American Community Survey

Policy Brief: Since January, we have seen an increasing number of reports on recent census results describing how the nation, states, regions, municipalities, and census tracts have changed since 2000. Some of these reports compare 2000 figures with those from the 2010 Census, but others compare 2000 data with data from what is called the American Community Survey (ACS) of 2005-2009. In this report, we explain why we are seeing two recent sources of data. The answer lies in a fundamental shift in the design of the 2010 Census and the substitution of information gathered in the ACS for data that had previously been collected in the decennial censuses. In the future, everyone will increasingly rely on the ACS for information about how American society is changing.

The 2000 Census used two different questionnaires...

(Click here for the full report including three maps produced from ACS data)