About Census Reporter

Census Reporter is an independent project to make data from the American Community Survey (ACS) easier to use. We are unaffiliated with the U.S. Census Bureau.

A News Challenge grant from the Knight Foundation funded the initial build-out of the site. Joe Germuska developed the grant proposal and is the project lead. Our original project advisory board consisted of Joe Germuska, John Keefe, and Ryan Pitts. We are grateful to Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), who served as the fiscal agent for our original grant funds. After the original grant was spent, we incorporated as Census Reporter, NFP, an Illinois not-for-profit corporation.

Sara Schnadt served as the original designer and community coordinator. Ryan Pitts and Ian Dees were the primary software development team. Joe Germuska served as project manager and wrangler, and, with John Keefe, contributed to project design and planning.

Since the development of the initial site, additional contributions of code and/or documentation have been made by Avriana Allen, Durell Gill, Cathy He, Kristen Li, Joon Park, Tushar Samant, and Sumin Woo. Routine maintenance and support are provided by Joe Germuska. Ian Dees has donated a substantial amount of his time each year to update Census Reporter with new ACS releases.

Support for our 2020 Decennial Census features was provided by the Google News Initiative.

We are grateful to the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, home of Knight Lab, which provides in-kind support for some of Census Reporter's ongoing development. Most of our server hosting infrastructure is generously provided by the Oregon State University Open Source Lab. Thanks also to Mapbox for subsidizing some of our technology costs, and Amazon Web Services for similar support in the past.

We are especially grateful to the individuals who directly support Census Reporter through contributions via Open Collective.

If you would like to contact us about anything, please use our UserVoice system.

About the Data

Data presented in Census Reporter is collected by the U.S. Census Bureau. In almost all cases, the data is from the most recently released American Community Survey (ACS).

At this time, the data is from the 2016-2020 5-year ACS. In normal times, we would also be serving the most recent 1-year ACS, but the COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted data collection in 2020. In mid-2021, the Census Bureau announced the replacement of the standard 1-year estimates with an experimental release. Because of the limited geographic coverage and substantial differences from the data that our tool was designed to support, we have chosen not to attempt to use any of that data in Census Reporter.

ACS data is typically released in September and December of the year following the data collection year. We update Census Reporter as soon as we can after that data is released. Census Reporter does not currently offer any access to past data. We recommend data.census.gov or ipums.org for those who need data from earlier ACS releases or other Census data products.

Our 2020 Census Data for Your Neighborhood service is built on data from the 2020 Decennial Census redistricting data release.