The American Community Survey in our Data Tools
Headwaters Economics continuously updates all of its data tools with the latest demographic and economic data available. The U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) appears in many of our data tools and is the leading source of socioeconomic statistics for every level of geography in the nation.
About the American Community Survey
Unlike the decennial census that counts every person every 10 years, the ACS is an ongoing survey sent monthly to a sample of households. The survey collects information about topics that aren’t included in the census, such as educational attainment, housing, language, commuting distance, and employment. The Census Bureau then uses the surveys to estimate average characteristics over a five-year period. The ACS is the most comprehensive resource for understanding socioeconomic characteristics in the nation.
The latest ACS data comprise statistics from 2016 to 2020. They were released by the Census Bureau in March of 2022 and added to Headwaters Economics’ tools in May of 2022 .
ACS Accuracy in 2020
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, data collection in 2020 was disrupted and response rates to the survey were substantially lower than in previous years. As a result, the Census Bureau revised its methodology to reduce nonresponse bias, and some margins of error are higher than seen in previous American Community Survey releases. Margins of error are reported in all of Headwaters Economics’ reports.
Find ACS Data in Our Tools
The Economic Profile System displays ACS data for any U.S. community, county, or state in the Quick Facts section. You can also find ACS data in several downloadable reports, including the Demographics, Populations at Risk, Wildfire Risk, Living Near Public Lands, and Tourism reports.