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2016-2020 American Community Survey 5-year estimates are now available, including the Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) Files and Variance Replicate Estimate (VRE) Tables.

Understanding and Using the American Community Survey Public Use Microdata Sample Files: What Data Users Need to Know

The U.S. Census Bureau produces a large number of data profiles, tables, maps, and other products based on American Community Survey (ACS) data. Even this abundance of pretabulated estimates and data products cannot meet the needs of every data user. The Census Bureau’s ACS Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) files enable data users to create custom estimates and tables, free of charge, that are not available through pretabulated ACS data products.

This guide provides an overview of the ACS PUMS files and how they can be used to access data about America’s communities.


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