The ACS puts this up-to-date information about important social issues at the fingertips of people who need it, including policymakers, researchers, businesses and nongovernmental organizations, journalists, teachers, students, and the public. The federal government uses ACS information to evaluate the need for federal programs and to run those programs eff ectively. Non-governmental organizations use the ACS in a variety of ways to monitor trends among important subgroups of the population, often at the state level. Journalists use ACS data to report on new or emerging social trends, or to put a piece of anecdotal evidence into a broader context. And state and local governments are using ACS information to keep track of year-to-year changes in their jurisdictions.
Much of the ACS data provided on the Census Bureau’s Web site are available separately by age group, race, Hispanic origin, and sex. For example, data users can compare the poverty status of children and the elderly, college enrollment rates for men and women, or housing costs for African Americans and non-Hispanic Whites. No other resource provides such a wealth of social, economic, and housing information about American society.