How to use this site

Tech Notes and Limitations

This is a relatively low-tech and extremely low-budget project. If you want improvements, please ask, and I will do my best, but can make no guarantees.

For example, these pages look much better in Chrome than in Safari. In a "real" web site, the developers would jump through the relevant cross-browser hoops.

More importantly, the ACS raw data are numbers: often indecipherable codes. I have deciphered a lot of them, but for various reasons, there is no easy way to do so automatically. It requires judgment about what variables are worth the time, and how to make the text values short yet descriptive. If you want something new decoded, or want a change in my codes, let me know and I'll do what I can in the time available.

More about the Data

This is Public Use Microdata from the American Community Survey. "Microdata" means it's data about individuals.

There are a lot of variables. You can learn about the detailed codes (some of which I have translated into English) In this PDF.

A "PUMA" is a Public Use Microdata Area. The US is divided into PUMAs. Each one has at least 100,000 people in it. You can find out where the PUMAs are, and their numerical codes, on the "Puma Locator" page. There's a link on the left.