The Census Bureau today released new detailed estimates about the social, economic and housing characteristics of hundreds of race, tribal, Hispanic and ancestry groups at numerous geographic levels.
This is the first time this level of statistical detail has been available for groups since the 2000 Census, according to a release. The new products, based on the 2006-2010 American Community Survey (ACS), are generally comparable to estimates generated from the 2000 Census "long form."
Estimates are available for groups that meet a size threshold and for geographic areas that meet a completed survey response threshold. Up to 300 tables are included on topics such as educational attainment, fertility, nativity, citizenship, income, poverty and homeownership.
They are contained in two data products:
The 2006-2010 American Community Survey Selected Population Tables. Characteristics estimates are available for the 392 race, Hispanic origin, ancestry and tribal groups that had a national population of at least 7,000. Estimates are published for an individual group in a particular geographic area if it had at least 50 group members during the five-year survey period. Census tracts are the lowest geographic level available to groups meeting the two thresholds.
The 2006-2010 American Community Survey American Indian and Alaska Native Tables. Characteristics estimates are available for 950 American Indian and Alaska Native groups that had a national population of at least 100. Estimates are published for an individual tribe in a particular geographic area if that group had at least 50 group members during the five-year survey period. Fewer geographic types are available, but the release includes Alaska Native Regional Corporations and American Indian and Alaska Native Areas and Hawaiian Home Lands.
The new estimates are available on American FactFinder, the Census Bureau's online data search engine. Summary files can also be downloaded via the Census Bureau's FTP site.
Differences in higher education
In addition to the new estimates released through American FactFinder, the Census Bureau is also releasing today the latest in a series of short topic-based reports analyzing the ACS statistics. The new brief, "The Population with a Bachelor's Degree or Higher by Race and Hispanic Origin: 2006-2010," found that Asians had the highest proportion of bachelor's degrees or higher among the various groups.
About half of all people who identified themselves as Asian alone and were 25 and over had attained a bachelor's degree or higher. The comparable rate for the total U.S. population was 28 percent.
Several detailed Asian alone groups had more than 50 percent of their population 25 years and over with at least a bachelor's degree including Taiwanese (74 percent) and Asian Indians (71 percent). However, several Southeast Asian groups had proportionally fewer people with a bachelor's degree or higher than the rate for the U.S. population. These included Vietnamese (26 percent), Cambodian and Hmong (each about 14 percent) and Laotian (12 percent).
Among all groups examined in the brief, Taiwanese and Asian Indians had the highest proportions with a bachelor's degree or higher. Salvadorans had the lowest percentage with a bachelor's degree or higher (8 percent).
The American Community Survey
The American Community Survey replaces the "long form" that historically produced demographic, housing and socio-economic estimates for the nation as part of the once-a-decade census. The decennial census program, which includes the American Community Survey and the 2010 Census, along with the U.S. Census Bureau's population estimates program, serve as the basis for the allocation of more than $400 billion in federal funds to state, local and tribal governments every year. These vital estimates also guide planning in the private sector as well as the work done by policy makers at all levels of government and in communities of all sizes. All survey responses are strictly confidential and protected by law. The collection of this information has been directed by Congress or the federal courts.
Data users need to be aware of differences between the American Community Survey and the decennial census that will impact comparability of the 2006-2010 ACS estimates and 2000 Census long form estimates, as well as the 2010 Census short form. There are differences in the universe, question wording, residence rules, reference periods and the way in which the data are tabulated. The strength of the ACS is in estimating characteristics distributions. We recommend users compare derived measures such as percents, means, medians and rates rather than estimates of population totals.
The 2006-2010 ACS estimates of race, tribal, and Hispanic population group totals are based on a sample of the U.S. population aggregated over a five-year period. These estimates will differ from race, tribal and Hispanic population group totals from 2010 Census data products, which reflect a 100 percent count of the U.S. population as of April 1, 2010.
Methodology resource links
Understanding ACS margins of error: http://www.census.gov/acs/www/data_documentation/documentation_main/#doc2010
General information on the SPT and AIAN release: http://www.census.gov/acs/www/data_documentation/special_data_release/
Guidance on comparison with the 2000 Census: http://www.census.gov/acs/www/guidance_for_data_users/comparing_2010/
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