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Data Quality Issues: American Community Survey

a PSC Data Resource

Resource Source:PSC


ACS data are released on an annual basis rather than once every 10 years like the decennial census. This means that users get fresh socioeconomic data every year, including small geographies like census tracts.

However, the data are also noisier than the census long-form data were. The following link goes into details about the reasons why the ACS data have larger margins of error than the census long-form data: (a) sample size; (b) mixed mode design; (c) population controls. It discusses some solutions, in particular, aggregating geographies or collapsing cells. See the link below for the ACS Aggregator Tool.


ACS: Data Quality Issues (Source: PSC)
ACS Aggregator Tool (PSC) (Source: PSC)

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