Status:Closed    Asked:Mar 22, 2018 - 11:46 AM

Are all counties available in ACS PUMS 5-year? I'm working with the file and cannot find Albemarle, VA.

Hi all,

I'm currently producing median household income estimates for select geographies and came across an issue of no observations for counties such as Albemarle County, VA (STATEFIP=51, CountyFIP=3). I expecte that Albemarle County would be included in the 5-year 2013 ACS PUMS file. [Population: 105,703 (2015)].

Here's an example of code I'm using to explore the file.

summarize hhincome [w=hhwt] if pernum==1 & statefip==51 & countyfips==30, detail

Any suggestions?

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Staff Answer


Jeff Bloem


In years since 1950, counties are not directly identifiable in public use microdata. This is due to the same confidentiality restrictions. Instead the PUMA (public use microdata area) is the lowest level geographic area available. In some cases, when the county boundary exactly aligns with the PUMA boundary, counties can be recovered. This spreadsheet describes when specific counties are available in what years. Unfortunately, Albemarle County, VA is not available in any ACS samples, and therefore is not available in any 5-year samples either. We have a recent blog post that discusses this issue and also presents some alternatives.


Mar 23, 2018 - 07:54 AM

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