On October 23, the U.S. Census Bureau released two new American Community Survey (ACS) products, the 2011-2013 three-year estimates and the 2013 one-year Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) files.
The Census Bureau surveys more than 3.5 million households using the ACS to gather information on social, demographic, housing, and economic characteristics. The results are released as one-, three-, and five-year estimates. Using three years of data allows the estimates to be statistically reliable for areas with populations of 20,000 or more. One-year estimates are provided only for areas with 65,000 or more people. The five-year estimates are available for all areas, including census tracts and block groups. The 2009-2013 five-year estimates will be released on December 4.
Each year, the Census Bureau makes PUMS files available to the public so that researchers can more closely analyze ACS data. The PUMS files contain records on a subsample of housing units and information from the complete ACS questionnaire. PUMS data can be used to run custom tabulations. The Census Bureau also produces a large number of data profiles and tables based on the one-, three-, and five-year ACS estimates.
More information about the ACS is at http://www.census.gov/acs/www
PUMS files, data profiles, and standard tables provided by the Census Bureau are available on the American FactFinder website at http://factfinder2.census.gov