In order to address some pesky issues related to fetching 2016 ACS data, we’ve updated the acs package with a quick patch. Pretty much everything should work the same — no improvements, just a patch to allow you to get 2016 data.
Please note: this fix is more of a “workaround” than a true fix: starting with the 2016 release, the Census Bureau changed the format for the XML variable lookup tables and calls to acs.lookup (and acs.fetch) were failing; the quick solution was to simply use the 2015 lookup tables for these requests, which should be safe in most situations, since table numbers and variable codes generally do not change from year to year. (In some situations this assumption is not true: see ?acs.lookup and https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/technical-documentation/table-and-geography-changes/2016/5-year.html for details.)
No other aspects of the package were changed with this release.
1 Downloading and installing
To install the updated version, simply fire up an R session and type:
> install.packages("acs", clean=T) > acs.tables.install()
If you’re updating from a previous version, don’t forget to re-install or “api.key.migrate()” your api key if it doesn’t seem to have been migrated during install. We also strongly recommend you run “acs.tables.install()” as well – you only need to do this once per installation (or update), and it will really speed up the package.