Committee on Population Statistics

American Community Survey Workshop – 2014

Benefits and Challenges of the American Community Survey
Committee on Population Statistics Workshop
Population Association of America Annual Meeting, April 30, 2014, Boston

This workshop was sponsored by the Population Association of America’s Committee on Population Statistics and co-organized by PRB on behalf of the American Community Survey (ACS) Data Users Group. It was designed for novice users and those interested in learning about the latest developments in ACS data, products and resources. The primary objectives of the workshop were to provide an understanding of: the content and different types of estimates available from the ACS; the reliability limitations associated with ACS estimates and options for dealing with these; and the resources available to assist ACS data users, including the new ACS Data Users Group and Online Community. The workshop was divided into six sections and the slides and audio recording of each presentation are available at .

American Community Survey Workshop – 2009

At the PAA 2009 Annual Meeting in Detroit, the PAA’s Committee on Population Statistics (COPS) sponsored a specially designed workshop to introduce the ACS to the PAA membership. The workshop was conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey Office (ACS). Demographers who in the past have used the census long-form data files (e.g., SF3 & SF4) for research, and those who plan to do such research following the 2010 Census need to thoroughly understand the ACS, as this survey will provide the long-form replacement data files beginning in 2010. Reminder: There will be no long-form sample survey carried out as part of the 2010 Census. Those who use data from complex surveys, although not necessarily decennial census data, will also benefit from the workshop presentations (links below).

The workshop included an overview of the ACS design and data products. In addition, case studies representing demographic research applications (highlighting fresh opportunities and new cautions) were included. Examples utilizing both summary tabulations and microdata records illustrated important lessons about accessing, using, and interpreting ACS data.

Agenda and Presentations

Workshop Agenda (Adobe PDF, 22K)

American Community Survey Fundamentals (MS PowerPoint, 653K)

Case Study 1 – How to Deal with Estimates with Low Relability (MS PowerPoint, 366K)

Case Study 2 – Choosing between ACS 1-, 3-, and 5-Year Estimates (MS PowerPoint, 129K)

Case Study 3 – Making Comparisons (Adobe PDF, 736K)

Case Study 4 – Forthcoming

Case Study 5 – Introduction to Demographic Research Using Aggregated ACS Data for Ecological Regression: Changes in County Poverty (MS PowerPoint, 1M)