Mailbag: Questions about ACS, Census, and population estimates

There are three key data sets from the U.S. Census Bureau that we use to understand population trends: the decennial census, the American Community Survey (ACS), and population and housing unit estimates. (Background: a deep dive into each of these data sources). These sources are similar, but not quite the same, which can lead to questions from data users. Here is a summary of some of the questions we’ve received from data users and/or seen…

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Open: Comments on proposed 2020 Post-Census Group Quarters Review

By on 1.14.22 in Census 2020

The 2020 census is a point-in-time count of all individuals living in the United States on April 1, 2020. As part of ensuring complete and accurate data, the Census Bureau gives communities the opportunity to request a review of their census count. This process, known as the Census Count Question Resolution (CQR) program, began on January 3, 2022. CQR is limited in its scope. Notably, it does not address potential omissions in the 2020 Census.…

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What you need to know about the 2020 American Community Survey

In October, the U.S. Census Bureau released a report detailing why it planned to release the results of the 2020 American Community Survey (ACS) 1-year estimates in an experimental format. The ACS is the only annually updated source of detailed social, demographic, and economic information for all communities in the United States. In addition, the Bureau announced in November that it would delay the release of the 5-Year ACS estimates that had been planned for…

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Native American Population Sees Notable Increase in 2020 Census

Dr. Michael Cline is the state demographer for North Carolina at the Office of State Budget and Management and has given us permission to re-post his content here. Each year, he publishes population estimates and projections for North Carolina and its counties. In 1990 President George H. W. Bush signed into law a joint resolution designating November as the first National American Indian Heritage Month. That year’s U.S. Census identified 1.96 million people classified as…

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NC growth over last decade entirely from adult population

By on 8.16.21 in Census 2020

Between 2010 and 2020, North Carolina’s population grew by 903,905 individuals, an increase of 9.5%, faster than the national growth rate of 7.3%. Over that same period, North Carolina’s: child population grew by 2,654, an increase of 0.1% adult population grew by 901,251, an increase of 12.4% Nationally, the child population shrank by 1.1 million (-1.4%) and the adult population grew by 23.8 million (+10.1%). In Georgia, a state with similar overall population size and…

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First look at 2020 Census for North Carolina

By on 8.12.21 in Census 2020

We're looking at the redistricting data file that was released on August 12, 2021. North Carolina Data Files (CSVs) (will be updated as available): 2020 Census Population & Housing for Redistricting (NC Only) Blocks | Counties | Places (Cities, Towns, and CDPs) | Place by County | Townships (Minor Civil Divisions) | VTDs | School Districts 2010 and 2020 Census Data for NC Tracts | Counties | Congressional Districts | State House Districts | State Senate…

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Today: Census 2020 data release

By on 8.12.21 in Census 2020

Redistricting data from the 2020 census will be released today, Aug. 12 at 1 p.m. ET. The redistricting files are expected to be uploaded to the Census Bureau's FTP site. What's included? The August 12th release will include: Race and ethnicity statistics. (Related blog post from Census Bureau) A new Diversity Index. Population down to the census block level. Race for the voting age population of people over 18 years old. Population totals for people…

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Census 2020 Story Recipe: How to find and explore Census data

We recently received a question from a reporter in North Carolina asking how to compare 2010 Census redistricting data to 2020 Census redistricting data when it is released on Thursday, August 12.    This is a great question, and it can be localized. Here’s our guide on how to find the data, analyze the data, and what questions you can ask. For more great information, check out Tyler Duke’s GitHub containing a collection of data, methodology and…

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Deep dive: Key Census data releases about population

By on 8.10.21 in Census 2020

In addition to the decennial census—the once-a-decade count of all persons and households in the United States—the U.S. Census Bureau regularly conducts more than 130 surveys and programs that help us understand population, housing, and business trends. Each of these programs is best-suited for specific purposes, and some of them, such as the decennial census, have multiple data products that are released at different times. In this post, we discuss the three key Census Bureau…

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How the Census Bureau ensures complete and accurate data

By on 8.10.21 in Census 2020

Once a decade we count everyone living in the United States in the decennial census, as we have done every ten years since 1790. Trying to count all Americans once—and only once—and in the right place is a herculean task. Although we talk about the Census in reference to Census Day (April 1, 2020), the process of counting all Americans begins years before Census Day and continues for years afterwards. We can break down the…

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