Is there an easy way to look at multi-year trends using 1-year estimates using the online data analysis system?


I am interested in looking at changes in the demographic characteristics of people who bike and walk to work over time. At its simplest it would be great to see any changes in sex or race over time, but I am also interested in socio-economic characteristics. Ideally, I’d like to be able to set it up so I can just plug in a demographic characteristic and see how it changed over the years that data is available for the American Community Survey.

Right now, my understanding is that I would have to use the online data analysis tool to create a table for each characteristic I am interested for each year and then combine them. I do not have access to a stastical program and do not really understand the data extract system. If the data extract system is more appropriate for what I would like to do then I would want an output in Excel.

I hope this question makes sense.



It is possible for the extract system to output data in CSV format, which can be read into excel, but generally the files are too large for excel to open all at once. Using the online data analysis tool, you can select the “ACS, 2001-2012” dataset and include year as a control to get descriptive tables by year. For example, to see how sex relates to biking to work between 2001 and 2012 using the online data analysis tool, you could put tranwork in the “Row:” box, sex in the “Column:” box and year in the “Control:” box (leaving perwt as the weight variable). The resulting tables will show (among other things) what percentage (bold number) of the male population biked to work in each year as well as what percentage of the female population biked to work in each year. You could also select to display Row Percentages in the Table Options box to see what percentage of bikers are male vs. female in each year.

I hope this helps.