Official State of Iowa Website

New Statistics Available From the 2016–2020 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

Mar 17, 2022

The U.S. Census Bureau released new statistics from the 2016–2020 American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year estimates. Following pandemic-related data collection disruptions, the Census Bureau revised its methodology to reduce nonresponse bias in data collected in 2020. After evaluating the effectiveness of this methodology, the Census Bureau determined the standard, full suite of 2016–2020 ACS 5-year data are fit for public release, government and business uses. These statistics boost the understanding of the social and economic characteristics of the U.S. population.

“While the COVID-19 pandemic posed significant challenges for the 2020 ACS data collection, we have worked tirelessly over the last few months to refine our methodology and reduce the impact of nonresponse bias in the 2016–2020 ACS 5-year data products,” said Donna Daily, division chief of the ACS Office.

The revised methodology improves the 2020 weighted survey responses by comparing characteristics for responding and nonresponding households using administrative, third-party and decennial census data. This provides key insight into how those who participated may be different than those who did not and allowed an adjustment to make the data more representative of the entire population. The resulting 2020 input data were then integrated with the inputs from 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 (processed using standard ACS methodology) to produce the 5-year data products. To learn more about changes to the methodology, view the methodology user note.

The ACS is the nation’s leading source of large- and small-area socioeconomic and demographic statistics for all levels of geography for every community in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. ACS data provides public officials, community leaders, business owners, researchers and others with detailed information helping them to plan for the future.

Dashboards on the State Data Center website using ACS data will be updated over the next few weeks. Please contact the State Data Center if you are needing updated reports sooner.

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