American Community Survey analyzed with R

January 25, 2016

(This article was first published on Revolutions, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

The American Community Survey, conducted by the US Census Bureau, collects data from around 3.5 million households each year in order to estimate various demographic statistics of the US population, including appliances installed in the home, languages spoken, work experience and much more (here's the complete data dictionary). The data science competition platform Kaggle recently introduced a library of hosted datasets, and the American Community Survey is one of the data sets available.

Kaggle users can also publish scripts (in R, Python, or Julia) to analyze the data sets and link the analysis to the datasets. For example, Kaggle user "A.M.A." used R to look at the educational attainment and income data from the ACS to decide whether it's work pursuing a PhD.


As it turns out, there's a surprisingly distinct jump in income range for educational level attained from Bachelors to Masters and Doctorate. (The horizonal axis is in units of $10,000.) You can find more analyses of the data by Kaggle users at the link below.

Kaggle datasets: 2013 American Community Survey 


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