SEPT. 17, 2020 — The U.S. Census Bureau today released a detailed look at America’s people, places and economy with statistics on income, poverty, health insurance, employment, families and more than 40 other topics from the American Community Survey (ACS). It is important to note that data for the 2019 ACS was collected prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and therefore does not reflect the economic changes that began in February 2020.
Many large metropolitan areas saw an increase in income and a decrease in poverty rates between 2018 and 2019. Young adults 26 years old had the highest uninsured rate among all single years of age. Today’s release provides statistics for U.S. communities with populations of 65,000 or more.
“American Community Survey estimates serve as ‘America's mirror’ by providing a detailed look at how communities are changing and what must be done to meet the unique needs of their residents,” explained Donna Daily, chief, American Community Survey Office. “People across the nation use ACS estimates to make critical planning decisions every year, including how to respond to emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, this data can serve as a pre-crisis benchmark for future research.”
Below are some of the local-level income, poverty and health insurance statistics from the ACS that complement the national-level Current Population Survey (CPS) statistics released on Tuesday, Sept. 15. The ACS is the leading source for community and local-level data.
"Real" median household income is adjusted for inflation. The 2018 estimates provided here are inflation-adjusted to 2019 dollars using the Consumer Price Index Research Series from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and are in "real" terms. This allows income to be compared accurately over time.
The Gini index is a standard economic measure of income inequality. It measures the amount that any two incomes differ, on average, relative to average income. It is a natural indicator of how far apart or “spread out” incomes are from one another. A value of 0 represents perfect equality, and a value of 1 indicates total inequality.
All health insurance estimates are for the civilian noninstitutional population.
The revised relationship to householder question was implemented for the first time in 2019. To improve measurement of coupled households, especially for same-sex married couples, the Census Bureau has been working to implement the revised question in all of its major demographic surveys. The revised question includes specific answer categories for “opposite-sex husband/wife/spouse; same-sex husband/wife/spouse; opposite-sex unmarried partner; and same-sex unmarried partner.” The change to the relationship question on the ACS was based on research from the CPS. For more information on the testing, see the working paper, Updates to Collection and Editing of Household Relationship Measures, which addresses data collection and processing in the CPS.
Labor force characteristics of individuals in same-sex and opposite-sex marriages, using the revised relationship to householder question, reveal differences between groups.
For more information on the topics included in the ACS, ranging from educational attainment to computer use to commuting, visit <www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/guidance/subjects.html>. To access the full set of statistics released today, visit data.census.gov.
The Census Bureau’s ACS Digital Data Wheel allows users to explore and compare social, economic, housing and demographic characteristics from all states, U.S. congressional districts and metropolitan statistical areas.
Two interactive visualizations allow you to explore ten key statistics for your state or metropolitan statistical area:
The visualization Coupled Households in the United States: 2019 shows the geographic distribution of married- and unmarried-couple households in the United States. This visualization also highlights 2019 content changes involving same-sex and opposite-sex households.
In the upcoming months, the Census Bureau will release additional ACS data, including 2019 ACS supplemental estimates and ACS 5-year statistics (2015-2019).
These statistics would not be possible without the participation of households throughout the country that participated in the ACS.
Note: 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% confidence level, unless otherwise noted. Consult the tables for specific margins of error. For more information, visit <www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/technical-documentation/code-lists.html>.
Changes in survey design from year-to-year can affect results. For more information on changes affecting the 2019 statistics, see <https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/technical-documentation/table-and-geography-changes/2019/1-year.html>.
For guidance on comparing 2019 ACS statistics with previous years and the 2010 Census, see <www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/guidance/comparing-acs-data.html>.