I am very new to census analysis/survey analysis so please forgive my ignorance.
I am interested in MOST data/information about the U.S.A. population. Demographic information like breakdown by age, race, sex as well as things like health-care coverage, income, poverty levels, unemployment rates, etc. I'm also interested in these things on a national, state, and substate level.
And then I'm also interested in these values on a year to year basis to see how the United States has changed.
For now I think I am mostly interested in the aggregated tables and summaries for these values not so much in the microdata. But I suppose this could change in the future especially as I grow more comfortable and learn more about how to properly analyze survey data.
To me it's very chaotic and hard to get a sense of the landscape for accessing this data as it is contained in a variety of different surveys behind a variety of different APIs and search tools.
In any case if anyone could provide any tools or suggestions for helping navigate the myriad amount of resources on the topic of the population of the United States, that'd be great.
For now, my real question is... if I wanted to get a sense of how the U.S.A. population is changing year to year in regards to age, sex, and race, should I be using CPS (Current Population Survey) data, ACS (American Community Survey) data, Decennial census data, or PEP (Population Estimates Program) data? And then additionally, which should I be using for which geographic entities so to speak? I know this question is broad and probably will depend on the specifics, but any general guidance in this department would be helpful.
EDIT: I am interested in the totals for these populations not just the percentages if that makes sense.