Official State of Iowa Website

American Community Survey (ACS)

What is the ACS?

  • The American Community Survey (ACS) is an ongoing survey that provides data every year -- giving communities the current information they need to plan investments and services. Information from the survey generates data that help determine how more than $400 billion in federal and state funds are distributed each year. The ACS provides:
    • Estimates of demographic, social, economic, and housing characteristics every year, not just every ten years
    • Estimates for all states, counties, townships, incorporated places, tribal areas, census tracts, and census block groups

Frequency of Data Releases

  • The Census Bureau produces annual estimates for large geographic areas and multi-year averages for small geographic areas every year
    • For states and for governmental units with populations of 65,000 or more, the ACS will provide direct estimates for each year.
    • For governmental units with populations less than 65,000 and for census tracts and census block groups, the ACS will provide data as 5-year time period every year
  • Multi-year estimates of characteristics will be updated each year for every governmental unit and for census tracts and block groups. 

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