Esri Releases US Census Bureau Data in ArcGIS Living Atlas - 18/12/2018

Esri, a global leader in location intelligence, has announced that ArcGIS software users will now have access to the most current data on the US population, housing, and workforce. Through ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World, people can use over 1,000 annually refreshed attributes of American Community Survey (ACS) tables from the US Census Bureau's five-year estimates.

After this year's massive wildfires in Santa Barbara County, California, government analysts used ACS census data to track damage boundaries and target recovery efforts. In the past, when a task like this called for current US Census Bureau data, ArcGIS users had to first download data directly from the US Census Bureau website and translate it into a GIS-compatible format. This process, which required additional steps and expertise, would potentially create delays on time-sensitive projects.

"Those who have worked with census data know that the process of making multiple data tables GIS-ready can be very time-consuming," said Lisa Berry, Esri cartographic product engineer. "Now there's no need to manually process the data. Living Atlas will not only have a subset of ACS data readily available for GIS workflows, but the data will also be updated automatically each year when the US Census Bureau releases its new data."

Living Atlas - the foremost collection of global geographic information including maps, apps, and data layers - supports governments, businesses, and universities in performing research, analysis, and decision-making. Many government organisations are required by law to use ACS data when conducting any kind of spatial analysis involving populations. This new integration will provide them with a faster way of accessing and analysing demographic data to make important decisions. ACS data layers in Living Atlas will update every December when the US Census Bureau produces new five-year estimates.

Living Atlas can be accessed in ArcGIS Pro and ArcGIS Online, Esri's configurable mobile apps and dashboards, and Esri Story Maps.

To learn more, visit

Last updated: 23/01/2020