To make wise and strategic decisions that will benefit communities and the nation, governments, corporations, and community leaders need access to the most current and trustworthy information.
The American Community Survey (ACS), the only source of comprehensive social and economic characteristics of local communities, offers up-to-date and consistent data on issues like employment, education, native language, and housing expenses.
The 2013-2017 ACS five-year estimates, which will provide a detailed portrayal of communities from rural America to suburbs and significant urban centers, are expected to be issued on Thursday.
Many individuals are unaware that the majority of the ACS’s questions were originally asked as part of the decennial census but were transferred there to satisfy the desire for more recent, nationally uniform data.
Questions on the ACS Support several Real-world Program That Help People.
- Number of vehicles available and disability status. These questions help communities figure out where the most vulnerable people and people who don’t have cars live so that they can plan evacuations and emergency management. With this information, communities can focus their emergency planning efforts where they are most needed.
- What time do people leave for work? This question helps transportation planners figure out how people get to and from work, which is important for improving the roads and highways.
- Number of rooms and number of people living in a housing unit When you add up the answers to these questions, you get a ratio of people to rooms. This ratio is used to figure out how crowded American homes are. These numbers also help make sure that laws, policies, and rules against discrimination are followed in government programs and society as a whole.
- Get on the Internet. Most of us think that mobile and web communication are everywhere, but there are still places that don’t have access to the internet. This is a real worry when a local area needs to figure out how to share important information about public health or safety.
- The plumbing or the kitchen. Everyone has hot and cold running water, a shower, sink, stove, or fridge, right? Not true. By asking these questions, local, state, tribal, and federal agencies can figure out the quality of the housing and plan, fund, and decide who is eligible for the housing assistance programs, loans for home repairs, and other programs that help people get and pay for safe, clean housing.
So, we might think we know everything about where we live, but the ACS gives us the up-to-date information about our neighborhoods.
Having a reliable organization like the U.S. Census Bureau collect this information makes sure that it is always available in all parts of the country. The data from the ACS are used as a standard across the country. This lets communities get their fair share of federal and state funds, which improves their quality of life in the long run.