Status:Closed    Asked:Apr 13, 2017 - 09:59 AM

I downloaded information for a single state, but the county variable all indicates 0.

Also, the POVERTY status shows a value of 0-501, with a chart showing composition by percentage. Are these values an indication of the percent of poverty value, such as 1 would be 1% of the poverty value? In which case, which value? The single person, family?

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Staff Answer


Jeff Bloem


Regarding the COUNTYFIPS codes all equaling zero in your data extract: I noticed that you have limited your data extract to South Dakota. Unfortunately, in the ACS samples from 2012 onward there are no identifiable counties within South Dakota. As is discussed on the COUNTYFIPS variable description, only counties that are able to be identified using other sub-state geographic identifiers are able to be identified in post-1980 census data. We have a table that shows which counties are available in which samples that may be helpful.

Regarding the interpretation of the POVERTY codes: the code represents each family's total income for the previous year as a percentage of the poverty threshold. Therefore, a code of 1 indicates that the family's total income was equal to 1% (or less) of the poverty threshold. Also note that this value is in reference to family income rather than an individual's income.


Apr 13, 2017 - 10:33 AM

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