The U.S. Census Bureau today released 5-year American Community Survey (ACS) estimates  for the first time, making available social, economic, housing and demographic statistics for every community in the nation.
Until now, small geographic areas had to rely on outdated 2000 Census figures for detailed information about the characteristics of their communities. Consisting of about 11.1 billion individual estimates and covering more than 670,000 distinct geographies, the 5-year ACS estimates give even the smallest communities more timely information on topics ranging from commute times to languages spoken at home to housing values.
Public officials, including mayors and governors, and private organizations such as chambers of commerce, rely on ACS estimates on education, housing, jobs, veteran status and commuting patterns to help them make informed decisions that will affect their community, such as where to build new schools, hospitals and emergency services.
The extensive data are based on a rolling annual sample survey mailed to about 3 million addresses between Jan. 1, 2005, and Dec. 31, 2009. By pooling several years of survey responses, the ACS generates detailed statistical portraits of smaller geographies.
Separate from the 2010 Census, ACS estimates complement the decennial count and provide estimates of population characteristics that are far more detailed than the basic demographic information that will be released from the 2010 Census starting in February. | Noticias en español