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Live and recorded classes led by Census Bureau instructors on a variety of topics.

Discovering the American Community Survey

A comprehensive guide to survey information, data access, analysis, and statistics for America's largest survey.

Skill Level: Beginner – Advanced

Duration:

  • Module 1: Introduction to the American Community Survey (ACS) (11:46)
  • Module 2: Geography and the American Community Survey (ACS) (25:39)
  • Module 3: Mastering the Variety of ACS Data Products; Navigating Releases, Tables, and Profiles (15:34)

Additional modules coming soon...

Description

This comprehensive course covers the American Community Survey (ACS), the Census Bureau's largest survey, which provides data for over 40+ topics from the nation down to the block group geography levels. In this course you will learn:   

  • ACS foundational information such as topics, tools, geographies and population thresholds for data coverage, how to find information on the survey questions, data release schedules and more.  
  • ACS geographies and geographic comparison tools and resources. 
  • How and where to access ACS data through tables, data tools and more. 
  • How to solve data usage issues such as how to know what data set to use and how to compare data over time. 
  • Statistical concepts. 
  • Advanced data usage knowledge such as how to download Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) to conduct your own statistical analysis.  

Who Should Take This Course?

This course is designed for researchers, students, grant-writers, local planners, business owners and those who need to understand and access the fundamentals of the American Community Survey in order to use our data.

Instructor

Vicki Mack PhD
Statistician
U.S. Census Bureau

Beginning of Course

Module 1: Introduction to the American Community Survey (ACS)

This module will provide an overview of the American Community Survey (ACS), including its origin, purpose, data collection procedures, and topics covered. We will also demonstrate navigating to resources on the ACS website which will help you find out about data releases, questions asked and more. 

Introduction to the American Community Survey (ACS)  (11:46)

Resources Links

Learn More About the Topics in the Video

Module 2: Geography and the American Community Survey (ACS)

Geography plays an important role in Census Bureau activities, including supporting the American Community Survey (ACS). This module will provide an overview of how to determine the available geographies for ACS data products each year and highlight some of the major geographic areas for which you can find ACS data. We will also demonstrate how to use specific tools, such as GEOCORR, Census Geocoder, Census Reporter and other resources to help you answer various geographic-related questions. 

Geography and the American Community Survey (ACS) (25:39)

Resources Links

Module 3: Mastering the Variety of ACS Data Products; Navigating Releases, Tables, and Profiles

The ACS offers several types of products. Learn about these products to discover which is best for your needs. In this module you will learn about:

  • The differences between the main ACS data products such as Data Profiles, types of data tables, and special table packages.
  • How to access important information about ACS product releases and the details within them.
  • How data is laid out in tables using Table Shells and locate available tables from the Table Lists.
  • How to access Data Profiles from the Data Profiles tool on the ACS website.

American Community Survey (ACS) Data Products (15:34)

Resources Links

Learn More About the Topics in the Video

Congratulations! You Finished the Course!

Completed the Video Series?

Share your accomplishment on your social media by downloading this certificate or badge!

Text to Copy When You Share:

I just finished the Discovering the American Community Survey Course with Census Academy! Be sure to check out their free resources! 

#CensusBureau #CensusAcademy #AmericanCommunitySurvey #ACSdata #Housing #Population #DataRelease #Estimates #DataTools #Children #Commuting #Education #SurveyData #HowTo #Researchers

Page Last Revised - December 27, 2023
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