Esri Releases Annual Update of Ready-to-Use US Census Bureau Data for ArcGIS Users

New American Community Survey Data Will Be Accessible in ArcGIS Living Atlas 

REDLANDS, Calif.—December 15, 2020—Esri, the global leader in location intelligence, announced today that ArcGIS software users now have easy access to the newest values for five-year estimates of current data on demographic, housing, and workforce characteristics of the US population. Through ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World, users can employ over 1,700 annually updated attributes of American Community Survey (ACS) tables from the US Census Bureau.

Updated layers in the collection incorporate the latest five-year estimates covering 2015–2019 and include the following topics:

The current five-year ACS data can be accessed in ArcGIS Pro and ArcGIS Online, Esri’s configurable mobile apps and dashboards, and ArcGIS StoryMaps. All maps using these layers will automatically contain the newest ACS figures.

“These ACS layers are valuable tools especially for professionals who are now relying on US Census data in the fight against COVID-19,” said Diana Lavery, Esri senior product engineer. “Being able to access these added layers of analytics about national demographics gives government personnel a significant advantage in understanding and responding to the recent pandemic in a better-informed, data-driven way.”

Earlier this year, the US Census Bureau used the ACS layers to build its COVID-19 hub, a tool containing demographic and economic data designed to help guide decision-making related to the pandemic. Many government organizations are required by law to use ACS data when conducting any kind of spatial analysis involving populations. This integration provides them with a faster way of accessing and analyzing this data to make better-informed decisions.

Esri additionally made improvements to many of the existing ACS layers based on feedback from the US Census Bureau. Margins of error for calculated attributes such as percentages were refined, and alias names for race and ethnicity categories are now more consistent with those published by the US Census Bureau.

This collection now also includes layers that allow comparison of the ACS estimates from 2010–2014. These new layers enable users to compare population patterns over time. For example, users can compare how poverty levels have changed within a city and see which areas have seen improvements and which have not.

ACS data layers in ArcGIS Living Atlas update every December when the US Census Bureau produces new five-year estimates. The foremost collection of global geographic information, ArcGIS Living Atlas includes maps, apps, and data layers and is used by organizations around the world for research, analysis, and decision-making.

To learn more about the latest updates and how to use ACS data layers in ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World, visit


About Esri

Esri, the global market leader in geographic information system (GIS) software, location intelligence, and mapping helps customers unlock the full potential of data to improve operational and business results. Founded in 1969 in Redlands, California, USA, Esri software is deployed in more than 350,000 organizations globally and in over 200,000 institutions in the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Esri has partners and local distributors in over 100 countries on six continents, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, nonprofits, and universities. With its pioneering commitment to geospatial information technology, Esri engineers the most innovative solutions for digital transformation, the Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics. Visit us at

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