Archive: American Community Survey 5-Year 2006-2010 Low and Moderate Income Summary Data

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program requires that each CDBG funded activity must either principally benefit low- and moderate-income persons, aid in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight, or meet a community development need having a particular urgency. With respect to activities that benefit all the residents of a given area, at least 51 percent of the area’s residents must be low and moderate income.

The Office of Community Planning and Development provides estimates of the number of persons that can be considered Low, Low to Moderate, and Low, Moderate, and Medium income persons according to annually revised income limits. Data are provided at the Census Bureau's Geographic Summary Level "150": State-County-County Subdivision-Census Tract-Block Group. The statistical information used in the calculation of estimates identified in the data sets linked to the right comes from the 2006-2010 American Community Survey (ACS). ACS data are used with Income Limits for Metropolitan Areas and for Non Metropolitan Counties prepared by the Department's Office of Policy Development and Research to calculate the Low to Moderate Income Summary Data (LMISD). The Bureau of Census matches the income limits to the ACS surveys in a special tabulation in order to produce the estimates.

Estimates are provided at three income levels: Low Income (50 percent); Moderate Income (80 percent), and Medium Income (120 percent). Additional Summary levels are also made available for city, town, county and Census Designated Places and Census Civil Divisions. Each block group record has an identification section containing Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) codes and names for the block group, census tract, county and state, plus the name, type, and the HUD Unit-of-Government-Identification-Code for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) grantee with jurisdiction over the block group area for FY 2018.

Related Information

Data Dictionary


Questions about the calculation of the estimates may be directed to Formula Help Desk.

Questions about the use of the data should be directed to the staff of the CPD Field Office.

Find Data Sets

2006-2010 ACS-Based LMISD Map Application

Map Application

FY 2018 LMISD National Data Set, Based on 2006-2010 American Community Survey

This file contains low and moderate income summary data (LMISD) for all 220,334 block groups based on the 2006-2010 American Community Survey.

Low and Moderate National Data Set (Excel 17.8 MB)

FY 2018 Overall LMISD, Based on 2006-2010 American Community Survey

This data set provides summarized estimates of the number of low and moderate income individuals (LMISD) by county based on the 2006-2010 American Community Survey (ACS).

Overall Low and Moderate Percentages American Community Survey


ACS 5-Year 2006-2010 Low and Moderate Income Place-Level Margin of Error Data Set

This file contains place level (Census Summary Level 160: State-Place) American Community Survey 5-Year 2006-2010 Low and Moderate Income Data for areas with a margin of error (MOE) greater than or equal to 20%.

View 2006-2010 ACS Place Level Margin of Error Data

FY 2018 Exception Grantees

The Community Block Grant Development (CDBG) program requires that each CDBG-funded activity must either principally benefit low and moderate income persons, aid in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight, or meet a community development need having a particular urgency. With respect to activities that benefit all the residents of a given area, at least 51% of the area’s residents must be low and moderate income.

Some CDBG assisted activities, such as parks, neighborhoods, facilities, community centers and streets, serve an identified geographic area. These activities generally meet the low- and moderate-income principal benefit requirement if 51 percent of the residents in the activity's service area are low and moderate income.

However, some communities have no or very few areas in which 51 percent of the residents are low and moderate income. For these grantees, the CDBG law authorizes an exception criterion in order for such grantees to be able to undertake area benefit activities. Specifically, section 105(c)(2)(A)(ii) of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, as amended, states that an activity shall be considered to principally benefit low and moderate income persons when "the area served by such activity is within the highest quartile of all areas within the jurisdiction of such city or county in terms of the degree of concentration of persons of low and moderate income."

Section 105(c)(2)(A)(ii) is implemented in the CDBG regulations at 24 CFR 570.208(a)(1)(ii), which identifies the following methodology to calculate a grantee's "exception" threshold: all block groups within the grantee's jurisdiction in which people are residing are rank ordered from the highest percentage of low- and moderate-income persons to lowest. (For urban counties, the rank ordering covers the entire area of the county, rather than being done separately by participating units of government within the county.) The total number of block groups is divided by four. If the percentage of low- and moderate-income persons in the last block group in the top quartile is less than 51 percent, that percentage becomes the grantee's low- and moderate-income threshold for area benefit activities. NOTE: whenever the total number of block groups does not divide evenly by four, the block group that would be fractionally divided is included in the top quartile.

