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Geographic Areas and Concepts for the American Community Survey Updated February 2013. Overview. Basic Census Bureau geography Geographic areas for which ACS data are available Geographic area concept and definition issues to be aware of when using ACS data. 2. Types of Geographic Areas.

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Presentation Transcript
overview
Overview
  • Basic Census Bureau geography
  • Geographic areas for which ACS data are available
  • Geographic area concept and definition issues to be aware of when using ACS data

2

types of geographic areas
Types of Geographic Areas
  • Legal/administrative areas
    • have legally described boundaries; they may provide governmental services or may be used to administer programs
  • Statistical areas
    • defined primarily for data tabulation and presentation purposes
acs geographic area types u s and puerto rico
ACS Geographic Area Types U.S. and Puerto Rico

http://www.census.gov/acs/www/data_documentation/areas_published/

5

overview7
Overview
  • Basic Census Bureau geography
  • Geographic areas for which ACS data are available
  • Geographic area concept and definition issues to be aware of when using ACS data

7

tracts and block groups
Tracts and Block Groups
  • Census tracts are small, relatively permanent statistical subdivisions of a county
  • Block groups are statistical subdivisions of census tracts and are the lowest level of geography available in the ACS
  • Block group estimates are available only in the ACS Summary File, not American FactFinder
  • Block groups and tracts are available only in the ACS 5-year estimates
zip code tabulation areas
ZIP Code Tabulation Areas
  • First available in the 2007-2011 ACS 5-year estimates
  • Abbreviated form-ZCTAs
  • Similar to U.S. Postal Service ZIP codes

http://www.census.gov/geo/reference/zctas.html

county subdivisions minor civil divisions and census county divisions
County SubdivisionsMinor Civil Divisions and Census County Divisions
  • Minor Civil Divisions (MCDs)
    • Legally bounded entity
    • Sub-county entities in 29 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico
    • May have a local government with elected officials
  • Census County Divisions (CCDs)
    • Statistical entity
    • Sub-county units that have stable boundaries and recognizable names in21states
    • No minimum or maximum population guidelines
    • Not included in ACS 1 or 3 year data products

12

places incorporated places and census designated places
PlacesIncorporated Places and Census Designated Places
  • Incorporated Places
    • Legally bounded entity
    • Referred to as cities, boroughs, towns, or villages, depending on the state
  • Census Designated Places (CDPs)
    • Statistical entity
    • Created to present census data for an area with a concentration of population, housing, and commercial structures that is identifiable by name, but not within an incorporated place
    • Examples: Columbia, MD; Paradise, NV

14

urban areas urbanized areas and urban clusters
Urban AreasUrbanized Areas and Urban Clusters

Urbanized Areas

50,000 or more people

Urban Clusters

2,500 up to 49,999 people

Both defined after each decennial census

2012 ACS Estimates and subsequent ACS estimate years will reflect Urban Areas defined using the 2010 Census results

17

rural areas
Rural Areas

All territory not within an urban area

Cuts across other hierarchies

Can be in metropolitan or non-metropolitan areas

18

metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas
Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas

Defined by U.S. Office of Management and Budget

Metropolitan Statistical Areas

Contains core Urban Area of 50,000 or more population

Its own County, and

Surrounding counties with heavy commuting patterns

Micropolitan Statistical Areas

Contains urban core between 10,000 – 49,999 population

Only small percentage have population 65,000 or more

20

public use microdata areas pumas
Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs)

Minimum population of 100,000

Cannot cross state boundaries

Composed of:

Census tracts

Places (excluded for the new PUMA definitions)

One or more Counties

Combination of Tracts and Counties

23

overview25
Overview
  • Basic Census Bureau geography
  • Geographic areas for which ACS data are available
  • Geographic area concept and definition issues to be aware of when using ACS data

25

geographic boundaries
Geographic Boundaries
  • Multiyear estimates are based on geographic boundaries as of January 1 of the last year in the multiyear period
  • Legal area changes are recorded in the Boundary and Annexation Survey (BAS)
  • Statistical areas are updated every decade in conjunction with the decennial census

26

geography notes
Geography Notes
  • Release notes available for each year at http://www.census.gov/acs/www/data_documentation/geography/
additional acs resources
Additional ACS Resources
  • ACS website (census.gov/acs)
  • American FactFinder (factfinder2.census.gov)
  • QuickFacts(quickfacts.census.gov)
  • DataFerrett (dataferrett.census.gov)
  • FAQs (https://ask.census.gov/faq.php?id=5000&rtopic=1805)
final thoughts
Final Thoughts
  • The U.S. Census Bureau measures the nation’s People, Places and Economy
  • Census Bureau statistics are how America knows what America needs
  • The Census Bureau is the leading source of quality, timely and relevant information about our nation’s people and economy
contact information
Contact Information

Subscribe to “Email Updates”

http://www.census.gov/acs

Visit the ACS/PRCS website:

http://www.census.gov/acs

Contact by Telephone:

1-800-923-8282

Submit a Question:

https://ask.census.gov