ACS—American Community Survey


LSC obtains demographic information from the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS). The tables have been requested from the Census Bureau to be disaggregated at the LSC Service Area and State levels by key demographic categories.

The American Community Survey is a national survey that uses a series of monthly samples to produce annual population estimates for small areas formerly via the decennial census. The ACS tabulations are distinguished by 5-year (2011-2015) and 1-year (2015) estimates. The 1-year estimates are calculated from data for areas with populations greater than 65,000, using the most current data and smallest sample size, while the 5-year estimates are derived from data for all areas using the largest sample size.

Please refer to the US Census Bureau –American Community Survey website for more information about the survey and methodology.

The Data File is a compilation of all tabulations constructed by the Census Bureau for US States and Territories and LSC Service Areas. It includes both the 1-year and 5-year estimates. The Data File has been formatted to retain all original information from the ACS tabulations but also includes the following additional column headers to distinguish between the tabulations:


TABLE_TITLE is the title of each table. It is the first line of the raw ACS tabulation file. TABLE_UNIVERSE contain information about the population universe of each table. It is the second line of the raw ACS tabulation file.

TABLE_LEVEL distinguishes tables with estimates at the State or LSC Service Area level. TABLE_SAMPLE provides information about whether or not the tables provide 1-year or 5-year estimates.

TABLE_CATEGORY classifies tables into the following categories listed not in any order:

• Race/Ethnicity
• Place of Birth
• Housing
• Income/Benefits
• Poverty Status
• Language
• Veteran Status
• Health Insurance Status
• Citizenship
• Employment

Please refer to the codebook for more information about the structure of the Data File.

Additional Notes

Note that due to the rounding schematics by the Census bureau detailed below, the subtotal estimates are not additive and the aggregation of subtotals will not match the totals displayed in the file.

All estimates by Legal Service Areas follow a rounding schematic implemented by the US Census Bureau:

• 0 remains 0
• 1-7 rounds to 4
• 8 or greater rounds to nearest multiple of 5 (i.e., 864 rounds to 865, 982 rounds to 980)
• Any number that already ends in 5 or 0 stays as is.

The standard ACS detailed tables for the state summary level are not rounded since they are publicly released data which are part of the U.S. Census Bureau’s standard products.