The file below reflects the CDBG "exception grantees" and the exception threshold for each based on the 2006-2010 American Community Survey (ACS). This percentage represents the minimum percentage of low- and moderate-income persons that must reside in the service area of an area benefit activity for the activity to be assisted with CDBG funds.

FY 2018 area-basis exception grantees

Uncapped LMISD, Based on 2006-2010 ACS

Ten jurisdictions (metropolitan areas) are exempt, as prescribed by Section 590 of the Quality and Work Responsibility Act of 1998, from the US median family income cap on income limits. This exemption is applicable only at the moderate-income limit level. The uncapped limits apply only to entitlement communities in these 10 jurisdictions; the non-entitlement communities do not have the option to use the uncapped income limits.

The areas eligible to use uncapped income limits are:

  • Orange County, CA PMSA
  • San Francisco, CA PMSA
  • San Jose, CA PMSA
  • Danbury, CT PMSA
  • Stamford-Norwalk, CT PMSA
  • Washington, DC-MD-VA-WV PMSA
  • Bergen-Passaic, NJ PMSA
  • Middlesex-Somerset-Hunterdon, NJ PMSA
  • Nassau-Suffolk, NY PMSA
  • Westchester County, NY

The 1999-based Primary Metropolitan Statistical Areas (PMSA) and their components can be found on the Census Bureau's website.

Entitlement grantees in these jurisdictions may choose whether or not to use uncapped data. If a grantee chooses to use the uncapped data for area benefit activities, it must be used for all area benefit activities throughout the city/county. If a grantee has not previously used the uncapped data, it may choose to do so by identifying the effective date of its use. However, the effective data cannot precede the approval date of the Consolidated Plan Action Plan in which a grantee indicates that it plans to use this uncapped data, or the date a Consolidated Plan Action Plan is amended to reflect the use of this data.

Uncapped Low and Moderate Income Summary Data (LMISD)

CDBG entitlement grantees which are eligible to use the uncapped low/mod data

All block groups in uncapped low/mod areas with CDBG ownership

Uncapped LMISD for Exception CDBG grantees

Section 244 ARC/RPZ

Public Law 114-113, Sec. 244, states that with respect to formula allocations to states pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 5306(d), the Secretary shall permit a jurisdiction to demonstrate compliance with 42 U.S.C. 5305(c)(2)(A) if it had been designated as majority low- and moderate-income pursuant to data from the 2000 decennial Census and it continues to have economic distress as evidenced by inclusion in a designated Rural Promise Zone or Distressed County as defined by the Appalachian Regional Commission. This section shall apply to any such state funds appropriated in each fiscal year from 2017 through 2020, and under prior appropriation Acts (with respect to any such allocated but uncommitted funds available to any such state).

State CDBG grantees use IDIS to report compliance with 42 U.S.C. 5305(c)(2)(A), low- and moderate-income benefit on an area-basis (LMA).  In IDIS, user reports the Census tract and block groups corresponding to the LMA service area, followed by the manual entry of the population and LMI percentage based on the data.  Because an option does currently not exist in IDIS to indicate which dataset in IDIS is being referenced, HUD advises that grantees that qualify for the exception pursuant to Public Law 114-113 utilize the activity description field to indicate the dataset referenced by typing either “Public Law 114-113, Census 2000 data used” or “ACS 2010”.

View ARC Distressed and Rural Promise Zone Jurisdictions

Entity Attribute Information

Attribute Description


Federal Information Processing Standard Key: ST+COUNTY+COUSUB+PLACE


Jurisdiction Area Name


State Abbreviation

ARC Distressed

"ARC"=Designated by Appalachian Regional Commission as a Distressed County for FY18

Rural Promise Zone

"RPZ"=Round 1 or 2 Rural Promise Zone Designee


2000 Census LOWMOD Universe


2000 Census LOWMOD


2000 Census Lowmod Percentage


ACS 06-10 LOWMOD Universe


ACS 06-10 Census LOWMOD


ACS 06-10 Lowmod Percentage


"X" = Community demonstrates compliance as LOWMOD under PL 114-113, Sec. 244.


