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Census 2000 STP2 and 1990 Census SDST

In brief summary, the Census 2000 STP2 and 1990 Census SDSTs are tabulations of data from each of the decennial census that include primarily subject matter items included in the “Summary File 3” (SF3) for several children’s universes.

These approximate 1,000 Summary File 3 (SF3) subject matter items (and a few supplemental items) were tabulated for each of these universes for each school district, county, state and the U.S. Universes include:

  • Total children
  • Grade relevant children
  • Grade relevant children enrolled
  • Grade relevant children enrolled -- public
  • Grade relevant children enrolled -- private
  • Grade relevant children not enrolled.

The over-riding importance and unique feature of these data is that they are the data that tell us about children’s demographics and their living characteristics by school district and county for the U.S.  Only by using these data can stakeholders understand the characteristics of the K-12 school age population.  Data reported by school districts and state education agencies only describe a few administratively collected data about children enrolled by school district.  They have no ability to provide broader data about children’s demographics that are needed to analyze education program needs and related applications.  They have no ability to provide data at the county level of geography enabling standardized county-level, regional and metropolitan area analysis.  Administratively tabulated data cover only the population enrolled in public school and omit those enrolled in private school and not enrolled.  Administratively tabulated data suffer from errors of collection and provide very sketchy, limited demographic data about the enrolled population.  The SDST data are important but yet complex to use; these data are much more complex to use that the decennial census data due to the multi-universe tabulations.  These are among the reasons for the importance and existence of SDDS.

SDDS is the only resource that enables users to access SDST data.  The Census Bureau does not provide access to the SDST data in any form.

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American Community Survey (ACS) and ACS School District Special Tabulations

To provide access to updated school district demographics, data have been progressively added to SDDS from the Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS).  The American Community Survey is an annual statistical survey sometimes referred to as a “rolling census.”  The ACS collects and tabulates subject matter similar to the 1990 Census and Census 2000 long form questionnaire.  ACS has been progressively implemented starting with 2005 ACS data.  Note that the date/year associated with ACS is the data year of reference.  For example, the 2005 ACS estimates were released in late 2006.  Since ACS has been developed in an evolving manner, ACS data added to SDDS vary some from year to year starting with the 2005 ACS data.  The ACS is designed to provide communities a fresh look at how they are changing.  It is a critical element in the Census Bureau's reengineered 2010 census plan.  The ACS collects information such as age, race, income, commute time to work, home value, veteran status, and other important data from U.S. households.  As with the official decennial census, information about individuals will remain confidential.

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2009 ACS Data

The 2005-2009 ACS data were the first set of ACS data tabulated for areas with the entire population. While these data cover smaller school districts and counties (compared to previous ACS data with a minimum population threshold of 20,000), the estimates included in SDDS are the ACS 5-year estimates for the period 2005-09. That is, the demographic estimates are for survey respondents who completed the questionnaire sometime in the three years 2005 through 2009. Estimates are available for every state, School District, American Indian Area, Alaska Native Area, and Hawaiian Home Land, as well as for census tracts and block groups.

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2007 ACS Data

The 2007 ACS data were the first set of ACS data tabulated for areas with 20,000 population and over.  While these data cover smaller school districts and counties (compared to previous ACS data with a minimum population threshold of 65,000), the estimates included in SDDS are the ACS 3-year estimates for the period 2005-07.  That is, the demographic estimates are for survey respondents who completed the questionnaire sometime in the three years 2005 through 2007.  While 2007 ACS 1-year estimates for school districts were developed, SDDS includes only 2007 3-year estimates.

A 2007 ACS School District Special Tabulation was developed and added to SDDS for children’s universes previously described.  These data are for the ACS 3-year estimates (2005-07).  The 2007 ACS data are for school districts defined as of the 2005-06 school year.

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2006 ACS Data

The 2006 ACS include data only for school districts and counties with population 65,000 and over.  There was no 2006 ACS School District Special Tabulation and thus there are no 2006 ACS School District Special Tabulation data in SDDS.  The 2006 ACS data are for school districts defined as of the 2005-06 school year.

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2005 ACS Data

The 2005 ACS data include data only for school districts and counties with population 65,000 and over.  The 65,000 population cut-off was established for statistical tabulation reasons; reliable estimates could be produced for a reasonably large number of geographic areas.  There was no 2005 ACS School District Special Tabulation and thus there are no 2005 ACS School District Special Tabulation data in SDDS.  The 2005 ACS data are for school districts defined as of the 2003-04 school year.

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Using the Data: ACS 1-Year versus 3-Year Estimates

More information on ACS 1-year versus 3-year estimates is available in the References section 2008 ACS Release Strategy.  The ACS 2008 “2006-08” 3-year estimates might be described as “centric to 2007” whereas the ACS 2008 1-year estimates are centric to 2008.  How do the same annual ACS 3-year and 1 year estimates compare?  Consider this example for Klein ISD, TX school district which shows the total population 1-year estimate of 214,538 compared to the 3-year estimate of 201,449.

2008 ACS 1-Year and 3-Year Estimates for Klein ISD, TX

2008
(1-Year)
2006-08
(3-Year)
Total
Population
Total
Population
Children (SDTS)
Total
Grade Relevant
Total
Enrolled
TotalPublicPrivate
Not Enrolled
214,537201,44962,84551,53547,43042,4504,9803,915

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Looking Ahead: Census 2010, 2009 ACS and 2010 ACS

During the period from late 2010 through 2011 several new school district demographics developments will evolve.  More recent and different data will be added to SDDS.

The Census 2010 short form data for all school districts will be available via SDDS in late summer 2011.  The 5-year average 2006-2010 ACS data will replace the decennial Census School District Special Tabulation since there are no sample data for the Census 2010.  The Census 2010 data are for school districts defined as of the 2009-10 school year.

The 2009 ACS School District Special Tabulation data for all school districts, counties, states and U.S. data will be available via SDDS in the approximate May-June 2011 timeframe.  The 2009 ACS data are for school districts defined as of the 2007-08 school year.

The 2010 ACS School District Special Tabulation data for all school districts, counties, states and U.S. data will be available via SDDS in the approximate May-June 2012 timeframe. The 2010 ACS data are for school districts defined as of the 2009-10 school year.

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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education