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From Education to Housing Costs, the American Community Survey Provides 10 Years of Local Statistics for Every Community Nationwide

“For 10 years, the American Community Survey has provided U.S. communities with detailed information critical for making informed decisions about their people, places and economy. Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released the latest American Community Survey five-year statistics, allowing users for the first time to compare two nonoverlapping five-year data sets: 2005-2009 and 2010-2014. Users can now identify trends for social and economic characteristics for even the smallest communities on a more frequent basis…In addition to today’s release of statistics using data collected between 2010 and 2014, the Census Bureau has produced a series of maps; detailing county-level change for six socio-economic characteristics, highlighted below. Without the American Community Survey, these maps would only be possible every 10 years. The maps highlight just a few of the more than 40 topics available from the American Community Survey that public officials, community leaders, business owners, researchers and many others rely on to plan and make decisions.

Map highlights

College graduates

  • In 130 counties, 40 percent or more of the population 25 or older had a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2010-2014, with 40 of these counties located in the South.
  • In 22 counties, 50 percent or more of the population 25 or older had a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2005-2009; this increased to 34 counties in 2010-2014.
  • Of the 3,142 counties or county equivalents in the U.S., the percentage of the population 25 or older with a bachelor’s degree or more increased in 1,000 counties and decreased in 60 counties between 2005-2009 and 2010-2014.

Median monthly owner costs

  • In 171 counties, owners with a mortgage had a median monthly housing cost greater than $1,750, with 63 (36.8 percent) of these counties located in the Northeast.
  • Between 2005-2009 and 2010-2014, median monthly housing costs for owners with a mortgage increased in 177 counties and decreased in 1,163 counties. In most counties (1,798), the change was not statistically significant. Four counties could not be compared: Kalawao County, Hawaii; Kenedy County, Texas; King County, Texas; and Loving County, Texas.

Homeownership rates

  • In 136 counties, more than 80 percent of the housing units were owner occupied, with 73 of these counties located in the Midwest.
  • Between 2005-2009 and 2010-2014, the percent of housing units that were owner occupied increased in 115 counties and decreased in 931 counties. The change was not statistically significant in 2,096 counties.”

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