Census Data Summary Level:
050: State-County; 060: State-County-County Subdivision; 160: State-Place

Data  Sources

Rural Promise Zone Areas:

Appalachian Regional Commission Distressed Counties:

HUD Low and Moderate Income Summary Data: and

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What criteria are used to determine if a person is low or moderate income?

Answer: For CDBG, a person is considered to be of low income only if he or she is a member of a family whose income would qualify as "very low income" under the Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments program. Unrelated individuals are considered as one-person families for this purpose. Generally, these Section 8 limits are based on 50% of area median income (AMI). Similarly, CDBG moderate income relies on Section 8 "lower income" limits, which are generally tied to 80% of AMI.

Question: What do all the column headers mean?

Answer: All of the column headers are explained in the American Community Survey 5-Year 2006-2010 Low and Moderate Income Data Dictionary.

Question: Can I link the ACS Low and Moderate Income Summary Data with other Census data?

Answer: Yes! The ACS Low and Moderate Income Summary Data (LMISD) includes the GEOID, which is the key field used to link the geography to all 2010 Census data tables, as well as Census geographies.

Question: Why does the total of the LOW, LOWMOD and LMMI values sometimes add up to more than the LOWMODUNIV total?

Answer: Each of these sets of data are cumulative. LOW contains the count of all persons below the 50% income level; LOWMOD contains the count of all persons below the 80% income level; and LMMI contains the count of all persons below the 120% income level. Therefore, if you add LOW+LOWMOD+LMMI, you would double count the persons who are moderate income, and triple count the persons who are low income.

Question: Can I get LOWMOD data at the split-block level?

Answer: The new ACS-based LMISD datasets are in a slightly different geographic format from the previous datasets based upon the decennial Census. The principal reason for this change is due to lower data confidence interval at the smaller geographies. Prior versions of the LMISD were based on the long form of the decennial Census, which was sent to 1 in 6 households (17%). The American Community Survey is administered continuously, with a target of approximately 1 in 40 households (2.5%) each year. ACS estimates used for the LMISD combine 5 years of surveys, meaning that the effective sample size is 1 in 8 households (12.5%). The fact that the ACS has a smaller sample than the decennial Census long form means that resulting estimates have larger confidence intervals and are less precise, especially for small areas. Therefore, the smaller “split-block groups” will not be available as they have in the past. The split-block group or Summary level 090 geography is one of the smaller geographic building blocks, which can be utilized to reconstruct other higher level geographies that are otherwise incompatible with one another, such as places and block groups. In lieu of providing the Summary level 090 geography, HUD is publishing LMISD datasets at both the Summary level 150 (Block Groups), and at the Summary level 160 (Incorporated Cities and Census-designated Places). Grantees are advised against defining a single service area using a combination of both Summary level 150 data and Summary level 160 data because the geographies may have overlapping areas, thus double counting residents.

Question: Why are there duplicate block groups in the summarized data files?

Answer: Previously, the Summary level 090, split-block group, layer allowed HUD to associate a portion of a single block group with one grantee, and another portion of that same block group with a different grantee. However, since the split-block group layer is not provided, HUD now creates the LMISD block group file with duplicate block group records for each block group that overlays one or more grantee jurisdictions, thus associating that block group with each of the grantees who share it. Therefore, when performing analyses on the block group data, it is important to address this by either removing duplicate records for the same block group or establishing one-to-many data relationships, as appropriate.

Question: Since the block group level data does not designate place and county subdivisions how can I find which block groups are in a particular city, town or village?

Answer: The 2010 Census Block Map Series were produced by the Bureau of Census to support the 2010 Decennial Census data release. These maps display tabulation geography down to the census block level. These large-scale maps show the boundaries and numbers for all census blocks within an entity. In addition to state and county, these maps show the boundaries, names and codes for American Indian areas, Alaska Native areas, Hawaiian home lands, county subdivisions, places and census tracts. The maps can be found at: