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American Community Survey Alert, Number 56

(released July 21, 2008)    Printer Friendly Version of Alert 56

Informing you about news, events, data releases, congressional action, and other developments associated with the American Community Survey (ACS).

News in this Alert

* 2008 Release Schedule for American Community Survey Data

The U.S. Census Bureau will release data from the 2007 American Community Survey (ACS) beginning Aug. 26.

Similar to last year's release, the 2007 ACS will include one-year estimates available for the nation, 50 states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, every congressional district and all counties, places and metropolitan areas with populations of 65,000 or more.

In December, the U.S. Census Bureau will introduce three-year estimates, providing a first look at the characteristics of midsize population areas (20,000 to 64,999) since the last decennial census in 2000. The three-year estimates will be based on data collected from 2005 to 2007 and will include all geographic areas with populations of 20,000 or more.

This fall, the Census Bureau will also provide guidance on how to use the new three-year estimates and how they differ from the one-year estimates.

Data Release Schedule

*Aug. 26, 2008: Annual release of ACS income, earnings and poverty data, in conjunction with the Census Bureau's annual release of income, poverty and health insurance estimates from the Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the Current Population Survey. There is no embargoed access to the data prior to release. These are 2007 ACS one-year estimates for areas with populations of 65,000 or more.

* Sept. 23, 2008: 2007 ACS one-year estimates on social, economic, demographic and housing characteristics; special population profiles; and Public Use Microdata Sample data. The data will consist of:

Social Characteristics

  • Relationship
  • School enrollment
  • Households by type
  • Residence one year ago
  • Educational attainment
  • Place of birth
  • Marital status
  • U.S. citizenship status
  • Fertility
  • Year of entry
  • Grandparents
  • World region of birth
  • Veteran status
  • Language spoken at home
  • Disability status
  • Ancestry

Economic Characteristics

  • Employment status
  • Class of worker
  • Commuting to work
  • Industry
  • Occupation

Housing Characteristics

  • Housing occupancy
  • House heating fuel
  • Units in structure
  • Occupants per room
  • Year structure built
  • Value of owner-occupied units
  • Rooms
  • Bedrooms
  • Housing tenure
  • Mortgage status and selected owner costs (including owner costs as a percentage of household income)
  • Year moved into unit
  • Vehicles available
  • Gross rent (including gross rent as a percentage of household income)

Demographic Characteristics

  • Age
  • Race
  • Sex
  • Hispanic or Latino

  • December 2008: 2005-2007 ACS three-year estimates for all characteristics. These will include income, earnings and poverty data, and social, economic, housing and demographic data for areas with a population of 20,000 or more. This marks the first official release of ACS multiyear estimates for the nation.

Additional ACS Tools and Information

The Census Bureau will provide tools to aid data users later this summer and into the fall, including guidance on making comparisons between ACS data and Census 2000, and table shells for downloading data. Additional information can be found on the ACS Web page (

**2009 ACS Content Changes Receive Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Approval.

The Census Bureau earlier this month received OMB approval of proposed changes to content for the 2009 ACS.

The changes consist of the addition of a question on Field of Degree of a person's bachelor's degree and the restoration of a previously-asked question concerning Duration of Vacancy (for housing units). The Duration of Vacancy question responses will be captured during the following stages of data collection: Telephone Questionnaire Assistance (TQA), Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) follow-up on the mail questionnaire returns and Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI).

A Federal Register notice posted May 28, 2008 details the changes and may be found at: (

The ACS is a key component of the Census Bureau's 2010 Decennial Census Program, which also consists of early planning and modernization of geographic operations and a short-form only for the 2010 Census.

***Contact Us

If you have questions or comments about the American Community Survey, please call (800)923-8282 or e-mail

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau  |  American Community Survey Office  |  Page Last Modified: September 25, 2008