2019 American Community Survey (ACS) Data Users Conference

The ACS Data Users Group is a partnership between the U.S. Bureau of the Census and the Population Reference Bureau, to promote the effective use and dissemination of ACS data, as well as educate users on data issues and best practices.

The annual ACS Data Users Conference, held May 14 and 15 this year, was a great opportunity to learn how others use ACS data, how the data can be used in concert with other federal and non-federal data sources, and how to keep up with the great data exploration and visualization tools people use (and develop) to get the maximum utility from this detailed demographic and economic data resource.

For me it was great to be introduced (actually, reintroduced) to the IPUMS data library at https://www.ipums.org/. I hadn’t visited their collection for the better part of five or more years, and they have really expanded their offerings. By focusing on data curation and dissemination, and NOT analysis and visualization, they have been able to create wide ranging and still detailed collections of census (lower case c) and administrative survey records. It’s very much worth a visit to their site if you’ve never been (or like me, have been away too long).

Our Contribution at the 2019 ACS Data Users Conference

For my part, I was able to give two well-received presentations, including one that I delivered with Annu Jetty of the Robert Graham Center.

Zhang et al., Am J Epidemiol. 2014;179: 1025–1033 

Both papers focused on our use of an innovative modeling technique developed by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to create small (sub-county) area estimates for specific health behaviors and health outcomes. These estimates are derived from sub-county ACS population measures 
(diagram shown above). In the first presentation, we showed how the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the UDS Mapper enable you to do cold spot analysis to find high-need areas. My second presentation showed how our Population Health Profiler can help health care providers learn more about the health of the community (“Community Vital Signs”) that matches their actual patient-derived service area. 

Try the tools mentioned above, find support resources, or contact us today for more information.

Mark Carrozza

Director, HealthLandscape

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