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Relationship table between…
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Nov 20, 2014 1:21 PM
Relationship table between ACS questions and AFF tables
I was wondering if there is a table that relates the ACS questions with table numbers, for example question "P31: How did this person usually get to work LAST WEEK?" relates to table "B08006: SEX OF WORKERS BY MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION TO WORK"
Such a relationship table would make it easier to find the questions used for a specific table and to find tables that tabulate the responses to a certain question.
My reason for asking is that I came across three questions I could not find a corresponding table for, and there might be more.
Question "H6: Is there a business (such as a store or barber shop) or a medical office on this property?" is on the list of questions that is under discussion for removal. I tried to find a table with responses, but could not find it.
Questions H4 (acreage) and H5 (agricutural sales) relate to some work I am doing and I haven't been able to find tables for them either. I can probably find some information in the microdata, but that PUMA's are not my main geography of interest.
Nov 21, 2014 8:46 AM
This is an interesting question. The text of the question you are citing (P31) is taken from the ACS instrument. You can find a copy on the Census website, e.g.,
. The weird long table numbers in the American Fact Finder (B08006) correspond to the tables based on the Summary Files, which are tract-level or block-group level data. See
. The Summary File data takes some getting used to, to say the least. They must be coming from the punchcard ages, and for backward compatibility and consistency across time, have been retained that way.
The text "B08006" can be found on p. 50 of
(which I am sure is not the latest one, but I could not find this text in the latest version by direct search in a PDF). It points to the location in the Summary File where this table can be found, but it does not link it back to the instrument questions used to produce it.
The SF/AFF tables are one/two/three/four-way tabs of the existing ACS questions. On the Summary File landing page I cited above, there's a bunch of Excel shells, as well as SAS code that is used to produce the actual tables. I imagine that reverse engineering SAS code will reveal these links, but that's pretty much a futile job.
In terms of the public comment period, I am sure the AFF/DataFerrett websites can tell pretty easily by sifting through the access log files which tables are being asked for the most frequently, and at what geography levels. However, even when the frequency of tables use is figured out, the links to the instrument items are still on the Census computers that produce the Summary Files from the microdata.