Free U.S. Census Webinar for Genealogy Societies to Better Understand Their Community Demographics

American Community Survey
Image Source: U.S. Census Bureau.1

How well does your genealogy society understand the demographics of its surrounding community, or of new groups it is trying to reach? How well does your genealogy business understand the demographics of your current or potential customer base? How well does your library understand the demographics of your current or potential patrons?

I co-presented with Josh Taylor and Linda Harms Okazaki last month at the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) Conference in Washington, DC, in two back-to-back sessions that focused on diversity and inclusion in the genealogical community. In those sessions, we recommended the American Community Survey (ACS) as one of the tools that genealogy societies, businesses, and libraries can use to learn more about their target demographics.

The U.S. Census Bureau is hosting a FREE webinar about the most recent ACS this Wednesday, September 11th. If you are a genealogy society volunteer or you own a genealogy business, this is a great opportunity to learn more about finding and analyzing current U.S. demographic data and trends.

American Community Survey

The ACS is a survey conducted annually by the U.S. Census Bureau, gathering demographic data from a sampling of addresses in all 50 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico.

It regularly gathers information previously contained only in the long form of the decennial census, such as ancestry, citizenship, educational attainment, income, language proficiency, migration, disability, employment, and housing characteristics. 2

A full list of the data points captured on the ACS is available on the Census Bureau website.

The Webinar

This webinar focuses on the latest 1-year data release, which is for data collected in 2018.

Learn more about the latest American Community Survey (ACS) 1-year data release. This webinar will cover background information about the ACS, updates for this release, and where to find new data release information on the ACS website. New for this release: We will demonstrate how to access ACS statistics on the Census Bureau’s new data dissemination platform,

  • Title: 2018 ACS 1-Year Pre-Release Webinar
  • Date: Wednesday, September 19, 2019
  • Time: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Eastern (11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Pacific)
  • Registration: Not available (join the live event 10-15 minutes early)

Can’t Watch the Live Webinar?

The email announcement from the U.S. Census Bureau does not indicate if the webinar will be recorded, but the Bureau does appear to record their webinars and make those available on their website.

Sources Cited

  1. U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC (, to Colleen Greene, email, 9 September 2019, “Webinar September 11: Introduction to the American Community Survey.”
  2. Wikipedia, (, “American Community Survey,” rev. 18:16 (UTC) 30 August 2019.
  3. 2018 ACS 1-Year Pre-Release Webinar,” United States Census Bureau, Census Academy, 6 September 2019 ( : accessed 9 September 2019).

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