American Community Survey

The U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) shows HOW people live in an area.

The ACS is an ongoing nationwide survey that provides communities with reliable data on demographic, social, economic, and housing conditions every year. Prior to the ACS program, these types of information were collected by the U.S. Census Bureau only every 10 years through the long-form survey of the Census of Population and Housing. Full implementation of the ACS went into effect in 2005, replacing the decennial long-form in future censuses. Unlike decennial censuses that measure a single reference point every 10 years, the ACS is a continuous national survey. The ACS collects data almost daily and summarizes it over 1- and 5-year periods, depending on geographic scale of reporting. Access to more current data has tradeoffs, however, which include smaller samples and subsequently higher levels of variability.

About the ACS Explore the Data