American Community Survey (U.S. Census Bureau)
Information page from the U.S. Census Bureau. Villanova users can access these data using Social Explorer. The socioeconomic, housing, and financial information that used to be collected with the Decennial Census Short Form is now provided by the American Community Survey (ACS), since 2005. The 2010 Census shows the number of people who live in the U.S. and the American Community Survey shows how people live. The ACS is a sample survey of roughly 2.9 million households; therefore the data are estimates with a margin of error. Thanks to Penn Libraries' U.S.Census guide for this description of the ACS. The ACS provides period estimates. That is, it estimates average characteristics of people over 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year periods, rather a point-in-time estimate like the 2010 Census. Data availability depends on the population size of the geographic area of interest. Smaller areas, such as block groups, are only available in 5-year estimates.