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Code Lists, Definitions, and Accuracy

View the detailed codes and definitions for variables, statistical testing, and an explanation of sample design, methodology, and accuracy for the American Community Survey.

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Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Census Bureau changed the 2020 American Community Survey (ACS) release. Instead of providing the standard 1-year data products, the Census Bureau released experimental estimates from the 1-year data. Review the link below to be directed to the ACS Experimental Estimates page for additional details.

Code Lists

Detailed codes for variables that contain a large number of coded responses, such as ancestry and occupation. New for 2020: Hispanic Origin and Race Code List in Excel format

Subject Definitions

Definitions of population and housing variables to help you understand the results of the American Community Survey

Group Quarters Definitions

Definitions for classifying group living situations according to the type of housing and/or services provided

Comparison Guidance

Learn more about comparing the ACS with the Census and 5-year to 5-year estimates

Table Shells and Table List

Learn more about the layout of the tables and information about tables

Instructions for Applying Statistical Testing

Basic instructions for obtaining the ACS standard errors needed to do manual statistical testing

Worked Examples for Approximating Margins of Error

Worked Examples on approximating standard errors for various types of ACS estimates

Statistical Testing Tool

Spreadsheet to quickly test whether ACS estimates are statistically different from one another

Accuracy of the Data

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


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