About Census 2010 Summary File 1 Data

Many of our users have asked where they can find the Census 2010 data on PolicyMap, and we wanted to be sure to get the word out about it. Because the Census data was only made up of a few indicators in 2010 (with the American Community Survey, or ACS, making up the remainder of them), you’ll find only a subset of the Census data you may be used to on PolicyMap, located primarily in the Demographics tab and the Neighborhood Conditions tab. These indicators include Total Population, Race, Ethnicity, Age, Sex, Households and Families in Demographics, and Vacancy in Neighborhood Conditions. All other current estimates you see on PolicyMap (those labeled with the year 2005-2009) are ACS indicators. All Census data for the foreseeable future will be divided up in this way. So, although many data users were expecting the full suite of Census indicators they had in the 2000 Summary File 3, the Census has changed its delivery method and methodology, and it is now distributing many of those through the ACS. The good news is that the ACS is updated annually, instead of decennially, and so estimates for household income, poverty and the like will be refreshed every year. For more information about the ACS, please see our previous blog post here. And find out more about how the 2000, 2010 Census and ACS complement each other here.

Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about these data. We’ve spent a good amount of time learning about how and why the Census took this approach, and we’re happy to discuss it with you.