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American Community Survey and Decennial Census Support Services

Informing policymakers, the media, and the public about the importance of data from the decennial census and American Community Survey.

U.S. Census Bureau

PRB has been a long-term partner to the U.S. Census Bureau, helping to inform policymakers, the media, and the public about the importance of data from the decennial census and American Community Survey (ACS). Under this project, we work in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau to:

These activities have facilitated communication about decennial census and ACS issues and applications among a broad group of data users, as well as between data users and the Census Bureau.

ACS Data Users Group

PRB established an ACS Data Users Group to improve understanding of the value and utility of ACS data and to promote information sharing about key ACS data issues and applications. To facilitate communication among data users, we maintain an ACS Online Community and organize webinars and special sessions at professional meetings. Membership in the group is free. It is led by a Steering Committee that represents a broad spectrum of ACS data users with different interests.

ACS Data Users Conferences

We have organized four ACS Data Users Conferences in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau and with guidance from an ACS Data Users Group Steering Committee. Nearly 300 ACS data users attended the 2019 ACS Data Users Conference, held May 14-15, 2019, at the American University Washington College of Law in Washington, DC.  The program brought together more than 50 contributed presentations by ACS data users, invited sessions with Census Bureau staff, Census Bureau product demonstrations, and opportunities for networking.

Data Products Redesign Group

In partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau, PRB coordinates a Data Products Redesign Group to provide the Census Bureau with an efficient and effective means to collect informal feedback from a broad range of data users on new ACS and 2020 Census data products, dissemination platforms, and distribution channels. This ongoing exchange helps the Census Bureau to develop innovative data products and dissemination platforms that best meet data users’ needs.

ACS Data User Handbooks

We are working in partnership with the U.S Census Bureau to produce a series of Handbooks, Modules, and Case Studies for different ACS data user communities, including journalists, businesses, state and local governments, and others. The handbooks provide an overview of the ACS to help data users understand the basics of the survey, how the data can be used, how to judge the accuracy of ACS estimates, and how to access ACS data on the web. We are also producing a series of topical modules to help data users understand and use the Census Bureau’s Application Programming Interface (API), ACS Public Use Microdata Sample, and ACS Summary File.