Washington DC (December 13, 2010) – In a timely initiative that coincides with the first release of the full breadth of American Community Survey data by the Bureau of the Census, CQ Press will publish a free online Web site named A Timely Guide to the American Community Survey (ACS). The site, launched as a companion to the forthcoming reference work Encyclopedia of the U.S. Census, 2nd Edition, offers key context and analysis on how the new ACS data has become the primary U.S. government source of detailed demographic data. The site is available online at acsguide.cqpress.com.
Administered by the U.S. Census Bureau, the American Community Survey is an on-going sample of cities and communities all over the United States. Like the census, this survey provides information on the social, economic, and housing characteristics of the U.S. population. Unlike the decennial census, however, the ACS collects data on a continual basis. The Census Bureau releases the collected data in yearly, 3-year, and 5-year estimates; the 5-year data released on December 14, 2010 will be the first sample large enough to include all geographic areas down to census tract and block group levels.
Since about 90 percent of all local governments in the nation have fewer than 20,000 people and this year marks the first time these areas have received any ACS data, communities may have questions about what the ACS data means to them and how it can be used. Editors Margo J. Anderson, Constance F. Citro and Joseph J. Salvo have put together a comprehensive overview of the American Community Survey and its implications. This ACS Guide serves as a “what you need to know” and includes sections on the evolutionary history of the ACS, the methodology behind and content of the survey, the data products available from the ACS and where to find them, and how to use this data. Finally, they have also provided researchers a detailed bibliography for additional exploration on each topic. All of the information is collected in a searchable format at acsguide.cqpress.com
The ACS Guide is a select portion of the larger reference, CQ Press’ Encyclopedia of the U.S. Census, 2nd Edition, From the Constitution to the ACS and will be available December 14, 2010. The latest edition will provide updated information and expands the original data presented in the first edition, named a Best Reference Source by Library Journal in 2000, highlighting changes in the Census Bureau’s data collection and dissemination practices.