Understanding the census

Decennial Census vs. American Community Survey

The annual estimates from the Census Bureau are not the same, or as complete, as the information produced from the Census every 10 years.

Decennial Census

American Community Survey

American Community Survey logo

Population Estimates

The Census Bureau each year produces population estimates for each township, village, city, county and state.

The best estimates are done for counties. Here's how it is done.

However, these estimates are not as good as the census count every 10 years. It's good to know how the estimates are conducted so you can determine whether the "more recent" estimates should be used.

State populations

State population estimates are simply the sum of each county's population.
County populations. The Census Bureau takes into account a variety of information.

City, village and township populations

The bureau follows these steps, a less accurate process than what is done for the counties.