics of the residents of housing units, and show how they are related.
Health statistics on insurance coverage, disability, fertility and other health issues are increasingly important in measuring the nation's overall well-being.
We measure the housing and construction industry, track homeownership rates, and produce statistics on the physical and financial characteristics of our homes.
The U.S. Census Bureau is the official source for U.S. export and import statistics and regulations governing the reporting of exports from the U.S.
The U.S. Census Bureau provides data for the Federal, state and local governments as well as voting, redistricting, apportionment and congressional affairs.
Search an alphabetical index of keywords and phrases to access Census Bureau statistics, publications, products, services, data, and data tools.
Geography provides the framework for Census Bureau survey design, sample selection, data collection, tabulation, and dissemination.
Geography is central to the work of the Bureau, providing the framework for survey design, sample selection, data collection, tabulation, and dissemination.
Find resources on how to use geographic data and products with statistical data, educational blog postings, and presentations.
The Geographic Support System Initiative will integrate improved address coverage, spatial feature updates, and enhanced quality assessment and measurement.
Work with interactive mapping tools from across the Census Bureau.
Find geographic data and products such as Shapefiles, KMLs, TIGERweb, boundary files, geographic relationship files, and reference and thematic maps.
Metropolitan and micropolitan areas are geographic entities used by Federal statistical agencies in collecting, tabulating, and publishing Federal statistics.
Find information about specific partnership programs and learn more about our partnerships with other organizations.
Definitions of geographic terms, why geographic areas are defined, and how the Census Bureau defines geographic areas.
We conduct research on geographic topics such as how to define geographic areas and how geography changes over time.
Visit our library of Census Bureau multimedia files. Collection formats include audio, video, mobile apps, images, and publications.
Collection of audio features and sound bites.
The Census Bureau packages data and information into easy-to-understand visuals.
Browse Census Bureau images.
Read briefs and reports from Census Bureau experts.
Watch Census Bureau vignettes, testimonials, and video files.
Read research analyses from Census Bureau experts.
Access data through products and tools including data visualizations, mobile apps, interactive web apps and other software.
Developer portal to access services and documentation for the Census Bureau's APIs.
Explore Census Bureau data on your mobile device with interactive tools.
Find a multitude of DVDs, CDs and publications in print by topic.
These external sites provide more data.
Download extraction tools to help you get the in-depth data you need.
Learn more about our data from this collection of e-tutorials, presentations, webinars and other training materials. Sign up for training sessions.
Explore Census data with interactive visualizations covering a broad range of topics.
Learn how we serve the public as the most reliable source of data about the nation's people and economy.
How we provide the best mix of timeliness, relevancy, quality, and cost for the data we collect.
Our researchers explore innovative ways to conduct surveys, increase respondent participation, reduce costs, and improve accuracy.
Our surveys provide periodic and comprehensive statistics about the nation, critical for government programs, policies, and decisionmaking.
Learn about other opportunities to collaborate with us.
Explore the rich historical background of an organization with roots almost as old as the nation.
Explore prospective positions available at the Census Bureau.
Information about the current field vacancies available at the U.S. Census Bureau Regional Offices.
Discover the latest in Census Bureau data releases, reports, and events.
The Census Bureau's Director writes on how we measure America's people, places and economy.
Find interesting and quirky statistics regarding national celebrations and major events.
Listen to audio files on fun facts, historical figures, and celebrations of the month.
Find media toolkits, advisories, and all the latest Census news.
See what's coming up in releases and reports.
|The American Community Survey -- New Road Map to America's Future (Revised 3/22/99)|
Imagine how hard it would be to plan a long trip using a map that was five, eight or even nine years out of date. So many things may have changed that the old map might almost be useless.
For government agencies, the census of population and housing that takes place every 10 years is the road map that helps them make multiple decisions, such as where to put new roads and schools. Thousands of large and small community-based organizations also use census information to gauge the need for human services and match the unemployed with jobs.
To help keep the community's understanding of local needs and resources up to date, the Census Bureau is designing the American Community Survey (ACS), which eventually will replace the decennial census "long form."
During the census, 5 out of 6 of the nation's housing units receive a copy of the short form, which asks basic information, such as the name, age, sex and race of the persons in the household. About 1 in 6 addresses receives the census long form, which asks a total of 52 questions (including the seven short-form questions) about the residents' demographic characteristics, the housing they live in, how they go to and from work, the languages they speak at home and other information that helps define the patterns of community life in our country.
The information gathered from the long form is important in painting a statistical picture of the trends that affect our nation.
Information about income, housing and poverty rates is a tool that enables federal, state and local government agencies to put tax dollars to the best use. Statistics showing where people work and how they get there help cities and towns develop better transportation plans to save travel time and conserve natural resources.
"Our county is growing rapidly and we depend on census data very heavily to get a feel for our shifting demographics," said Anne Cahill of the Fairfax County (Va.) Office of Management. "We particularly want to understand how many people speak a language other than English. It was 10.7 percent in 1980, 17 percent in 1990 and we're estimating 30 percent for 1998."
"In the future we'd like to get the foreign language data more frequently," Cahill said. "Not only does this trend affect schools, but we also want to make sure that we have enough police officers and firefighters who speak foreign languages so they can communicate with recent immigrants in an emergency."
Introducing the American Community Survey
The problem with information from the census long form is that it is only collected every 10 years and it rapidly goes out of date between censuses. Try and estimate how many people use home computers today -- a question that could be added to the ACS questionnaire -- by looking at figures from 1990. Not even the most far-seeing crystal ball gazer could have guessed.
To have reliable annual data is why the Census Bureau is introducing the ACS. For now, it will contain only those questions Congress has already approved for the census long form. Every year, the ACS will produce accurate demographic and socio-economic information for every state in the nation, as well as every city, county, town or population group of 65,000 people or more.
The ACS is being implemented in four phases. The demonstration phase began in 1996 in four representative sites. In 1997, the survey expanded to eight sites to evaluate costs, procedures and new ways to use the information. In 1998, the ACS was extended to a ninth site consisting of two counties in South Carolina that also were part of the Census Bureau's dress rehearsal for Census 2000 to investigate the effects on both the ACS and the census of having the two activities going on in the same place at the same time.
For the 1999-2002 comparison site phase, the number of sites in the sample was increased to 31. The comparison with Census 2000 will collect several kinds of information necessary to understand the differences between ACS and the 2000 long form. It will compare the ACS estimates and the Census 2000 long-form estimates.
The ACS is slated for full implementation nationwide in 2003 and beyond. If approved by Congress, the monthly survey will replace the census long form in 2010.
The ACS will benefit the 2010 census in five ways: allows more effective targeting of neighborhoods requiring assistance (for example, neighborhoods in which a high proportion of the population speaks a language other than English); simplifies the 2010 census data collection and processing by replacing the long form; improves coverage through a continuously updated address list, including regular interaction with local officials; spreads the decennial census budget bulge more evenly over the decade; and establishes a cadre of professional, experienced field representatives in hard-to-enumerate areas.
The ACS is an important new way to help community planners, government agencies and the private sector understand the changing demand for services.
For a free interactive CD-ROM with data from the demonstration sites or for more information about ACS, visit the Census Bureau's World-Wide Web site http://www.census.gov/acs/www or call 1-888-456-7215 (e-mail: email@example.com).