Reducing Uncertainty


This project aims to communicate reductions in the margin of error of survey data from the American Community Survey (ACS). The largest survey of US households and principal source for neighborhood scale information about the US population, the ACS is used to allocate billions in federal spending and is a critical input to social scientific research in the US. However, estimates from the ACS can be highly unreliable. Uncertainty of this magnitude complicates the use of social data in policy making, research, and governance. This website and visualization presents the data from 388 metropolitan statistical areas, before and after a process called regionalization, in order to explain, demonstrate, and circulate the results and data.

Credits: Seth E. Spielman, David C. Folch, Rebecca M. Davies, and Owen Mundy