Using ACS County Data

… we are always seeking the most current data for areas of interest. This section provides an update on accessing unpublished ACS 1-year data for many counties.  Learn about how you can access ACS 1-year estimates for 85 counties for which Census released only as 5-year estimates … and why it matters. See the corresponding full Web section.

Data are tabulated from the Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS) as 1-year estimates (for areas with population 65,000 and over) and as 5-year estimates (for areas under 65,000 population). See more about ACS 1-year versus 5-year estimates in this section.

ACS 2014 1-year tabulation areas, as released by the Census Bureau included 817 of 3142 counties and 508 of 917 metros/CBSAs. There are 85 counties for which ACS 2914 1-year estimates were not released by Census but are derivable by subtracting the aggregate county components from metro totals in selected metros.

County & Metro ACS 2014 1-year Estimates
The following graphic shows Texas and adjacent areas:
• ACS 2014 1-year estimates metros with bold brown boundaries
• Counties for which ACS 2014 1-year data were tabulated and released (green).
• Counties for which ACS 2014 1-year data are derivable but not released as tabulation areas (blue).

… view developed using the CV XE GIS software.
… click map for larger view and details.

The next view shows a zoom-in to the Austin, TX metro. The four green shaded counties had ACS 2014 1-year estimates tabulated and released. The fifth Austin metro county, Caldwell shaded blue, was not tabulated but the ACS 1-year data are derivable by subtracting the sum of the four counties from the metro totals. Tabulated data for Caldwell was released only as ACS 2014 5-year estimates. A similar situation exists in many metros across the country.

Why this Matters
There are 85 counties for which ACS 2014 1 year data are available but not released/made available by Census as separately tabulated areas. This is important due to these considerations:
• these are true annual estimates (as opposed to the other 5-year estimated counties)
• they are more recent that 5-year estimates
• they reflect conditions centric to one year
• they enable time series/trend analysis
• [as it turns out] they enable access to 1 year estimates for all counties (instead of some) in some metros

Using API Tools to Examine these Data
Create CSV-like files by clicking these links. When a link is clicked a new page will show the ACS 2014 1-year estimates tabulations areas. The area name, code and ACS 2014 1-year total population estimate is shown.
Click to retrieve county data
Click to retrieve metro data

Items used in these API calls:
.. B01001_001E – Total population
.. B19013_001E – Median household income ($)
.. B19113_001E – Median family income ($)
.. B19301_001E – Per capita income

Create/derive these data on your own; learn about which counties are derivable …

Join me in a Data Analytics Lab session to discuss more details about accessing and using wide-ranging demographic-economic data and data analytics. Learn more about using these data for areas and applications of interest.

About the Author
— Warren Glimpse is former senior Census Bureau statistician responsible for innovative data access and use operations. He is also the former associate director of the U.S. Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards for data access and use. He has more than 20 years of experience in the private sector developing data resources and tools for integration and analysis of geographic, demographic, economic and business data. Contact Warren. Join Warren on LinkedIn.

 

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