Introduction• What is the American Community Survey (ACS)?• Why was the ACS created?• Why is the ACS important?• How can I use the ACS?
What is the ACS?• The American Community Survey (ACS) is an ongoing nationwide survey designed to provide communities with demographic, economic, social, and housing data every year. The survey includes a sample of about 3 million addresses.• The ACS provides communities with information about how they are changing. It is a critical element in the Census Bureaus decennial census program.
What is the ACS?The ACS collects information such as: • Age • Family and relationships • Sex • Health insurance • Race • Veteran status • Income and benefits • Education • Where you work • Housing values • How you get to work • How much you pay for • Commute time to work some essentials • Disabilities
Why was the ACS created?• The U. S. Constitution requires a census every ten years.• Prior to the ACS, this data was used until the next census.• The ACS, collects data yearly from about 3 million addresses.• Results in more timely information allowing states, local governments, and businesses to: • Monitor change • Plan for the future
Why is the ACS important?• A lot can change in ten years.• The ACS provides a snapshot of communities every year instead of once every ten years.• Allows communities to see how they are changing over time.• Provides timely information about people and the economy.
How can I use the ACS?Businesses can use the data for: Market analysis Project planning Business expansion Economic development Workforce trends Housing needs
Why is the ACS important? • Many businesses use ACS data for planning. • Target, which has nearly 1,770 stores in 49 states, uses ACS data.
How can I use the ACS?• The Census Bureau releases all ACS data via an Internet application called American FactFinder (AFF).• You can access AFF at: http://factfinder2.census.gov.
How can I use the ACS?• Scenario: You are working for a multi- state business (MN, ND, SD, MT, WY) that is considering expanding into Idaho. Your boss wants to know how Idaho compares to the states in which the business currently operates in terms of median household income.
A few words from oursponsor . . . Sampling errors• Sampling error occurs when data are based on a sample of a population rather than the full population.• For any given area, the larger the sample and the more months included in the data, the greater the confidence in the estimate.• All ACS tables contain a column with margins of error at the 90 percent confidence level.
Margins of Error - Example• In this example, the number of households in Idaho with an income less than $10,000 is 45,201. The margin of error for this estimate is +/- 3,399. By adding and subtracting the margin of error from the estimate, we can calculate the 90-percent confidence interval for that estimate.
Margins of Error - Example• 45,201 - 3,399 = 41,802 = Lower-bound of interval• 45,201 + 3,399 = 48,600 = Upper-bound of interval• We can be 90 percent confident that the number of households in Idaho with an income less than $10,000 falls somewhere between 41,802 and 48,600.
What we’ve learned.• American Community Survey (ACS) What it is. Why it was created. Why it’s important. How it can be used.
Differentiate yourself!When your boss wants to advertise your product or serviceon the radio and is wondering what would be the besttimes to run the advertisement, you can respond: A. You know, traffic is always busy when I’m driving to work so that is probably a good time. B. Let me check the American Community Survey information and I’ll send you a report.
ReferencesBusinessman looking at wall charts [Photograph]. (n.d.). Retrieved from Encyclopedia Britannica Image Quest database.Business people in a meeting [Photograph]. (n.d.). Retrieved from Encyclopedia Britannica Image Quest database.Business people in group hug [Photograph]. (n.d.). Retrieved from Encyclopedia Britannica Image Quest database.Businesswoman writing at desk [Photograph]. (n.d.). Retrieved from Encyclopedia Britannica Image Quest database.Downtown Toronto [Photograph]. (n.d.). Retrieved from Encyclopedia Britannica Image Quest database.Old south meeting house [Stereograph]. (1910). Retrieved from Encyclopedia Britannica Image Quest database.U. S. Census Bureau. (n.d.). American FactFinder. Retrieved March 4, 2012, from http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtmlU.S. Census Bureau. (2011, June 28). Stats in action: Greater Houston Partnership uses ACS data [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFopk6LUHUwU. S. Census Bureau. (2012, January 26). Target and economic statistics [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdkcNJ3FwgEU.S. Census Bureau. (2012, February 24). American Community Survey. Retrieved March 4, 2012, from http://www.census.gov/acs/www/