Census Source - Shiny Contest Submission

Census Source

Authors: Bryce Chamberlain

Abstract: Democratizes the Social and Economic Supplements to the Current Population Survey by the U.S Census Bureau. Click around to choose from 700 available fields, preview data, and download in ready-to-use CSV format.

Full Description: One stop for easy access to 700 fields across 3 tables from the Social and Economic Supplements to the Current Population Survey.


How to get the most out of Census Source:

  1. Click around to find and select data fields.
  2. Preview data in the app.
  3. Download your data in CSV format. CS will find your data and perform necessary joins so you get a single, ready-to-use ASEC dataset.
  4. Plop your data into Power BI or Tableau to continue exploring!

Pro Tip: Bookmark or Share the URL to select the same fields again later.

  • Previews are grouped, but downloads will give you data that is not summarized.
  • Downloads will include relevant record keys to connect observations over time (longitudinal).

Why Census Source?

ASEC data is incredibly valuable, but existing tools for finding and extracting data are difficult to use. Census Source provides a fast and user-friendly tool to select and download data from the ASEC.

Census.gov Census Source
Different years are in different files. 2019 and 2020 are combined. Long term, we'd like to get the last 10 years into the app.
Over 700 fields. Only download the fields you need.
Field names are not intuitive. Field names are replaced with their human-readable descriptions and tagged with the table they come from.
Values are keys (1, 2, 3 vs. high, med, low). Values are human-readable and ready-to-use.

About the Data

What are the Supplements?

From health.gov:

The Current Population Survey (CPS) is a monthly survey that provides current estimates and trends in employment, unemployment, earnings, and other characteristics of the general labor force, the population as a whole, and various population subgroups. The Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS-ASEC) is conducted annually in the months of February, March, and April. In addition to the usual monthly labor force data, this supplement provides information on work experience, income, noncash benefits, and migration of persons ages 15 years and older.

Here are some links if you'd like to learn more about this dataset:

Key Features

Special care was taken to ensure a fast and fun user experience:

  • Easy access to an important data set that is typically very difficult to use.
  • A tour to walk new users through the app.
  • Tables are split into multiple files so they load instantly, without having to load the full multi-year datasets.
  • data.tables implementation for fast joins and summaries.
  • Fades and animations enhance the user experience.

More info at https://github.com/superchordate/census-source.

Keywords: census, data, easyr, data.table
Shiny app: https://superchordate.shinyapps.io/census-source/
Repo: GitHub - superchordate/ASEC-census-helper: One stop for easy access to 688 fields across 3 tables from the Social and Economic Supplements.
RStudio Cloud: Posit Cloud


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