FAQs

Free 2018 Data Update When You Buy Now.

Right now, the 2017 data are the most current detailed income and demographic data available from the US Census Bureau. If you buy the 2017 data now, you’ll get an email from us with updated 2018 data for no additional charge in January 2020.

All the Details

The Census Bureau will be releasing the 2018 American Community Survey data on December 19, 2019, and it'll take us a couple of days to incorporate the new data into our databases.

The 2018 data won't differ that much from the 2017 data for small geographies like zips/ZCTAs, because data for small geographies are collected over 5 years of Census surveys.

  • The 2018 Census demographics are based on the American Community Survey data that were collected in the years 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.
  • The 2017 Census demographics are based on American Community Survey data that were collected in the years 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

There are 4 years of overlapping data between these 2 datasets - hence the data won't change much between 2018 and 2017. That said, if you need to be able to say "the most current Census demographics" for marketing purposes, you'll want to get the 2018 data so that you'll be able to make that marketing claim.

If you buy the 2017 data between November 20th and December 31st, we’ll email you the most current 2018 demographics for no additional charge. You should expect to receive this email in January 2020.

Got questions? Call us at 1.800.939.2130.

Are the data on this website for zips or ZCTAs?

Since the demographic data on this website is from the US Census Bureau, we're using the US Census Bureau's ZIP Code Tabulation Areas (ZCTAs), which are generalized areal representations of United States Postal Service ZIP Code service areas.

A zip code is technically a linear postal route. I like to imagine zips codes as a postman driving in a line up and down streets delivering mail. Here's a fun animation about how the Census Bureau turns linear routes into polygons: https://www.census.gov/geo/reference/zcta/zcta_delin_anim.html.

Sometimes, there isn't a ZCTA for a "weird" zip code. Examples of weird zip codes that we've run into in the past include a zip only for the IRS, a zip that is a single office building or a zip code with 0 or a small population. And sometimes there aren't enough samples in a zip/ZCTA to produce an estimate (i.e. small population).

On this website, we use the terms ZCTA, zip code or zip interchangeably, because most people who we work with don't know what a ZCTA is and the difference between a zip code and ZCTA doesn't impact how they need to use the data. But theoretical problems could arise with using ZCTAs if you are doing a mailing list or mass mail project. We've sold this data to thousands of clients since 2009, and we've run into 1 case where ZCTAs wouldn't work for a client's project. If you are doing a mass mail project, you may need zip code data instead of ZCTA data.

If you must have United States Postal Service ZIP Code service areas and not ZCTAs, we can either:

1. buy zip data on your behalf if the demographics you need are available from one of the private vendors that we work with or

2. we can license zip shape data from a private company and use these shapes to create custom demographic estimates. To get a quote from private data vendors, we need to know how many people will be accessing the data (number of users) and how you'll be using the data (i.e. internal analysis versus external facing app). Both of these options cost more than using US Census Bureau ZCTA data.

Full Citations for the data on illinois-demographics.com

  • United States Census Bureau. B01001 SEX BY AGE, 2017 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey Office. Web. 6 December 2018. http://www.census.gov/.
  • United States Census Bureau. TOTAL POPULATION, 2000 Census. U.S. Census Bureau, 2011. Web. 6 December 2018. http://www.census.gov/.
  • United States Census Bureau. MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME IN 1999 (DOLLARS), 2000 Census. U.S. Census Bureau, 2011. Web. 6 December 2018. http://www.census.gov/.
  • United States Census Bureau. TOTAL POPULATION, 2010 Census. U.S. Census Bureau, 2012. Web. 6 December 2018. http://www.census.gov/.
  • United States Census Bureau. DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES, 2017 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey Office. Web. 6 December 2018. http://www.census.gov/.
  • United States Census Bureau. DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS, 2017 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey Office. Web. 6 December 2018. http://www.census.gov/.
  • United States Census Bureau. DP04 SELECTED HOUSING CHARACTERISTICS, 2017 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey Office. Web. 6 December 2018. http://www.census.gov/.
  • United States Census Bureau. DP05 ACS DEMOGRAPHIC AND HOUSING ESTIMATES, 2017 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey Office. Web. 6 December 2018. http://www.census.gov/.

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