US Census Bureau
Skip top of page navigation

American Community Survey (ACS)

Skip top of page navigation
  Census > ACS Main > About the ACS > Data Collection
Available in this Section
About the ACS Main

Congressional Tool Kit

Federal Agency Information Program

Survey Questionnaire
  » Fact Sheets

Survey Definitions

What is the Survey?

Special Surveys - Puerto Rico
  » En Español

Sample Selection

Sample Size

Data Collection

Data Dissemination
  » Release Dates

ACS Operations Plan

Group Quarters

ACS Design and Methodology Paper [PDF 7.4Mb]

Subjects Planned for the 2010 Census and ACS

Questions Planned for the 2010 Census and ACS

ACS and the AIAN Population


The American Community Survey is conducted using three methods of data collection to contact households:

  1. Mail:  Self-enumeration through mail-out/mail-back:
  2. Telephone:  Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI); and
  3. Personal Visits:  Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI).

Self-enumeration through mail-out/mail-back methodology -- The self-enumeration procedure uses several mailing pieces:

  • a prenotice letter,
  • the American Community Survey questionnaire,
  • a reminder card,
  • and a replacement questionnaire if the original questionnaire is not returned in a timely manner.

Sample Addresses that do not respond by mail may be contacted using the follow-up procedures CATI, CAPI, or both.

Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) -- The CATI operation is conducted approximately six weeks after the American Community Survey questionnaire is mailed. We will attempt to obtain telephone numbers and conduct telephone interviews for all households that have not responded by mail during the six-week period. Census Bureau telephone interviewing staff will conduct these interviews.

Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) -- Following the CATI operation, a sample will be taken from the addresses which remain uninterviewed. These addresses are visited by Census Bureau field representatives, who will conduct personal interviews.


[PDF] or PDF denotes a file in Adobe’s Portable Document Format. To view the file, you will need the Adobe® Acrobat® Reader This link to a non-federal Web site does not imply endorsement of any particular product, company, or content. available free from Adobe. This symbol Symbol indicating that file is external to this site. indicates a link to a non-government web site. Our linking to these sites does not constitute an endorsement of any products, services or the information found on them. Once you link to another site you are subject to the policies of the new site.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau  |  American Community Survey Office  |  Page Last Modified: September 15, 2008