Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS)

The Census Bureau’s Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) files are a set of anonymized records from individual people or housing units, with disclosure protection enabled for respondent confidentiality. The Census Bureau produces 1-year and 5-year PUMS files with estimates based on a representative sample of the population: 1-year release (1%) and 5-year (5%). 

Only selected geographic areas are identified for the tabulation of PUMS data, including Region, Division, State, and Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs). PUMAs are statistical geographic areas defined for the dissemination of PUMS data and constituted of non-overlapping areas that partition each state into areas containing about 100,000 residents.

For more information on PUMAs, click here.

Estimates generated with PUMS microdata differ from American Community Survey (ACS) estimates in the following ways:

To read more about using PUMS data vs ACS data, click here.