American Community Survey (ACS) 2021 Release – What you Need to Know

American Community Survey (ACS) 2017-2021 data are coming soon to SparkMap! Read on to learn what you need to know and do before we roll out the changes.

When is ACS data arriving?

What will change?

How can I prepare for changes?

1 – When is ACS Data Arriving?

We will be adding all new ACS data to SparkMap on Thursday February 9, 2023. This will include adding new layers to the Map Room and updating indicators in the Community Needs Assessment.

2 – What Will Change?

Changes associated with the ACS update are much more minor this year, compared to last. You will not see any notable geography changes, meaning any saved locations should stay the same.

Community Needs Assessment: We will update roughly 80 indicators in the Community Needs Assessment whose source is currently ACS 2016-2020. The new ACS 2017-2021 indicators will override the old indicators, making them inaccessible in the Community Needs Assessment. To help you transition, we will link a “2016-2020 ACS Data” report accessible at the top of the Community Needs Assessment.

Map Room: We will be adding new map layers from the ACS 2017-2021 5-year estimates. Previous ACS map layers will still be available after the update.

3- How Can I Prepare for These Changes?

We recognize that many of our customers are currently working on assessments, improvement plans, etc – if you need to retain 2016-2020 ACS data in your reports, download them now! (Figure 1) If you are a Free/Intro/Pro subscriber, you can download as a PDF. Premium subscribers can also download Assessments in Word or Excel formats.

Although we do not anticipate any changes, we also recommend double checking any saved geographies before using or comparing them, as a best practice.

We anticipate this will be a smooth update. Should you have any questions or concerns, please reach out at

Downloading American Community Survey (ACS) Reports
Figure 1: Highlighting the “Download As” Button