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Census of Population and Housing, 2010 [United States]: American Community Survey (ACS)

PSC Data Catalog: Study Bibliographic Details:

Access to Files:Data and Documentation
Title:Census of Population and Housing, 2010 [United States]: American Community Survey (ACS)
Study Number:1297
Catalog Date:10/25/2011
Primary Investigator(s):United States Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census
Abstract:The Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) contains a sample of actual responses to the American Community Survey (ACS). The PUMS dataset includes variables for nearly every question on the survey, as well as many new variables that were derived after the fact from multiple survey responses (such as poverty status). Each record in the file represents a single person, or--in the household-level dataset--a single housing unit. In the person-level file, individuals are organized into households, making possible the study of people within the contexts of their families and other household members. Each year's PUMS files contain data on approximately one percent of the United States population.
The PUMS files are much more flexible than the aggregate data available on American FactFinder, though the PUMS also tend to be more complicated to use. Working with PUMS data generally involves downloading large datasets onto a local computer and analyzing the data using statistical software such as R, SPSS, Stata, or SAS.

Since all ACS responses are strictly confidential, many variables in the PUMS file have been modified in order to protect the confidentiality of survey respondents. For instance, particularly high incomes are "top-coded", uncommon birthplace or ancestry responses are grouped into broader categories, and the PUMS file provides a very limited set of geographic variables (explained more below).

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