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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.

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Updates

U.S. Census Bureau Releases 2016-2020 ACS 5-Year PUMS Files and Variance Replicate Estimate Tables

March 31, 2022

2016-2020 ACS 5-Year Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS)

We are pleased to announce the release of the 2016-2020 American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) files.

The ACS 5-year PUMS files show the full range of population and housing unit responses collected on individual ACS questionnaires for a subsample of ACS housing units and group quarters persons (approximately five percent of the United States population).

PUMS files allow data users to conduct a custom analysis, though the files also tend to be more complicated to use. Working with PUMS data generally involves downloading large datasets onto a local computer and analyzing them using statistical software such as R, SPSS, Stata, or SAS.

PUMS data can be accessed via data.census.gov and the Census Bureau's FTP site

Visit our Microdata section on the ACS website to find all resources related to PUMS files.  This section contains access to PUMS data, the PUMS Handbook, How-to instructions, FAQs, and PUMS documentation.

The PUMS Documentation page is updated with the 2020 release to include the PUMS ReadMe, Accuracy of the PUMS, PUMS Estimates for User Verification, Subjects in the PUMS, and Data Dictionary. Code Lists have also been posted to help users with the release of the 2016-2020 ACS 5-year PUMS files.

2016-2020 ACS 5-Year Variance Replicate Estimate Tables

We are pleased to announce the release of the 2016-2020 ACS 5-year Variance Replicate Estimate Tables.

These tables allow advanced users to calculate margins of error (MOEs) when collapsing data within a table or across geographies. This method provides a more accurate MOE than available approximation formulas.  

To access these estimates, visit the Variance Replicate Estimate Tables page or through the Census Bureau's FTP site. This page also includes technical documentation, a table and geography list, and table shells.

 

New Statistics Available From the 2016–2020 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

March 17, 2022

Today the U.S. Census Bureau released new statistics from the 2016–2020 American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year estimates. Following pandemic-related data collection disruptions, the Census Bureau revised its methodology to reduce nonresponse bias in data collected in 2020. After evaluating the effectiveness of this methodology, the Census Bureau determined the standard, full suite of 2016–2020 ACS 5-year data are fit for public release, government and business uses. These statistics boost the understanding of the social and economic characteristics of the U.S. population.

“While the COVID-19 pandemic posed significant challenges for the 2020 ACS data collection, we have worked tirelessly over the last few months to refine our methodology and reduce the impact of nonresponse bias in the 2016–2020 ACS 5-year data products,” said Donna Daily, division chief of the ACS Office.

 

New Blog: Period Estimates in the American Community Survey

March 10, 2022

The American Community Survey (ACS) helps local officials, community leaders, and businesses understand the social, housing, economic and demographic changes taking place in their communities. Every decision-maker needs information to help them make informed decisions about their communities and businesses. The ACS is the premier source for detailed information about our nation and the data are used to support these data driven decisions.

On March 17, we will release the latest round of ACS estimates — the 2016-2020 5-year estimates, which were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We know many people will be curious what the ACS estimates can tell us about impacts from the pandemic.

However, it’s first important to recognize that ACS estimates are period estimates and to understand what that means for interpreting them. The ACS has an annual sample size of about 3.5 million addresses with survey information collected nearly every day of the year. Data are combined across time periods to produce estimates. Our new blog explains period estimates and how to interpret them.

 

Census Bureau Update on 2016–2020 American Community Survey (ACS) 5-Year Estimates

Feb. 7, 2022

On March 17, the U.S. Census Bureau will release the standard, full suite of 2016–2020 American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year data products—down to the block group level. Following pandemic-related data collection disruptions, the Census Bureau revised its methodology to reduce nonresponse bias in data collected in 2020. After evaluating the effectiveness of this methodology, the Census Bureau determined the resulting data are fit for public release, government and business uses, and understanding the social and economic characteristics of the U.S. population and economy. We will provide additional information and guidance on release day on the ACS New and Notable webpage and in the press kit.

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