Which data source do I use?

For this assignment, you will use data from either Census 2010 or the American Community Survey (ACS) (5-year estimates). 

Remember that the 2010 census collected only basic demographic information like age, race/ethnicity, number of people and sex.  For data about other things like poverty, income, household characteristics, employment and occupation, you will have to choose the ACS.
If you are comparing across different geographic levels, from very small (census tract) to very large (United States), it is best to choose the 5-year estimates of the ACS, because 1-year and 3-year estimates will not be available for the small areas like census tract.  When you compare data, it is best practice to use data from the same source, rather than different sources.
For more information about the differences between 1-year, 3-year and 5-year estimates and when to use them, go to the ACS website.

Return to the home page

  • Return to the Social Explorer home page by clicking on the Social Explorer icon in the upper left hand corner.
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Go to tables

  • Choose Tables from the top menu on the home page.
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Choose your data source

  • Click on the U.S. Decennial Census and American Community Surveys (5-year Estimates) menus to reveal the different years of data that are available from each of these data sources. 
  • To choose your data source, click on the "Begin Report" link.map from social explorer