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Geographic Areas and Concepts for the American Community Survey Updated February 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Geographic Areas and Concepts for the American Community Survey Updated February 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Geographic Areas and Concepts for the American Community Survey Updated February 2013

2 Overview Basic Census Bureau geography Geographic areas for which ACS data are available Geographic area concept and definition issues to be aware of when using ACS data 2

3 Types of Geographic Areas Legal/administrative areas –have legally described boundaries; they may provide governmental services or may be used to administer programs Statistical areas –defined primarily for data tabulation and presentation purposes 3

4 Census Geographic Concepts Legal/Administrative and Statistical Areas Legal/Administrative AreasStatistical Areas NationRegions StatesDivisions CountiesCensus County Divisions Minor Civil DivisionsCensus Designated Places Incorporated Places Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas Congressional DistrictsUrban / Rural Areas School DistrictsCensus Tracts Voting DistrictsBlock Groups ZIP Code Tabulation AreasPublic Use Microdata Areas 4

5 ACS Geographic Area Types U.S. and Puerto Rico Type of Geographic Area Total Number of Areas Percent of Areas with a Population of 65,000 or more Percent of Areas with a Population of 20,000 or more States, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico County or equivalent3, Congressional Districts Public Use Microdata Areas2, Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas / 5

6 Hierarchy of Census Geographic Entities 6

7 Overview Basic Census Bureau geography Geographic areas for which ACS data are available Geographic area concept and definition issues to be aware of when using ACS data 7

8 Tracts and Block Groups Census tracts are small, relatively permanent statistical subdivisions of a county Block groups are statistical subdivisions of census tracts and are the lowest level of geography available in the ACS Block group estimates are available only in the ACS Summary File, not American FactFinder Block groups and tracts are available only in the ACS 5-year estimates 8

9 Kalamazoo County, MI - Census Tract

10 Kalamazoo County, MI - Census Tract 30.04, Block Groups 1, 2, & 3 10

11 ZIP Code Tabulation Areas First available in the ACS 5- year estimates Abbreviated form-ZCTAs Similar to U.S. Postal Service ZIP codes 11

12 County Subdivisions Minor Civil Divisions and Census County Divisions Minor Civil Divisions (MCDs) –Legally bounded entity –Sub-county entities in 29 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico –May have a local government with elected officials Census County Divisions (CCDs) –Statistical entity –Sub-county units that have stable boundaries and recognizable names in 21 states –No minimum or maximum population guidelines –Not included in ACS 1 or 3 year data products 12

13 County Subdivisions Distribution Map of MCDs and CCDs TN 13

14 Places Incorporated Places and Census Designated Places Incorporated Places –Legally bounded entity –Referred to as cities, boroughs, towns, or villages, depending on the state Census Designated Places (CDPs) –Statistical entity –Created to present census data for an area with a concentration of population, housing, and commercial structures that is identifiable by name, but not within an incorporated place –Examples: Columbia, MD; Paradise, NV 14

15 Places Salem County, New Jersey 15

16 Places Mendocino County, California 16

17 Urban Areas Urbanized Areas and Urban Clusters Urbanized Areas –50,000 or more people Urban Clusters –2,500 up to 49,999 people Both defined after each decennial census 2012 ACS Estimates and subsequent ACS estimate years will reflect Urban Areas defined using the 2010 Census results 17

18 Rural Areas All territory not within an urban area Cuts across other hierarchies Can be in metropolitan or non- metropolitan areas 18

19 Urban Areas Urbanized Areas and Urban Clusters in Tennessee 19

20 Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas Defined by U.S. Office of Management and Budget Metropolitan Statistical Areas –Contains core Urban Area of 50,000 or more population –Its own County, and –Surrounding counties with heavy commuting patterns Micropolitan Statistical Areas –Contains urban core between 10,000 – 49,999 population –Only small percentage have population 65,000 or more 20

21 Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas-Map 21

22 Partial Map of Virginia Metropolitan Statistical Areas, Urban Areas, Places 22

23 Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs) Minimum population of 100,000 Cannot cross state boundaries Composed of: –Census tracts –Places (excluded for the new PUMA definitions) –One or more Counties –Combination of Tracts and Counties 23

24 Public Use Microdata Areas 24

25 Overview Basic Census Bureau geography Geographic areas for which ACS data are available Geographic area concept and definition issues to be aware of when using ACS data 25

26 Geographic Boundaries Multiyear estimates are based on geographic boundaries as of January 1 of the last year in the multiyear period Legal area changes are recorded in the Boundary and Annexation Survey (BAS) Statistical areas are updated every decade in conjunction with the decennial census 26

27 Geographic Boundaries Amarillo city, TX 27

28 Geography Notes Release notes available for each year at umentation/geography/ 28

29 Additional ACS Resources ACS website (census.gov/acs) American FactFinder (factfinder2.census.gov) QuickFacts (quickfacts.census.gov) DataFerrett (dataferrett.census.gov) FAQs (https://ask.census.gov/faq.php?id=5000&rtopic=1805) 29

30 Final Thoughts The U.S. Census Bureau measures the nation’s People, Places and Economy Census Bureau statistics are how America knows what America needs The Census Bureau is the leading source of quality, timely and relevant information about our nation’s people and economy 30

31 Contact Information Subscribe to “ Updates” Visit the ACS/PRCS website: Contact by Telephone: Submit a Question: https://ask.census.gov 31


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