U.S. Census Bureau Releases 2015 ACS 1-Year Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS)

We are pleased to announce the release of the 2015 American Community Survey (ACS) 1-year Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS).

The PUMS files show the full range of population and housing unit responses collected on individual ACS questionnaires for a subsample of ACS housing units and group quarters persons (approximately one percent of the United States population).

The PUMS files allow data users to conduct a custom analysis, though the files also tend to be more complicated to use. Working with PUMS data generally involves downloading large datasets onto a local computer and analyzing the data using statistical software such as R, SPSS, Stata, or SAS.

PUMS data can be accessed via the ACS FTP site, American FactFinder, or via the Census Bureau's DataFerrett tool. (DataFerrett is particularly useful for researchers who need a quick statistic or do not have access to statistical software.)

For more information, visit the links below:

  • About PUMS: Learn more about microdata, Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs), and weighting
  • Subjects Included in the PUMS: Topics and example variables included in the PUMS files
  • PUMS File Structure: Information about the format of PUMS files, as well as when and how to merge them
  • PUMS ReadMe: Information about 2015 geography and variable changes, as well as guidance for novice users
  • Accuracy of the PUMS: Explanation of the sample design, estimation methodology, and accuracy of the data
  • PUMS Estimates for User Verification: If users have doubts about whether they are correctly computing estimates, they can attempt to reproduce these estimates (using the replicate weight method)