Designed in 1996 to provide more timely demographic information to policymakers, businesses, and the general public, the American Community Service is a program initiated by the U.S. Census Bureau. The Survey was designed to complement the national census taken every ten years, as mandated by federal law. The site is very helpful as users are given access to date profiles on over 800 geographical areas (utilizing data from 2002), ranking tables (which offer a quick view of states, places, and counties ranked on issues such as persons speaking Spanish at home and so on), and a overview of the Survey itself. Researchers using the site will want to pay keen attention to the Using the Data area, which features material on response rates, understanding the change profiles within the data, and a separate piece for basic data users with a basic understanding of the sample design, estimation methodology, and accuracy of the data. Overall, this is a very interesting site, especially for those looking for relatively up-to-date information on the changing demographics around the United States.
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