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NATIONAL NCHRP REPORT 588 COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM A Guidebook for Using American Community Survey Data for Transportation Planning

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TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD 2007 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE* OFFICERS CHAIR: Linda S. Watson, CEO, LYNXCentral Florida Regional Transportation Authority, Orlando VICE CHAIR: Debra L. Miller, Secretary, Kansas DOT, Topeka EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Robert E. Skinner, Jr., Transportation Research Board MEMBERS J. Barry Barker, Executive Director, Transit Authority of River City, Louisville, KY Michael W. Behrens, Executive Director, Texas DOT, Austin Allen D. Biehler, Secretary, Pennsylvania DOT, Harrisburg John D. Bowe, President, Americas Region, APL Limited, Oakland, CA Larry L. Brown, Sr., Executive Director, Mississippi DOT, Jackson Deborah H. Butler, Vice President, Customer Service, Norfolk Southern Corporation and Subsidiaries, Atlanta, GA Anne P. Canby, President, Surface Transportation Policy Partnership, Washington, DC Nicholas J. Garber, Henry L. Kinnier Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville Angela Gittens, Vice President, Airport Business Services, HNTB Corporation, Miami, FL Susan Hanson, Landry University Professor of Geography, Graduate School of Geography, Clark University, Worcester, MA Adib K. Kanafani, Cahill Professor of Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley Harold E. Linnenkohl, Commissioner, Georgia DOT, Atlanta Michael D. Meyer, Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta Michael R. Morris, Director of Transportation, North Central Texas Council of Governments, Arlington John R. Njord, Executive Director, Utah DOT, Salt Lake City Pete K. Rahn, Director, Missouri DOT, Jefferson City Sandra Rosenbloom, Professor of Planning, University of Arizona, Tucson Tracy L. Rosser, Vice President, Corporate Traffic, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Bentonville, AR Rosa Clausell Rountree, Executive Director, Georgia State Road and Tollway Authority, Atlanta Henry G. (Gerry) Schwartz, Jr., Senior Professor, Washington University, St. Louis, MO C. Michael Walton, Ernest H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering, University of Texas, Austin Steve Williams, Chairman and CEO, Maverick Transportation, Inc., Little Rock, AR EX OFFICIO MEMBERS Thad Allen (Adm., U.S. Coast Guard), Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard, Washington, DC Thomas J. Barrett (Vice Adm., U.S. Coast Guard, ret.), Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT Joseph H. Boardman, Federal Railroad Administrator, U.S.DOT Rebecca M. Brewster, President and COO, American Transportation Research Institute, Smyrna, GA Paul R. Brubaker, Research and Innovative Technology Administrator, U.S.DOT George Bugliarello, Chancellor, Polytechnic University of New York, Brooklyn, and Foreign Secretary, National Academy of Engineering, Washington, DC J. Richard Capka, Federal Highway Administrator, U.S.DOT Sean T. Connaughton, Maritime Administrator, U.S.DOT Edward R. Hamberger, President and CEO, Association of American Railroads, Washington, DC John H. Hill, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT John C. Horsley, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Washington, DC J. Edward Johnson, Director, Applied Science Directorate, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, John C. Stennis Space Center, MS William W. Millar, President, American Public Transportation Association, Washington, DC Nicole R. Nason, National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT Jeffrey N. Shane, Under Secretary for Policy, U.S.DOT James S. Simpson, Federal Transit Administrator, U.S.DOT Carl A. Strock (Lt. Gen., U.S. Army), Chief of Engineers and Commanding General, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, DC Robert A. Sturgell, Acting Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration, U.S.DOT *Membership as of October 2007.

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NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM NCHRP REPORT 588 A Guidebook for Using American Community Survey Data for Transportation Planning Cambridge Systematics, Inc. Cambridge, MA NuStats Austin, TX Nancy McGuckin Washington, DC Earl Ruiter Franklin, NH Subject Areas Planning and Administration Operations and Safety Aviation Public Transit Rail Freight Transportation Marine Transportation Research sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD WASHINGTON, D.C. 2007 www.TRB.org

