Skip to Main Content

The University of Tennessee

Center for Business and Economic Research

Frequently Used Tools:

American Community Survey Info

The 5-year estimates from the American Community Survey have been released.  The Tennessee State Data Center is here to help navigate the vast amounts of data in this landmark release.  As a way of illustrating, consider the number of separate geographies represented in 1-year, 3-year and 5-year data:   The original 1-year estimates covered 7,000 geographical areas (nation, states, regions, MSAs, a number of counties and cities).  The 3-year estimates covered 14,000 geographies (added more cities and counties.)  The 5-year estimates cover over 660,000 geographies (ALL cities and counties, school districts, census tracts, etc.)  The data require patience to learn but will pay benefits for data users of all types.

The Census Bureau has tailor-made handbooks for 12 categories of data users including the following:

All handbooks are available for download from the Census Bureau's website:

The Census Bureau provided a preview to the 5-year American Community Survey to interested data users.  Follow this link to view the PowerPoint presentation:

Also, with the finer detail included in the 5-year estimates, there could be a situation wherein a data user would like to combine several geographies, e.g. a number of census tracts.  A couple of spreadsheets are available to help with the calculations and their respective margins of error: 

See an introduction to the new tool here:

Please let us know if we can help your organization find a solution using Census Bureau products.