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Get In-Depth Data Insights from the New ACS 2020 5-Year Estimates on Social Explorer

MONDAY, APR 04, 2022

The 2016-20 American Community Survey (ACS), released this week and already available through Social Explorer’s cutting-edge mapping and report tools, offers the most detailed view of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the United States. The survey is the result of a questionnaire sent to more than 15 million U.S. households over the last five years and yields thousands of variables at geographies ranging from national figures to block group levels that include as few as 500 people.

Because the pandemic curtailed data collection, single-year results covering places with more than 65,000 people weren’t available for 2020. The five-year results, however, can be compared to previous five-year surveys (such as the 2015-19 or 2006-10 ACS) that predate the pandemic.

Major parts of the ACS mirror the 2020 Census results released last year. Both include total population figures, as well as data for gender, age, race, ethnicity, household relationships and tenure (home ownership vs. rental). Other significant variables include:

  • Ancestry

  • Nativity and citizenship status

  • Place of birth

  • Period of naturalization

  • Geographic mobility

  • Commuting characteristics

  • Multigenerational households

  • Marital status

  • School enrollment

  • Language spoken at home

  • Veteran status

  • Poverty status

  • Disability type

  • Sources of income

  • Employment status

  • Health insurance

  • Vacant homes

  • Number of units in structure

  • Mortgage or rent costs

  • Heating fuel types

  • Home value

  • Internet/computer availability

  • Group quarters population

The variables are provided for block groups, Census tracts (neighborhood equivalents), towns and cities, metropolitan areas, counties, states, and the nation. The federal government will use the results to direct more than $1 trillion in annual spending. 

The 2016-20 ACS estimates will be the most detailed demographic information available through at least September 2022, when single-year estimates covering places with more than 65,000 people will be released. The next set of five-year estimates are slated to be released in December 2022.

If you are interested in discovering the full data mapping and reporting capabilities of Social Explorer, feel free to request a quick demo or sign up for a free trial today.

Author: Frank Bass

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