Census Bureau field names are concatenation of the ACS base table ID + the line or item
within the table.
Labels for the field names can be found in the Census provided SAS programming, as Nancy G
Or maybe more accessible - if you are not a SAS user - is the lookup table of all ACS data
elements. Find this at:
* For ACS 2008-10...
* For ACS 2005-09...
* Prior vintages (2008 and earlier) have same lookup, but the file had a different
name: "merge_5_6.XLS" See
If you want "intuitive" names, then you can develop a process or script to
rename field (or calculate fields) with names to your liking (or custom calculations).
I just finished, this morning, assembling the 150 pieces of the new ACS 3-year data.
Always a joy.
Principal Forecaster and Project Manager
390 Robert Street North
Saint Paul, MN 55101
From: Gemignani, Nancy
Sent: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 11:03 AM
Subject: RE: [CTPP] does anyone have a link to the field names in the 2005-2009 ACS file?
You can find the labels for every cell in the ACS Summary File in the Census Bureau's
ACS FTP site. They provide SAS input statements and labels in their UserTools folder -
The file is called
Even if you do not have SAS, you can just change the file extension to "txt" and
open it in Excel. Remove everything but the labels then A simple
'text-to-columns' procedure in Excel and you will have a "look-up" table
with the label in one column and the label in the next.
Hope this helps.
California State Census Data Center
Demographic Research Unit
(916) 327-0103 ext 2550
From: ctpp-news-bounces(a)chrispy.net [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of
Sent: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 8:44 AM
Subject: [CTPP] does anyone have a link to the field names in the 2005-2009 ACS file?
I'm trying to find a way to replace the field headers, B0010001 for example, with a
more descriptive title. Does anyone have a way of doing this? I can't find the data
dictionary for the ACS - does anyone have a link?
Nancy Reger, AICP
Deputy Director, Transportation
111 Liberty St. Ste. 100
Columbus, Ohio 43215