Annually Updated American Community Survey Data is Now Available in ArcGIS Living Atlas
REDLANDS, Calif.—December 21, 2023— The United States Census Bureau recently released its annual update to its American Community Survey (ACS) data. Many federal agencies are required to use this ACS data, and many non-profits rely on it when applying for grants for their operations and decision-making. To help meet this need, Esri, the global leader in location intelligence, has updated ACS layers and maps in ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World. The newest US Census Bureau values for five-year estimates of current data on demographic, housing, and workforce characteristics of the US population are now easily accessible to ArcGIS software users.
ArcGIS Living Atlas is the foremost collection of global geographic information and includes maps, apps, and data layers used by organizations around the world for research, analysis, and decision-making. Through ArcGIS Living Atlas, users can map and query more than 1,700 annually updated attributes of ACS tables, and this integration provides them with a faster way of accessing and analyzing this data.
Updated layers in the collection incorporate the latest five-year estimates covering 2018–2022 and include the following topics and more:
- Poverty status
- Health insurance
- Internet access
ACS helps local officials, community leaders, and businesses understand the changes taking place in their communities. It is the premier government source for detailed national population and housing information.
“We were deeply involved in the redistricting process last year,” said Rong Liu, City of Sacramento GIS Manager. “Fortunately, the ACS datasets [from Living Atlas] were used as reference maps in the redistricting process, which enabled the Sacramento Independent Redistricting Commission to adopt the new council district boundaries on time.”
The collection also contains historical ACS layers which have now been updated with the latest symbology corresponding to the current year layers, so accurate comparisons can be made. For example, users can see how poverty levels have changed within a city by visualizing which areas have improved and which haven’t.
As with previous years, additional state, county, and tract boundaries are shore-lined where needed, with additional large or important water bodies cut out of the polygons. This supports map styles like dot density and map effects like drop shadow to work better. ACS layers in ArcGIS Living Atlas typically update every December within days after the US Census Bureau releases its new five-year estimates.
The current five-year ACS data can be accessed in ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, Esri’s configurable apps and dashboards, and ArcGIS StoryMaps. All maps using these layers will automatically contain the newest ACS figures.
To learn more about the latest updates and how to use ACS data layers in ArcGIS Living Atlas, visit go.esri.com/living-atlas/acs.
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