Internet Activities

Chapter 1


Click on the following links - please note these will open in a new window


The following excerpt is taken from the U.S. Census Bureau:

"The American Community Survey (ACS) is a nationwide survey designed to provide communities a fresh look at how they are changing. It will replace the decennial long form in future censuses and is a critical element in the Census Bureau's reengineered 2010 census. The decennial census has two parts: 1) the short form, which counts the population; and 2) the long form, which obtains demographic, housing, social, and economic information from a 1-in-6 sample of households. Information from the long form is used for the administration of federal programs and the distribution of billions of federal dollars. Since this is done only once every 10 years, long-form information becomes out of date. Planners and other data users are reluctant to rely on it for decisions that are expensive and affect the quality of life of thousands of people. The American Community Survey is a way to provide the data communities need every year instead of once in ten years.” (

Using the lessons from Chapter One, let's take a closer look at some of the ACS variables. Begin by visiting the following U.S. Census Bureau's website: Examine the page in front of you and select the “Guided Search” tab.  Select the unit of analysis by clicking the “Geographies” tab. Select three states by typing in the name of a state and adding to your selections until there are three states listed in the “Your Selections” box. Click the "Next" button at the bottom of your screen. You should now have a list of variables in front of you. Scroll through these tables and find a table that interests you.  Select this table and examine the results.  What can you tell about the variables from examining the table? Is the level measurement nominal, ordinal, or interval/ratio? How can you tell? Can you think of any hypotheses that you might be interested in testing using these data?