U.S. Census Bureau Releases 2012-2016 ACS 5-Year PUMS Files and Variance Replicate Estimates Tables

2012-2016 ACS 5-Year Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS)

We are pleased to announce the release of the 2012-2016 American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) files

The ACS 5-year 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 five percent of the United States population).

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 them using statistical software such as R, SPSS, Stata, or SAS.

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

For more information, explore the new 2012-2016 ACS 5-year PUMS Technical Documentation:

  • PUMS ReadMe: Information about geography and variable changes, as well as guidance for novice users.
  • Code Lists: This document contains the detailed codes for variables that contain a large number of coded responses, such as ancestry and occupation.
  • Subjects in the PUMS: A list of broad topics included in each of the housing and population record files.
  • Data Dictionary: Full listing of all variables (and values) included in each of the housing and population record files.
  • 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).

2012-2016 ACS 5-Year Variance Replicate Estimate Tables

We are pleased to announce the release of the 2012-2016 ACS Variance Replicate Estimate Tables. These tables allow advanced users to calculate margins of error (MOEs) when collapsing data within a table or across geographies. This method provides a more accurate MOE than available approximation formulas.  

To access these estimates, visit the Variance Replicate Estimates page or through the Census Bureau's FTP site.

For more information visit the Variance Replicate Estimate Tables documentation page which includes technical documentation, a table and geography list, and table shells.

New and updated information related to these releases are available now on the 2016 Data Release page.

Thank you,

American Community Survey Office

U.S. Census Bureau