Key fields to tables for ACS-1 (any help is appreciated) Poverty and Ed level college or higher

I am trying to find county level data for approx 20 fields. I really want to map each field to a simple table with as little extra (race etc.) data as possible. It's not the best method but will help me learn and understand and more easily check my numbers. I assume there's no such reference here. I've spent over a day trying to figure out what fields I want and hopefully find the tables. For example Own\Rent=B25003, Food Stamps=B19058, Public Assist=B19057, Stamps or Pub Assist= B19058, Disability=C18101?, Household Size= S2501 Foreign Born=B05012.   I am somewhat confused on a few items and any help on Poverty and Education level would be appreciated. So, Poverty and Official Poverty? and somewhat confusing elements on education and why the over 25? Many people finish college before 25?

  • So, I think I want the official poverty =? table (county level but as simple as possible)
  • Ed level college or higher all ages (I guess the best one is over 18) =?table county level but as simple as possible)

Once I get all this data and have a decent understanding of the tables, I think I'll move to pulling the data in an API (perhaps this weekend), but I really want to see and understand the tables directly first.

If anyone's interested I have the worlds best list and ranking of Medical journals with key info pulled from PubMed at;

Thanks in advance.


  • Dear Tom

    You can type some keywords in the basic search box and sometimes that works.

    I would start by learning how to use the search filters/ function on On the left go under "find a filter" and click on search. In the search box type POVERTY.   It takes some to figure out how the filter function works. There my be a brief webinar on how to do this.

    You can search at But sometimes the number of "hits" on a search can be several hundred. "POVERTY EDUCATION" works - 11 tables. "POVERTY RACE" 320 tables not so good.(search on POVERTY RACE BLACK returns 12 table -- nice.

    Since you mentioned the API, I assume that you are using some programming package. I use R and here is how I find things.I download the metadata file for the relevant data sets for example for ACS 5 year 2020 data:  metadata: (html table for ACS detailed "B" tables )  I download this file and read it into R with the htmltab (in package htmltab). htmltab will read directly from a url so you don't have to use the download step.

    There are metadata files for profiles/subject tables etc, check the link below. I then concatenate the group and concept fields and take the unique values.  I can quickly search this list with the R function "grep."  By repeated searches for example search first on POVERTY subset the list and then "grep" on RACE and then add another search. Remember to use toupper to get everything in all caps. I can usually get the list down to a reasonable size. I then look at the tables on  Some of the strings in the group/concept list are very long -- use nchar and a condition get rid of the very long strings

    .The list of datasets is here and then select the dataset you will be taken to a page with a link to the metadata html table (XML and JSON also available).  If you have a stats package that can read json you can use that. There are probably python packages that can do all this. The censusapi R package has all this automated.

    Best   Dave Dorer

  • Yes, there are lots of tables from the ACS, and it can be difficult finding what you need.  This link contains another link to an excel spreadsheet of all the table shells.  I went there to find these two tables: B15001 (covers educational attainment for the population `18 years and older); B17003 (covers poverty status by educational attainment).

    I believe the reason for most educational attainment tables restricting the table universe to 25 years and older is to include many (most?) of the people with advanced degrees.

    I hope this helps.

    Doug Hillmer