After 2000, the Census began collecting a lot of their data through an ongoing survey called the American Community Survey mailed to a small sample of households — instead of through their once–every–ten–year door–to–door survey. Now they pull together five years of American Community Surveys to have a large enough sample in any one neighborhood to provide estimates for that neighborhood. For this reason, data for 2008–2012 describe average conditions reported during the period of January 2008 – December 2012.
Here are some examples of how you can write about this data in a grant report:
“Looking across the five years from 2008 to 2012, the Census Bureau estimates that X% of residents had a high school education or higher…”
“In the five years following 2008, neighborhood statistical area X has experienced a poverty rate of…”
“From 2008 to 2012, X% of residents reported having a commute of X minutes or more to work…”
Source: American Community Survey (ACS) Guide. Metropolitan Area Planning Council. Retrieved May 17, 2012 from http://www.mapc.org/sites/default/files/MAPC-Guide-to-American-Community%20Survey.pdf