On December 17, the U.S. Census Bureau released the 2008-2012 American Community Survey (ACS) five-year estimates, and the 2012 ACS one-year Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) file. Each year, the Census Bureau makes PUMS files available to the public, so that researchers can more closely analyze the ACS data. The PUMS files contain records on a subsample of housing units and information from the complete ACS questionnaire. Users can use the PUMS data to run custom tabulations on the data.
The ACS is a survey of more than 3.5 million households. The survey includes social, demographic, housing, and economic characteristics. The data are released as one-, three- and five-year estimates. The ACS five-year estimates (2008-2012) are available down to the census tract and block group level.
In addition, the U.S. Census Bureau released a new mapping tool called Census Explorer, to give users new access to mapping data at the neighborhood level. The mapping tool will use updated statistics from the five-year ACS data, and will allow users to map changes over time since the 1990 Census.
Information on the American Community Survey can be found here: www.census.gov/acs
Data can be accessed on American FactFinder: http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml
The Census Explorer website can be accessed here: www.census.gov/censusexplorer/