Frequently Asked Questions

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Why was my address selected for the ACS?

Addresses selected for the American Community Survey (ACS) come from the Census Bureau’s Master Address File (MAF). The MAF is the Census Bureau’s official inventory of known living quarters and selected nonresidential units in the United States and Puerto Rico.  Each scientifically selected address represents other households in the surrounding community.

Interviewing a small sample of addresses, 3.5 million, rather than all addresses in the United States, allows the Census Bureau  to measure the whole population while limiting the cost of the survey and reducing the overall impact on respondents.

For more detailed information, please visit Chapter 4 of the Design and Methodology Report.


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