The American Community Survey (ACS) is
|“||a monthly survey that replaced the census long form and provides annual data on communities’ demographic, social, economic, and housing conditions.||”|
The Census Bureau's full implementation of the ACS in 2005 was a major change to the statistical system. The survey is unique among other surveys of households and individuals because of its size — the monthly surveys add to an annual sample of 3.54 million addresses. The ACS provides annual estimates of social and economic characteristics for all areas of the country and is a primary source of information on small areas, such as towns and tribal lands, down to the neighborhood level.
The ACS covers a broad range of topics, such as housing, education, and employment. The information provided by the ACS was previously only available once a decade from the decennial census long form, which the ACS replaced. Users of ACS information include all levels of government, the private and nonprofit sectors, and researchers. According to the Census Bureau, ACS estimates are currently used to help allocate more than $400 billion in federal funding annually.