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The U.S. Census Bureau today released the latest American Community Survey (ACS) data, providing a statistical portrait of the characteristics of the nation's population in 2008.
According to the new snapshot, one-in-four people in Texas (24.1 percent) lacked health insurance in 2008, the highest rate in the nation. At the other end of the spectrum, fewer than one-in-20 Massachusetts residents (4.1 percent) lacked coverage.
Health insurance coverage was one of three new topics added to the ACS for 2008 [PDF]. Every question on the ACS is included either because the data are required to satisfy one or more federal laws, regulations or court decisions, or are needed to manage federal programs and allocate more than $400 billion of federal tax dollars annually to states and local communities.
The ongoing survey of approximately 3 million addresses every year provides one of the most complete pictures of our population available. It covers more than 40 topics such as income, educational attainment, housing, family structure and more. All survey responses are strictly confidential and protected by law.
Today's release compiles social, housing, demographic and select economic data collected throughout 2008 and includes areas with populations of 65,000 or more. Additional 2008 ACS economic data related to family income, poverty and receipt of food stamps will be released on Tuesday, Sept. 29. Findings in today's data include:
The 2008 ACS questionnaire [PDF] asked about income from the previous 12 months, and the survey was conducted each month beginning in January 2008. The Census Bureau is also releasing a new series of short briefs on a range of economic topics covered in the ACS (located in the "New and Notable" section of the ACS Web site).
The 2008 ACS estimates are based on an annual, nationwide sample of about 250,000 addresses per month. In addition, approximately 20,000 group quarters across the United States were sampled, comprising approximately 200,000 residents. Geographic areas for which data are available are based on total populations of 65,000 or more.
As is the case with all surveys, statistics from sample surveys are subject to sampling and nonsampling error. All comparisons made in the reports have been tested and found to be statistically significant at the 90 percent confidence level, unless otherwise noted. Please consult the data tables for specific margins of error. For more information, go to <http://www.census.gov/acs/www/UseData/>.
Changes in survey design from year to year can affect results. See; http://www.census.gov/acs/www/Products/2008/prodchanges.html for more information on changes affecting the 2008 data. See http://www.census.gov/acs/www/UseData/compACS.htm for guidance on comparing 2008 ACS data with data from previous years and the 2000 Census.
Visit “American Factfinder,” the Census Bureau’s online data tool, to obtain ACS data for nation, all states and the District of Columbia, all congressional districts, approximately 800 counties, and 500 metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas, among others.
Additional 2008 ACS economic tables will be released on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009.; On Oct. 27, 2009, the Census Bureau will release three-year data (2006-2008 ACS) for areas with a population of 20,000 or more, including the nation, all states and the District of Columbia, all congressional districts, approximately 1,800 counties, and 900 metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas, among others.