Area-based or environmental measures of patient income and education are provided in the PUF. These measures are derived by linking the reported ZIP code of the patient's residence at the time of diagnosis to year 2000 Census data. The data describing median household income and level of educational attainment represent the ZIP code of patient residence, not that of individual patients. Since the Census only uses the short form as of 2010, the majority of the information traditionally collected by the decennial census is now collected in the American Community Survey (ACS). The PUF will include the most recent ACS data released as of April 2014, which consists of survey years 2008-2012. The 5-year datasets are not just an average of each year in the period; the final estimate uses several weighting methods, among other adjustments. Items added are 2008-2012 median household income quartiles (MED_INC_QUAR_12) and 2008-2012 percent without high school degree quartiles (NO_HSD_QUAR_12.) The descriptions in the respective entries in the PUF data dictionary for each data item briefly describe the cautions of comparing with Census 2000, and more information can be found at: https://www.census.gov/acs/www/guidance_for_data_users/comparing_2012/. The data are extracted from the American Fact Finder website: http://factfinder2.census.gov/.
The 2013 Rural-Urban Continuum data have also been added to the PUF. The 2003 Rural-Urban data are still included in the PUF, and the labels for the classification codes are the same in the 2003 and 2013 data, so a direct comparison may be made. More information can be found on the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) website: http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/rural-urban-continuum-codes.