The American Community Survey (ACS) is the new source for the information previously collected through the decennial census long form. This information includes topics such as income, employment status, housing costs, and housing conditions. Unlike the decennial census, ACS data are collected on a continuous basis. This presents a number of challenges and benefits for data users.
This handbook is primarily intended for users of the ACS who are looking for more information than is available in the profiles and tables produced by the Census Bureau. In this handbook, you will learn how the Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) files differ from the pretabulated products, how to access the data, and some ways to produce your own tables. Data users already familiar with the PUMS files available from the decennial censuses can learn how those files differ from the ACS PUMS.
Others in Series
What Users of Data for Rural Areas Need to Know
This handbook helps rural data users use ACS data through a case study about a small community updating its profile as part of a planning exercise.
What High School Teachers Need to Know
This handbook helps teachers learn more about how to help students grasp statistical ideas with ACS data and how to incorporate data into lesson plans.
What Puerto Rico Community Survey Data Users Need to Know
This handbook helps PRCS data users learn how to access and use PRCS data on the Census Bureau's website with specific examples using local data.