In 2012 ACS data, why am I getting breaks where all variables have 000?


When I pull unformatted data from 2012 ACS into Excel, about every 50 lines or so is what looks like bad data, where it starts 2012 (year) 0 (datanum) and then a serial number, followed by only zeros for the rest of the variable. Are these bad responses that should be discarded, or should I wait for formatted data to come through? I’ve never had this problem before, but I’ve only used formatted data.

I’m trying to use the unformatted .dat files because I’ve been waiting for three days and haven’t gotten anything yet, and I need the numbers soon.



I looked into your data extracts and it appears that the CSV formatted data is now available for your last two extracts.

I was unable to replicate your issue reading the fixed-width data file into Excel. It sounds like your file was not fully decompressed. If you still want to open the fixed width data file in Excel, I would recommend redownloading the file, decompressing the file using a program like 7-zip, then open the file using Excel’s Text Import Wizard.

I hope this helps.