This month, new American Community Survey data for census tracts will be released. This will be the first detailed demographic data at the neighborhood level from the U.S. Census Bureau since the 2000 “long form.” To help you make sense of the treasure trove of story ideas at the local level, IRE has produced a 25-minute webinar. It’s available for download here ($5 for IRE members, $10 for nonmembers). You will need version 9.0 or newer of the free Adobe Reader to view it and hear the audio narration.

The American Community Survey gathers information every year from 2 million households. The December release will mark the first time that five-year ACS data will be available for census tracts and other places with fewer than 20,000 residents. Journalists will be able to examine dozens of topics at the neighborhood level, as well as for every city, town, school district and county in the United States.

Topics include: household income, citizenship status, educational attainment, commuting, health insurance, ancestry, disability, mortgage payment, utility costs, military service and type of employer. Results can be tallied for any level of geography, as well as by gender, race, age and ethnicity. Full details are available at the Census Bureau website. We have the full ACS questionnaire along with other materials at the IRE Census Resources page.

The IRE webinar explores story ideas, explains the nuts-and-bolts of ACS, and simplifies the confusing data release schedules. The webinar was produced by IRE training director Doug Haddix and USA TODAYdatabase editor Paul Overberg.