Pulling specific variables from ACS using API

Is there a way to define in R which variables to pull from an ACS data set using API? Below is the code I use to pull the entire table for B01003 for all US zip codes, but this table only has Estimate and MOE, so it's not too large. But for other tables, I need to exclude some variables to make this work. 

# Install required packages
if (!require(tidycensus)) install.packages("tidycensus")
if (!require(dplyr)) install.packages("dplyr")

# Load the packages

# Set your Census API key
census_api_key("your_api_key", install = TRUE, overwrite = TRUE)

# Define the years you're interested in (2011 to 2022)
years <- 2011:2022

# Function to fetch population data for all U.S. ZCTAs for a specific year
get_population_data_us <- function(year) {
data <- get_acs(geography = "zip code tabulation area",
year = year,
survey = "acs5",
table = "B01003",
output = "wide") %>%
mutate(Year = year)
}, error = function(e) {
message("Error with year ", year, ": ", e$message)

# Initialize an empty list to store the data
all_data_us <- list()

# Loop over each year, fetching data for all U.S. ZCTAs
for (year in years) {
data <- get_population_data_us(year)
if (!is.null(data)) {
all_data_us[[as.character(year)]] <- data

# Combine the data from different years
combined_data_us <- bind_rows(all_data_us)

# Save the combined data to a CSV file on your desktop
write.csv(combined_data_us, "~/Desktop/Population_by_ZIP_All_US_2011_2022.csv", row.names = FALSE)

  • Rather than using the "tables" argument, you can use the "variables" argument, as an other replier suggested. Here's some similar code I used to pull the total population ACS variable over a series of 5 years for all metro areas.

    # Which Years? -----------------------------------------------------
    years <- 2017:2022
    names(years) <- years

    # Get metro area population change --------------------------------
    metro_populations <- map_dfr(years,~{
        geography = "cbsa",
        variables = "B01003_001",
        year = .x,
        survey = "acs5"
    }, .id = "year")

    If you want more than one variable, you can put them in an object just like the "years" object here. Then, reference that object in the "variables" argument.

  • you don't even need to do that.  all you need is a vector of variable IDs.  optionally you can also use a named vector to rename the variable IDs to whatever you want in your output.  

    Here's a minimal example to try: walker-data.com/.../an-introduction-to-tidycensus.html

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