American Community Survey (ACS) Data with R: Kelley Center


  1. Prior to the workshop, students must have the RStudio Desktop version on their personal device, which can be downloaded for free from The latest version of RStudio is used for this course.
  2. They must also request and obtain a personal API Key from For Organization Name, enter “Rice University”.

The workshop is suitable for beginners in R and US Census Data, and prior experience is not required.

This course focuses on introducing the American Community Survey (ACS) by the U.S. Census Bureau as one of the most important open data sources to support research. ACS data helps researchers, local officials, community leaders, and businesses understand the changes taking place in their communities. It is the premier source for detailed population and housing information about our nation. 

This course consists of two parts. 

Part 1 will provide an introduction to the American Community Survey.

Part 2 provides hands-on training about obtaining and using datasets from the ACS with some basic R functions. The course showcases how you can use R to import and display ACS data in RStudio, and make your first visualizations and analysis using ACS data for research. Students will learn how to select data from Census Bureau Data APIs using the tidycensus package, return data frames that are ready to explore in tidyverse, and visualize data as customizable graphics using ggplot2.

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Fondren Library Basement B43A (Collaboration Space). All sessions have the same content. Please indicate the day and time of class you are registering for.
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* Denotes that Friends of Fondren Library membership is required for classes offered by the GIS/Data Center and Digital Media Commons. Government Information classes like Patents and Trademarks, Census and Microforms do not require a membership.