The Census Bureau’s nationwide American Community Survey (ACS) provides states, congressional districts, counties, cities, and communities in the United States with reliable and timely social, economic, housing, and demographic data every year. PRB has worked in partnership with the Census Bureau since 2012 to increase knowledge and use of ACS data by establishing and maintaining an ACS Data Users Group and Online Community.
The ACS Online Community, which has more than 2,000 members, provides a user-friendly platform for ACS data users across the country to pose and answer questions and share information, applications, programs, and data files. PRB also plays a key role in organizing and hosting webinars and ACS Data Users Conferences. These activities have facilitated communication about ACS benefits, issues, and applications among a broad group of ACS data users, as well as between data users and the Census Bureau.
In 2015, PRB and the Census Bureau established a new group of ACS and decennial census data users called the Data Products Redesign Group (DPRG). This group provides an efficient and effective means to collect informal feedback about new ACS and 2020 Census data products and distribution channels. This ongoing exchange helps the Census Bureau to better understand data users’ needs and to develop innovative data products and dissemination tools that best meet those needs. PRB is also collaborating with Census Bureau staff to create a series of online handbooks and case studies to help data users understand, access, and use ACS data.