Suppose a state office on aging wants to gauge the potential need for a “healthy aging” initiative in rural communities. Or an entrepreneur in a small Midwestern town is interested in opening an auto parts business but needs to know more about local commuting patterns and how they have changed over time. Or a local government official wants information about the number of vacant housing units in a sparsely populated county.
Where would they go to find the necessary information?
The U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) is designed to answer these types of questions and meet the needs of policymakers, business leaders, planners, and others who need good data to make informed decisions. The ACS provides a detailed portrait of the social, economic, housing, and demographic characteristics of America’s communities—including the characteristics of people and households in rural areas.
Others in Series
What Congress Needs to Know
This handbook helps congressional staff use ACS data to respond to constituent inquiries, draft floor/press statements, conduct legislative research, and more.
What Users of Data for Amer. Indians and Alaska Natives Need to Know
This handbook helps users of data for AIAN learn how to access and use ACS data and provide concrete examples of how ACS data can answer real-world questions.
What ACS Summary File Data Users Need to Know
This guide provides an overview of the ACS Summary File and how it can be used to access data on America’s communities.