Data Quality Issues with the American Community Survey (ACS):
Why are the Margins of Error so Large?
Lisa Neidert | PSC Data Note
January 19, 2012
This note discusses reasons that the ACS data are noisier than data from the census long-form. It recommends that users examine their data metrics before drawing conclusions and if necessary – collapse cells or combine geographies.
The PSC ACS Aggregator Tool provides an easy way for users to re-calibrate margins of error after they have collapsed cells or combined geographies, both recommended solutions for the reducing the margins of error in ACS data.