Why is ACS data reported for 2006-2010 when I just asked for 2010?

Sorry this is I’m sure a pretty dumb question since I am pretty new to IPUMS –

I’m interested in census tract level data on age distribution, educational attainment, household income etc. as of 2010. I specified the year 2010 in IPUMS for my data download. But when I open the dataset I downloaded, the year is listed as 2006-10, not just 2010. The data source for the variables I downloaded is the ACS.

Two related questions:

  • Is it possible to instead have a snapshot as of 2010, rather than this average? If so, what should I have done differently?

  • What does 2006-10 mean in this context? Is the data reported a simple average of those five years?

Thanks to anyone who answers!!

I guess I may have answered my own question – these are the five year ACS estimates, which are available for all census tracts. I could also download the one year estimates which are more timely but noisier, and possibly not available for all census tracts:


There are no such thing as dumb questions! Yes, I think you did answer your own question. It sounds like you downloaded the ACS 5yr sample spanning 2006-2010.