Community Indicators for Your Community

Real, lasting community change is built around knowing where you are, where you want to be, and whether your efforts are making a difference. Indicators are a necessary ingredient for sustainable change. And the process of selecting community indicators -- who chooses, how they choose, what they choose -- is as important as the data you select.

This is an archive of thoughts I had about indicators and the community indicators movement. Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

American Community Survey Data Release and Update

UPDATE - U.S. Census Bureau Release of 2008 ACS 1-Year Estimates

The Census Bureau has released social, demographic, housing, and some economic data from the 2008 ACS for areas with populations of 65,000 or more.

On September 29, 2009, the remaining 2008 ACS economic data will be released. The delayed release of these data is due to the discovery of a coding error that affected the estimates of poverty, family income, and food stamp receipt. The Census Bureau released all tables that weren't affected by the coding error. For a list of the impacted tables, please see the revised release schedule

Below is a sample of the topics included in the current release:

  • Educational attainment
  • Industry
  • Occupation
  • Class of worker
  • Journey to work
  • Employment status
  • Work status
  • Veteran status
  • Housing
  • Foreign born
  • Migration

Information about the 2008 ACS data release can be found at:

What's New and Notable

Economic Briefs - The Census Bureau is introducing a series of briefs spotlighting the economic characteristics of the nation, states, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico using data from the 2008 ACS 1-year estimates.
You can access these briefs at

Table Shells - New Table Shells are available at our 2008 Data Products Details page

Comparison Guidance - New guidance is available for comparing 2008 ACS 1-year estimates with 2007 ACS 1-year estimates, as well as comparing 2008 ACS 1-year estimates with Census 2000 estimates. This guidance can be found at:

Information on Data for New and Revised Content Beginning in January 2008, three new questions were added to the ACS and 12 questions were revised. In addition, the wording and format of the age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, relationship, and tenure questions were revised to be consistent with the 2010 Census. A summary document on the differences between the 2008 ACS and earlier years can be found at

A Look Ahead

October 27, 2009 - Planned release of 2006-2008 ACS 3-Year estimates.

Fall, 2009 - The Census Bureau has revised the release dates for the 2008 ACS 1-year and 2006-2008 3-year PUMS. We expect to release the 2008 ACS 1-year PUMS by the end of October and release the 2006-2008 3-year PUMS by the end of November or in December. We will issue an ACS Alert when each of these files is ready for release.

Contact Us

If you have questions or comments about the American Community Survey, please call (800) 923-8282 or visit


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