Why does B05012 not show Puerto Rico

B05012 does not show Puerto Rico? Other tables with population always list it. Its is somewhat like a table I found (forget the name) did not have US numbers, everything else, as if they just randomly miss stuff and you have no idea until you use the table (in my case API) and suddenly the numbers have issues. There is 95%+ consistency but the 1-5% will kill you.


  • Hello,

    This is a good question. I believe this is because in Puerto Rico, the questions on place of birth, residence one year ago (migration), and citizenship differ from those used in the 50 states and DC. 

    Tables B05001 and B07001 have similar issues.

    The corresponding tables for Puerto Rico are labeled B05012PR, B05001PR, and B07001PR.

  • As Mark's response indicates, there are differences in the survey questions in the Puerto Rico Community Survey versus the American Community Survey. Numerous tables are designed to exclude Puerto Rico data or to include only Puerto Rico data. (They aren't "randomly missing stuff.") For all of the detailed "B" and "C" ACS tables, the Bureau provides documentation through its Summary Files pages & Technical Documentation, which includes info about which tables include/exclude Puerto Rico. Traditionally, until this year, this info was available in the "Appendices," which are now available through the "Summary File Sequence-Based Format" pages. With the 2022 release, they've stopped delivering the "Sequence-Based Format" files and now provide only "Table-Based Format" files. It took me a while to find where the information from the old Appendices is now being provided, but I recently discovered there's a handy "Table List" document available through the "Table Shells and Table List' page. That doc will also show you which tables include block group data and which are limited to a just a few high levels (such as B11009. Coupled Households by Type, which is available only for the nation, regions, divisions, & states).

    I find that ACS documentation generally includes all of the important information you'd need somewhere. It's not always easy to find, but the ACS Technical Documentation page is a good place to start. (It includes a link to the Table Shells and Table List page, for example.) Also, helpfully, the ACS API page includes a link to the Technical Documentation page, so you should be able to find this info that way, too.

  • I just remembered there's a simpler way to determine which tables include only Puerto Rico or exclude it. In most cases, the names of tables that include only Puerto Rico end with "in Puerto Rico" and the names of tables that exclude Puerto Rico end with "in the United States". E.g., B05012's name is "Nativity in the United States" and B05012PR's is "Nativity in Puerto Rico."

  • Thanks!  I've used the shell table list, and although its still not everything I want, its very useful, I know about the PR at the table end but didn't know about the ending in the United States, so that's a win for me.  I'll stick to my belief that the system and tables are funky in places and there is a lot of room for improvement. At some point (hopefully soon), I'll post my best shot at dashboards in the format I'd really like to see in some tables.

  • To be clear, the "Table List" doc I referred you to is different from the "Table Shells," and the "Table List" file is relatively new. I'd recommend checking it out if you haven't yet.

  • Thanks, I'll check it out. I think these resources (Shells, tables etc.) are not directly linked to the data and therefore are not always correct. I found a few examples months ago, that did not seem to match the references like S0201 which I believe is supposed to be a 1 year and a 5 year, but is only a 1-year in the actual data set.  so ideally I want to find use a script to pull the actual tables and fields and whatever else I can get directly from the system. Lastly some tables have stopped having updates (discontinued?) but there is no resource I could find that has last year of data. When I was searching among the tables (in the UI) I would sometimes find a table I like, but was last updated a few years back.