Data Dictionary: ACS 2006 -- 2010 (5-Year Estimates)
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Survey: ACS 2006 -- 2010 (5-Year Estimates)
Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Survey Details
ACS 2006 -- 2010 (5-Year Estimates)

In 2010 three types of estimates are available from the American Community Survey: 1-year estimates (based on data collected in a single year), 3-year estimates (based on data collected in three consecutive years) and 5-year estimates (based on data collected in five consecutive years). To help users determine which estimates to select, a basic comparison of 1-year, 3-year and 5-year estimates is provided below. Additional information about the interpretation and use of 1-year, 3-year and 5-year estimates is available in the Guidance for Data User section on the http://www.census.gov/acs/www/guidance_for_data_users/estimates/.

1-Year Estimates:

The 2009 ACS 1-year estimates are based on data collected between January 2009 and December 2009.

  • Published for selected geographic areas with populations of 65,000 or greater
  • Represent the average characteristics over calendar year 2009
  • Have smaller sample size than the 3-year and 5-year estimates
  • Are more current than the 3-year estimates and 5-year

3-Year Estimates:

The 2007-2009 ACS 3-year estimates are based on data collected between January 2007 and December 2009.

  • Published for selected geographic areas with populations of 20,000 or greater
  • Represent the average characteristics over the 3-year period of time
  • Have larger sample size than the 1-year estimates but smaller than the 5-year
  • Are less current than the 1-year estimates however more current than the 5-year

5-Year Estimates:

The 2005-2009 ACS 5-year estimates are based on data collected between January 2005 and December 2009 (during calendar years 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009). Data are from the American Community Survey and the Puerto Rico Community Survey.

  • Published for small geographic areas
  • Represent the average characteristics over the 5-year period of time
  • Have larger sample size than the 1-year and 3-year estimates
  • Are less current than the 1-year and 3-year estimates

Please note that these are not the Census 2010 population counts.

Documentation
ACS 2010 5-Year Summary File: Technical Documentation
Social Explorer; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey 2006-2010 Summary File: Technical Documentation.
Design and Methodology: American Community Survey
Glossary of Terms
Glossary of Basic Geographic and Related Terms - Census 2000
Social Explorer; U.S. Census Bureau; Design and Methodology, American Community Survey. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 2009.