Basic API question (I watched several videos already)

It looks like to only practical way to get data is the API. I've watched several videos, read pages etc, and am still lost.

All ACS API's start with

For acs-1 its,group(B01001),group(S0101),group(S0201)

Then there is ^&^&^ I don't understand and then to get county level data this goes at the end   &for=county:*  

I want table S0101 for all counties with;

County name

County ID





Long day at work and now its 1am and I'm doing this???

  • Heya! Looks like you might be getting close. For your specific ask, this is the API call that would return what you are looking for:,S0101_C01_032E,S0101_C01_036E,S0101_C02_036E,S0101_C06_001E,NAME&for=county:*

    Note that using the 1-year ACS estimates means that you will only get data for counties with large enough populations (65,000+). For all counties, you could use 5-year ACS.

    If you are an R user, I'd recommend checking out tidycensus, which is a package that makes it simpler to access data from the Census API. Here for example is the tidycensus call that would return the same as the API call above:

      geography = "county",
      variables = c("S0101_C01_001", "S0101_C01_032", "S0101_C01_036",
                    "S0101_C02_036", "S0101_C06_001"),
      year = 2021,
      survey = "acs1",
      show_call = TRUE

  • Thanks so Much! It works. I was under the assumption the column-meta-data file fields would all have data. So I have to check the download data file, find fields I want and make sure there is data, then create the URL. I think it will take me 30-60 minutes for each download file and I have around 18 tables to download. 

    Add a day to download the URL data into tabs, clean it up and make it into 1 happy table with all the fields together. Then Tableau.

    If I ever do this again, and nothing big changes to the tables it might take me 4-6 hours

    I could use the methodology for ACS-5, although the data and tables might be slightly different.

    Thanks again !