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NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY NCHRP REPORT 588 RESEARCH PROGRAM Systematic, well-designed research provides the most effective Project 8-48 approach to the solution of many problems facing highway ISSN 0077-5614 administrators and engineers. Often, highway problems are of local ISBN: 978-0-309-09911-0 interest and can best be studied by highway departments individually Library of Congress Control Number 2007908482 or in cooperation with their state universities and others. However, the 2007 Transportation Research Board accelerating growth of highway transportation develops increasingly complex problems of wide interest to highway authorities. These problems are best studied through a coordinated program of COPYRIGHT PERMISSION cooperative research. Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining In recognition of these needs, the highway administrators of the written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials published or copyrighted material used herein. initiated in 1962 an objective national highway research program Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this employing modern scientific techniques. This program is supported on publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, a continuing basis by funds from participating member states of the FMCSA, FTA, or Transit Development Corporation endorsement of a particular product, Association and it receives the full cooperation and support of the method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for Federal Highway Administration, United States Department of educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission Transportation. from CRP. The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies was requested by the Association to administer the research program because of the Board's recognized objectivity and understanding of NOTICE modern research practices. The Board is uniquely suited for this purpose as it maintains an extensive committee structure from which The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program conducted by the Transportation Research Board with the approval of authorities on any highway transportation subject may be drawn; it the Governing Board of the National Research Council. Such approval reflects the possesses avenues of communications and cooperation with federal, Governing Board's judgment that the program concerned is of national importance and state and local governmental agencies, universities, and industry; its appropriate with respect to both the purposes and resources of the National Research Council. relationship to the National Research Council is an insurance of The members of the technical committee selected to monitor this project and to review this objectivity; it maintains a full-time research correlation staff of report were chosen for recognized scholarly competence and with due consideration for the specialists in highway transportation matters to bring the findings of balance of disciplines appropriate to the project. The opinions and conclusions expressed research directly to those who are in a position to use them. or implied are those of the research agency that performed the research, and, while they have been accepted as appropriate by the technical committee, they are not necessarily those of The program is developed on the basis of research needs identified the Transportation Research Board, the National Research Council, the American by chief administrators of the highway and transportation departments Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, or the Federal Highway and by committees of AASHTO. Each year, specific areas of research Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation. needs to be included in the program are proposed to the National Each report is reviewed and accepted for publication by the technical committee according Research Council and the Board by the American Association of State to procedures established and monitored by the Transportation Research Board Executive Committee and the Governing Board of the National Research Council. Highway and Transportation Officials. Research projects to fulfill these needs are defined by the Board, and qualified research agencies are The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, the National Research Council, the Federal Highway Administration, the American Association of State Highway selected from those that have submitted proposals. Administration and and Transportation Officials, and the individual states participating in the National surveillance of research contracts are the responsibilities of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade Research Council and the Transportation Research Board. or manufacturers' names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of this report. The needs for highway research are many, and the National Cooperative Highway Research Program can make significant contributions to the solution of highway transportation problems of mutual concern to many responsible groups. The program, however, is intended to complement rather than to substitute for or duplicate other highway research programs. Published reports of the NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM are available from: Transportation Research Board Business Office 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 and can be ordered through the Internet at: http://www.national-academies.org/trb/bookstore Printed in the United States of America

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COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAMS CRP STAFF FOR NCHRP REPORT 588 Christopher W. Jenks, Director, Cooperative Research Programs Crawford F. Jencks, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research Programs Ronald D. McCready, Senior Program Officer Eileen P. Delaney, Director of Publications NCHRP PROJECT 8-48 PANEL Field of Transportation Planning--Area of Forecasting Alan E. Pisarski, Falls Church, VA (Chair) Cheryl R. Ball, Missouri DOT Ed J. Christopher, Federal Highway Administration Nathan S. Erlbaum, New York State DOT Kara M. Kockelman, University of TexasAustin Jonette R. Kreideweis, Minnesota DOT Emily Parkany, Mitretek Systems, Inc., Washington, DC Charles L. Purvis, Metropolitan Transportation CommissionOakland, CA Robert Sicko, Mirai Associates, Kirkland, WA Alice T. Wiggins-Tolbert, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Los Angeles, CA Elaine R. Murakami, FHWA Liaison David H. Clawson, AASHTO Liaison Lynn Weidman, U.S. Census Bureau Liaison Pheny Weidman, RITA Liaison Kimberly Fisher, TRB Liaison Tom Palmerlee, TRB Liaison

