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  » Alert 60  (10/27/08)

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American Community Survey Alert, Number 60

(released October 27, 2008)    Printer Friendly Version of Alert 60

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

News in this Alert

* The ACS Compass Products

Over the next six months, the Census Bureau will be releasing a series of handbooks, a set of presentations, and an e-learning tutorial to provide guidance to users on how to understand and best use ACS data. This set of educational materials is called the ACS Compass Products. Today marks the first release of ACS Compass Products and includes the following two audience-specific handbooks in PDF format:

What General Data Users Need to Know - This handbook helps general audiences understand the basics of the ACS, its opportunities and challenges, and how to access and use the ACS data on the Census Bureau's Web site. It includes concrete examples of how ACS data can be used to answer real-world questions about our society.

What the Business Community Needs to Know - This handbook acknowledges that to make effective use of the ACS, businesses need to understand how ACS data are collected and reported, and their advantages and limitations relative to the long form data previously collected during the decennial census. This handbook describes the data products available from the ACS and how to access them. Examples are provided with step-by-step instructions on accessing the data.

The ACS Compass Products handbooks may be found at:

** A Look Ahead

December 9, 2008 -- Release of 2005-2007 ACS Social, Economic, Housing, and Demographic 3-Year Estimates

On December 9, 2008 the U.S. Census Bureau will introduce 3-year ACS estimates. These 3-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. Of particular interest will be data released for midsize population areas (20,000 to 64,999.) Characteristics for these areas have not been released since the last decennial census in 2000.

***ACS Resources

The ACS Web site recently was redesigned to make navigation easier and to help users find the information they need more quickly. Information about the 2007 Data Release can be found at:

The Census Bureau's Web site now contains guidance on comparing 2007 ACS data to 2006 ACS data, as well as comparing 2007 ACS data to Census 2000 data. This guidance may be found at: .

Information about ACS data products and published geographies may be found at: .

2007 ACS data may be found on the Census Bureau's American FactFinder:

ACS data products from 1996 through 1999, except Congressional Web Page and Fact Sheets, are archived on the ACS FTP site: .

Errata Notes page may be found at: .

****Contact Us

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

If you choose to unsubscribe or change your list options, you may do so by visiting this site and entering your e-mail address at the bottom of the page under the ACS-Alert subscriber's section. This will take you to an options page where you may request your password, unsubscribe, or set other options. If you have questions about this list, please send a message to

Source: U.S. Census Bureau  |  American Community Survey Office  |  Page Last Modified: October 27, 2008