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Summer 2006
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U.S. Census Bureau Surveys Three Million Addresses

2005 American Community Survey Data for Gulf Coast Area

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2005 Special ACS Data Product for Gulf Coast Area
The Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS), an annual survey of three million addresses, was fully implemented on a national basis starting in January 2005. ACS collects detailed information on the characteristics of population and housing in the United States and Puerto Rico, including counties in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

In August 2006, the Census Bureau will release its regular data products for ACS, reflecting data collected in 2005. These products will include data for areas affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Since the data collected in any year represents an annual average of the characteristics in all months of the year, the effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita will influence annual averages to a limited extent. The planned special data product is designed to address this limitation by providing data for two different time spans of 2005: one corresponding to prehurricane conditions, the other corresponding to posthurricane conditions. In providing this data, the Census Bureau hopes to inform decision making about recovery strategies to address the needs of affected areas based on solid statistical information that transcends anecdotal evidence.

Proposed Special Product

The Census Bureau is planning to develop a special ACS data product designed to reflect characteristics of areas in which Hurricanes Katrina and Rita had a major impact. This product will have two components: one representing the characteristics of these areas for the first eight months of 2005 (from January through August) and the other representing the characteristics of these areas for the last four months of 2005 (from September though December). The ACS sample is sufficiently large to provide "before" and "after" profiles of affected areas; however, producing eight- and four-month estimates means that the sample sizes and reliability of the estimates will be reduced. Other limitations of this special product include possible higher levels of nonresponse in some areas where it was very difficult to conduct interviews immediately after the hurricanes.

The ACS data product was released in June 2006 in advance of the release of the regular ACS data products in August 2006. More information about this product will become available later this year through ACS Alert, the Census Bureau's electronic dissemination newsletter for ACS.

More Information

For more information, contact Rick Ayers, Esri (e-mail: rayers@esri.com).

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