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American Community Survey (ACS): About the ACS

ACS basics

Census 2010 was taken using only of a 'short form', consisting of basic questions about age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, household relationship, and owner/renter status. The American Community Survey (ACS), a new Census Bureau survey, has been designed to replace the Decennial Census 'long form' beginning in 2010 and to provide demographic, housing, social, and economic data every year for the U.S., states, and local areas. ACS data for all geographical areas down to Block Group are now available.

Access ACS and Decennial Census data

Information is current as of May 2011.

Resource Data Series/Dates Available
Statistical Data Aggregation Levels
Online Mapping Geographies
American FactFinder
(U.S. Census Bureau)
Decennial Census (2000-2010) Nation, State, County, Census Tract, Block Group, Block, Place, etc. Down to Block.
Population Estimates (2000-2008) Nation, State, County, County Subdivision, Place, etc. Yes
Legacy American FactFinder
(U.S. Census Bureau)
Decennial Census (1990-2000) Nation, State, County, Census Tract, Block Group, Block (2000), Place, etc.
1990 Blocks only available via download.
1990: down to County, County Subdivision, Place.
2000: down to Census Tract, County Subdivision, Place.
American Community Survey (2000-2009).
2009 Data Release and 5-Year Release Details include details on how to access data not available in American FactFinder.
Nation, State, County, Census Tract, County Subdivision, Place, etc. (Geographies with smaller populations only available in 3- or 5-year estimates datasets.)
Block Groups only available via download.
Blocks not available in ACS.

Thematic: Down to County.
Reference: Down to Census Tract.

Annual Population Estimates (2006-2009) Nation, State, County, County Subdivision, Place, etc. Down to County.
National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS) Decennial Census (1790-2000)
Nation, State, County, Census Tract (1910-), Block (1970-), etc. No online mapping.
Social Explorer (premium edition) Decennial Census (1790-2010) Nation, State, County, Census Tract (1940-), Block Group (1990-), Place, etc. Down to Block Group.
American Community Survey (2006-2009) Nation, State, County, Census Tract, Block Group, etc. (Geographies with smaller populations only available in 3- or 5-year estimates datasets.)
Blocks not available in ACS.
Down to Block Group.