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PUMS Documentation

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PUMS Documentation

View the available subjects, detailed codes for variables, changes related to each release, an explanation of sample design, methodology, and accuracy, and files to determine if you are using weights correctly for the American Community Survey Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) files. These documents are organized by data year.

Supporting data for the documentation below is available on the Accessing PUMS Data page.

  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2007
  • 2006
  • 2005

PUMS Documentation


Important information about 2019 geography and variable changes, as well as guidance for novice ACS PUMS files users.

Subjects in the PUMS

A list of topics included in each of the housing and population record files

Code Lists

Detailed codes for variables that contain a large number of coded responses, such as ancestry and occupation

PUMS Top Coded and Bottom Coded Values

List of variables with responses exceeding a state-specific value that are replaced with a predetermined value.

Accuracy of the PUMS

A basic explanation of the sample design, estimation methodology, and accuracy of the data.

PUMS Estimates for User Verification

Note that some of these estimates may be different from the estimates for the same characteristics published in For an explanation of these differences, see the Accuracy of the PUMS above.

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