Great stories you can do with the census bureau s american community survey
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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

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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

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The 2010 census form 10 questions

The 2010 Census Form: 10 Questions

1:28

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American community survey 69 questions

American Community Survey = 69 questions

2:00

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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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Great stories you can do with the census bureau s american community survey

Data Available At Many Geographic Levels

7:35

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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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Employment unemployment commuting to work

Employment, Unemployment, Commuting to Work

12:48

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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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Type of housing how many rooms plumbing how many vehicles owned

Type of Housing, How Many Rooms, Plumbing, How Many Vehicles Owned

15:41

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Rent taxes fuel bills food stamps value of property

Rent, Taxes, Fuel Bills, Food Stamps, Value of Property

16:26

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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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Great stories you can do with the census bureau s american community survey

17:55

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Census bureau s american factfinder gateway to census data

Census Bureau’s American FactFinder – Gateway to Census Data

18:25

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Great stories you can do with the census bureau s american community survey

Data Profile - Arizona

19:33

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Subject tables assemble data from several questions about one topic

Subject Tables Assemble Data from Several Questions about One Topic

21:24

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Detailed tables data from a fire hose

Detailed Tables: Data from a Fire Hose

22:20

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Great stories you can do with the census bureau s american community survey

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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Great stories you can do with the census bureau s american community survey

Ranking Table: Note the Margin of Error on the Right Column

26:30

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You can t say maryland is wealthier than new jersey

You Can’t Say Maryland is Wealthier than New Jersey

28:50

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For small populations in small places watch the margin of error

For Small Populations in Small Places, Watch the Margin of Error

30:40

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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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