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Senior Writer . Great Stories You Can Do with the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. D’Vera Cohn. McCormick SRI: Going Deep with Census Demographic and Economic Data. 0:00. The 2010 Census counts people; the American Community Survey tells you their characteristics. 0:54.

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great stories you can do with the census bureau s american community survey
Senior Writer

Great Stories You Can Do with the Census Bureau’sAmerican Community Survey

D’Vera Cohn

McCormick SRI:

Going Deep with Census Demographic and Economic Data

0:00

the 2010 census counts people the american community survey tells you their characteristics
The 2010 Census counts people; the American Community Survey tells you their characteristics

0:54

www.pewresearch.org

the 2010 census form 10 questions
The 2010 Census Form: 10 Questions

1:28

www.pewresearch.org

american community survey topics
American Community Survey Topics
  • Education levels and school enrollment
  • Country of birth, citizenship, language spoken at home
  • Births, marriages and divorces; marital status (single, widowed, etc.)
  • People who moved in the past year--where from and where to
  • People with disabilities
  • Health insurance coverage
  • Military service (and service-connected disability)
  • Employment and unemployment
  • Commuting (getting to work)
  • Income, from various sources
  • Housing type
  • Housing value
  • Housing costs

2:35

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american community survey basics
American Community Survey Basics
  • Yearly survey sample of 2 million addresses (households)
  • Estimates released each fall for the previous calendar year
  • Data from 2006 onward includes the full population – people in homes and in “group quarters” institutions
  • Single year of data for areas of 65,000 population or more – latest release is for 2009
  • Three years of data rolled together for areas of 20,000 population or more-latest release for 2007-2009
  • Five years of data rolled together for areas of less than 20,000-latest release for 2005-2009

3:37

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acs questions about place of birth immigration school residence one year ago
ACS Questions about Place of Birth, Immigration, School, Residence One Year Ago

8:37

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stories about immigration school residence one year ago state of birth
Stories about Immigration, School, Residence One Year Ago, State of Birth
  • Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Many Leaving Georgia Behind
  • Used the 2005-2009 ACS to identify the census tract with the state’s largest foreign-born population, and interviewed immigrants there (June 5, 2011)
  • The Salt Lake Tribune: Recession Slows Migration to Utah
  • In 2009, 8,069 more people moved into Utah from other states than moved out, according to the ACS, but during better times, that figure was 30,000+ (May 23, 2011)
  • Memphis Commercial Appeal: City’s Center Attracts; Downtown Lures Young, Educated
  • Used ACS data to focus on one growing downtown census tract where more than 80% of adults hold college degrees (April 17, 2011)
  • Boston Globe: The Town of Tenacious Roots
  • Used ACS data to identify towns with large shares of Massachusetts-born residents (March 15, 2011)

10:23

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disability marriage and divorce birth grandparents military service
Disability, Marriage and Divorce, Birth, Grandparents, Military Service

11:40

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stories about marriage grandparents
StoriesAbout Marriage, Grandparents
  • New York Times: Black And White And Married in the Deep South
  • Mississippi has had the fastest growth in mixed marriages, though the total is still small, according to a study of ACS data
  • (March 20, 2011)
  • Charlotte Observer: Nonprofit Group Helps Those Who Are Raising Grandchildren
  • More than 6,000 grandparents were raising grandchildren in Mecklenburg, according to the 2007-2009 ACS
  • (May 15, 2011)

12:13

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stories about commuting
Stories About Commuting
  • Atlanta Journal Constitution: Commuters Can Have A Better Time Here
  • Used ACS commuting-time statistics to muse about long commutes
  • (June 2, 2011)
  • Cincinnati Enquirer: Cheap Car Pool Parking Lures Only One Car
  • Only 10% of local commuters get to work via carpool, according to the ACS (May 10, 2011)
  • Philadelphia Daily News: Bike Commuter Numbers A Bit Inflated
  • Used ACS commuter data to question claim of record demand for bike lanes (May 2, 2011)

13:28

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type of job income from various sources wages interest pension welfare etc
Type of Job, Income from Various Sources (wages, interest, pension, welfare, etc.)

14:34

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stories about type of job
Stories About Type of Job
  • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Public Workers Are Election Wild Card
  • About 18% of Wisconsin adults live in a public-employee household, according to a study based on ACS data. (March 28, 2011)
  • The News-Messenger (Fremont, OH): Manufacturing Still Rules Sandusky County Economy
  • ACS statistics on employment in the manufacturing sector (Jan. 10, 2011)
  • Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN): Career Paths Follow Available Jobs
  • Used 2005-2009 ACS data to show recession-related employment trends (Jan. 9, 2011)

14:55

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mortgage amount second mortgage
Mortgage Amount, Second Mortgage

16:40

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housing stories using acs data
Housing Stories Using ACS Data
  • Denver Business Journal: Colorado Cities Boast Supersized Homes
  • Homes in several Colorado cities surpass the U.S. median for number of rooms (June 1, 2011)
  • Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Lake Worth Takes Pride In Its Deep Roots
  • Most homes built before 1969 and owner-occupied, according to ACS data (April 21, 2011)
  • Providence Journal Bulletin: Pockets of Economic Distress
  • ACS data indicate that Central Falls homeowners spend a median 39.3% of their income on mortgages, a sign of economic distress (Jan. 30, 2011)

16:46

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slide20

17:55

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slide22

Data Profile - Arizona

19:33

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slide25

Thematic Map

23:04

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other ways to get american community survey data
Other Ways to Get American Community Survey Data
  • State Data Centers: Partner with the Census Bureau. Supposed to be experts in Census data about their state. Missouri State Data Center especially good; they have extracted and published data for other states.
  • Think tanks: Among them, Brookings Institution (metropolitan data); Migration Policy Institute (immigration data); Pew Research Center (Hispanics and overall social trends)
  • Minnesota Population Center: IPUMS.org; makes microdata available for download.

25:04

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additional resources to learn about the american community survey
Additional Resources to Learn about the American Community Survey
  • Census Bureau website:
  • User handbooks, including one for the media, and training demos
  • American Community Survey page has documentation, questionnaires, FAQs
  • American FactFinder has a glossary
  • Population Reference Bureau (prb.org)
  • CQ Press Guide to the American Community Survey
  • Investigative Reporters and Editors Census page (ire.org)

33:05

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thank you
Thank you!
  • D’Vera Cohn
  • Senior Writer
  • Pew Research Center
  • 1615 L St. NW, Suite 700
  • Washington, DC 20036
  • www.pewresearch.org
  • All Things Census: http://census.pewsocialtrends.org
  • [email protected]

34:10

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