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FOREWORD By Kimberly M. Fisher Staff Officer Transportation Research Board Census data have long played a central role in transportation planning and analyses. In particular, the planning community has made extensive use of the Census Long Form. Begin- ning with this decade, the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) will replace the Census Long Form. This practitioner's guidebook focuses on incorporating ACS data into the transportation planning processes at national, state, metropolitan, and local levels. The guidebook evaluates ACS data and products and demonstrates their uses within a wide range of transportation planning applications. Transportation planners, travel demand fore- casters, and others that conduct population and demographic analyses will find this report of significant use. As these transportation professionals struggle to use the limited local data and changing national data as the basis for transportation plans, the report will provide meth- ods and tools to improve the connection between planning and programming. Transportation planners have relied heavily on the decennial Census "long form" data because these data provided detailed demographic characteristics along with journey-to- work data for small units of geography such as census tracts or traffic analysis zones (TAZs). It is the long form that provided data for the Census Transportation Planning Package (CTPP), the mostly widely used database for transportation planning. The U.S. Census Bureau is replacing the long form with a continuous data collection program called the American Community Survey (ACS). The transportation planning community needs to know how to use this new source of data in applications such as long-range planning and forecasting, environmental and project analysis, and descriptive statistics. The ACS differs from the decennial Census in many ways, especially as it represents a change from data col- lected at a single point-in-time (April 1, 2000) to data collected continuously throughout the year and summarized annually for large geographic units. Data for TAZs or tracts will be available based on a moving average of data accumulated over a 5-year period. The ACS provides new opportunities and challenges for assessing transportation trends. Guidance is needed on the application, interpretation, and presentation of these new data for transportation planning practitioners and policymakers. This guidebook identifies the key issues that will face transportation planners as they use ACS data to complete analyses that have historically been performed with the decennial Census Long Form data and out- lines potential new transportation planning analyses that transportation planners may conduct with the ACS. This research effort was conducted by Cambridge Systematics, Inc. along with NuStats, Nancy McGuckin, and Earl Ruiter under NCHRP Project 8-48.

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CONTENTS 1 Chapter 1 Introduction 1 1.1 Overview of the American Community Survey 2 1.2 Some Important Implications of ACS for Data Users 3 1.3 Purpose and Organization of this Guidebook 4 1.4 Additional Information Sources for an Introduction to ACS 6 Chapter 2 American Community Survey 6 2.1 ACS Implementation 18 2.2 Additional Information Sources on ACS Implementation 22 Chapter 3 Obtaining ACS Data 22 3.1 ACS Data Products 30 3.2 Additional Information Sources for Obtaining ACS Data 31 Chapter 4 Using ACS Data 31 4.1 Accuracy of ACS Data 37 4.2 Data Accumulation over Time and Geography 44 4.3 Data Disclosure Limitations 48 4.4 Understanding, Working with, and Reporting Sample Data 53 4.5 Comparison of ACS Estimates to Census 65 4.6 Implications of ACS Data Release Frequency 73 Chapter 5 Policy Planning and Other Descriptive Analyses Using ACS Data 73 5.1 Descriptive Analyses 76 5.2 Benefits and Limitations of ACS for Descriptive Analyses 76 5.3 Descriptive Analysis Case Studies 101 5.4 Other Specific Uses of Census Data for Descriptive Analyses 102 Chapter 6 Trend Analyses Using ACS Data 102 6.1 Trend Analysis 104 6.2 Benefits and Limitations of ACS for Trend Analysis 104 6.3 Trend Analysis Case Study 111 6.4 Conclusions from the Case Study 114 6.5 Specific Uses of Census Data for Trend Analyses 117 Chapter 7 Transportation Market Analyses Using ACS Data 117 7.1 Transportation Market Analysis 119 7.2 Benefits and Limitations of ACS for Transportation Market Analysis 119 7.3 Transportation Market Analysis: Environmental Justice Case Study 126 7.4 Conclusions from the Case Study 127 7.5 Specific Uses of Census Data for Market Analyses

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131 Chapter 8 Survey Development and Analysis Using ACS Data 131 8.1 Survey Development and Analysis 132 8.2 Benefits and Limitations of ACS for Survey Development and Analysis 133 8.3 Case Study 141 Chapter 9 Travel Demand Modeling Analyses Using ACS Data 141 9.1 Travel Demand Modeling 144 9.2 Benefits and Limitations of ACS for Travel Demand Modeling 144 9.3 Travel Demand Modeling Case Studies 149 9.4 Specific Uses of Census Data for Travel Demand Modeling 151 Appendix A Housing and Population Questions from ACS and Census Long Form 162 Appendix B ACS Base Tables 185 Appendix C ACS Data Profiles 207 Appendix D ACS Multiyear Profiles 227 Appendix E ACS Ranking Tables 234 Appendix F ACS Thematic Maps 236 Appendix G ACS Subject Tables 246 Appendix H ACS Selected Population Profiles 253 Appendix I Comparison of ACS and Decennial Census Transportation Planning Estimates 263 Appendix J Seasonality Analyses Using ACS