Kentucky: By The Numbers



The American Community Survey



Kentucky: By The Numbers

Rural Resources

American Community Survey

Rural Issues Briefs

Links to Additional Data

Rural Welfare Reform



Since detailed data on social, economic, and housing characteristics are

no longer collected every 10 years as part of the Decennial Census,

the American Community Survey (ACS) is

now the place to go for for these data.

This page provides a brief background about the ACS.



For more information about the

American Community Survey,

go to the Census Bureau's website:






Background on the American Community Survey


Even before the 2000 Decennial Census, the Census Bureau began work on developing an alternative to using it every 10 years to collect detailed data on social, economic, and housing characteristics. 


Two concerns drove making the change: cost and the timeliness of the data.


After much testing and development, in 2005, the American Community Survey was finally rolled out to gather detailed data for areas with a population of 65,000 persons or more. 


In December 2010, the transition was complete.  The 2010 Decennial Census had contained only a few questions and data from the American Community Survey for all geographies was released.


While the Decennial Census is still the official count of the number of people across the nation and in our communities, the American Community Survey (or ACS) is now where we go to find out their characteristics.


The ACS produces 3 types of data: 1, 3, and 5-year estimates.  Which estimates are available for your community or county depends on the size of its population.


(Click Here to see a map and list of counties in Kentucky.)


All places and all counties have estimates that cover a 5-year time frame but only those with mid-sized populations have both 3 and 5-year estimates and only the largest populations have 1, 3, and 5-year estimates.




As with any new data source,

those from the American Community Survey


in many ways from what we are used to. 




For a brief overview, see:


New Kid in Town:

Understanding Data from the American Community Survey


See also:


More than the Top Ten:

A Resource for Questions about the American Community Survey







Other Kentucky: By The Numbers webpages on the

American Community Survey







Other "Kentucky: By the Numbers" webpages:

        Data Series

        Graphical Website Instructions

        Links to Additional Data Sites

        Kentucky: By the Numbers Homepage

        Resources for the American Community Survey



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