American Community Survey (ACS) Series

Investigator(s): United States Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census.

The American Community Survey(ACS) is a nationwide survey designed to provide communities with a fresh look at how they are changing. It will replace the decennial long form in future censuses and is a critical element in the Bureau of the Census' re-engineered 2010 census. The decennial census has two parts, the short form, which counts the population, and the long form, which obtains demographic, housing, social and economic information from a 1-in-6 sample of households. Conducted under the authority of Title 13, United States Code, Sections 141 and 193, full implementation of the American Community Survey is planned in every county in the United States. The survey would include approximately three million households. Response is mandatory and data are collected by mail with Bureau of the Census staff conducting a follow-up with those who do not respond. The goals of the American Community Survey are to provide an information base to federal, state, and local governments for the administration and evaluation of their programs, to improve the 2010 Census, and to provide data users with timely demographic, housing, social, and economic data that can be compared across states, communities, and population groups. The American Community Survey will provide estimates of demographic, housing, social, and economic characteristics every year for all states, as well as for all cities, counties, metropolitan areas, and population groups.