Census 2010 Summary File Summary: There are fewer

28 Jul

I’ve been doing a lot of work lately with various Census products. Mostly recently, I’ve been trying to pull together some data to visualize trends in  the number of bike commuters in Oakland.  This data is readily available in Summary File 3 (SF-3)  for the 2000 Census, and you can also find it in the American Community Survey (ACS) files.

My understanding was that the ACS files were kind of a stop-gap measure: they provided more current information than the decennial census, but were lass accurate. I thought for accuracy’s sake, I should use the SF-3 file information from both 2000 and 2010, in addition to the ACS data. Since I couldn’t find the SF-3 data for 2010 on American FactFinder, I figured it must just not be released yet, so I waited.

Today I discovered it doesn’t matter how long I wait — there won’t be an SF-3:

So, although many data users were expecting the full suite of Census indicators they had in the 2000 Summary File 3, the Census has changed its delivery method and methodology, and it is now distributing many of those through the ACS. The good news is that the ACS is updated annually, instead of decennially, and so estimates for household income, poverty and the like will be refreshed every year.

via About Census 2010 Summary File 1 Data | PolicyMap.

Thanks to the bloggers at PolicyMap for clearing up this mystery for me! I’d never heard of PolicyMap before, but as of today I have an account. Check out the lovely maps you can build in a matter of minutes:

Powered by www.policymap.com, an online mapping tool and data warehouse.

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2 Responses to “Census 2010 Summary File Summary: There are fewer”

  1. brad July 30, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    I don’t really use the detailed Census data, but having viewed the 1940 Census registers that were released recently, it feels a little like something is being lost going the sampling route. Just nostalgia I suppose.

    Policymap is hitting an interesting niche. It’s not cheap, but certainly less than ArcGIS software maintenance, and could save a lot of time.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Oakland has the 7th highest number of bike commuters nationally « Veronica Beaty - November 20, 2012

    […] is.  Mostly recently, my department reveled in the 2011 American Community Survey data. As I mentioned before, the ACS is the source of data on commute modes, among other things, so it was hardly surprising […]

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