Data Sources—U.S. Census Bureau
2011 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports
American Community Survey
U.S. Census Bureau.
ACS is a nationwide survey collecting and producing population and housing information every year. It has become the largest household survey in the United States, with an annual sample size of about 3 million addresses. Every year, ACS can support the release of single-year estimates for geographic areas with populations of 65,000 or more.
ACS uses three modes of data collection from households:
- Mail: self-enumeration through mail-out/mail-back.
- Telephone: computer-assisted telephone interviewing.
- Personal visits: computer-assisted personal interviewing.
Survey Sample Design
ACS shifted from a demonstration program with a different sample design and sample size to the full sample size and design in 2005. ACS uses a series of monthly samples to produce annually updated data. Each month, a systematic sample of addresses is selected from the most current Master Address File. The sample represents the entire United States. A larger proportion of addresses are sampled for small governmental units (American Indian reservations, counties, and towns). The monthly sample size is designed to approximate the sampling ratio of Census 2000, including the oversampling of small governmental units.
Primary Survey Content
ACS is a new approach to producing critical information about the characteristics of local communities. ACS publishes social, housing, and economic characteristics for demographic groups covering a broad spectrum of geographic areas in the United States and Puerto Rico.
- Social characteristics. School enrollment, educational attainment, marital status, fertility, grandparents caring for children, veteran status, disability status, residence 1 year ago, place of birth, U.S. citizenship status, year of entry, world region of birth of foreign-born people, language spoken at home, relationship, households by type, and ancestry.
- Economic characteristics. Employment status, commute to work, occupation, industry, class of worker, income and benefits, and poverty status.
- Housing characteristics. Housing occupancy, units in structure, year structure built, number of rooms, number of bedrooms, housing tenure, year householder moved into unit, vehicles available, house heating fuel, utility costs, occupants per room, housing value, mortgage status and costs, and gross rent.
Sex, age, race, and Hispanic origin.
Total population living in the entire United States at the time of the interview.
Gender, age, race/ethnicity, income, and geographic location.
National, State, and local levels.
Agency home page: http://www.census.gov/.
Data system home page: http://www.census.gov/acs/www/.
U.S. Census Bureau. Design and methodology: American Community Survey. Washington DC: Government Printing Office; 2006. Available at: http://www.census.gov/acs/www/methodology/methodology_main/.