Dive into Demographic Data

2 weeks ago
Esri Contributor
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Dive into Demographic Data


You might have heard the first U.S. 2020 Census results were recently released.  For some of us, the arrival of new U.S. Census data is as exciting as Christmas! (Of course, not everyone is such a data nerd, but humor me...)

However, the first results, known as the apportionment population count, includes population counts at the state level only, and not demographic characteristics such as age, sex, race or Hispanic origin, which will come later. 

So how does one satisfy one’s curiosity in the meantime?

With American Community Survey and Esri Updated Demographics data, of course!  The American Community Survey (ACS) and Esri Updated Demographics are now the best sources for the detailed information on population and housing characteristics we data nerds find so fascinating.


After the 2000 U.S. Decennial Census, the Census Bureau introduced the American Community Survey to collect detailed characteristics on a continuous basis, replacing what used to be called the “long form” in the Decennial Census. 

In addition, Esri has a team of demographers who create detailed data on population, households, income, daytime populations, and housing on a continuous basis. Esri Demographics provide current-year estimates and 5-year projections, providing a nice forward-looking complement to Census data.

Both ACS and Esri Updated Demographics are available through the ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World, which in turn can be accessed through ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Pro.  The data also are available through ArcGIS Business Analyst, ArcGIS Community Analyst, ArcGIS Maps for Office, and ArcGIS for Power BI.

A wonderful guide for working with ACS data is available in the StoryMap “Easily Access and Use American Community Survey Data.” For Esri Demographics, the StoryMap  “Understanding Esri’s Updated Demographics Data Portfolio” provides an overview of the data development methods and other details.

Ready to dive in?  Check out these resources from Learn ArcGIS and Esri Academy.

New Contributor


I am new to ESRI. Can you please help me understand how to run a report on either ARC GIS or Business Analyst that would give me daytime and nighttime population numbers? 

Esri Contributor

Take a look at the documentation for ArcGIS Business Analyst: Reports—Business Analyst | Documentation (arcgis.com)

This type of report can be run using the web tools - and there are step by step guides to show you how to get a report set up for a specific area/geography.