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Census: Get Started

This guide lists key sources of Census data covering both the latest releases from the current 2000 Census and data going back to 1790. Print and electronic sources are included.

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About the Census Data,

About the Census

The decennial census is the only data gathering operation in the United States that is mandated by the Constitution. The first census was taken in 1790 and has continued every 10 years, in the years ending in "0".

Its primary purpose is to provide the population counts that determine how seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are apportioned. Census figures also are required to draw congressional and state legislative district boundaries, to allocate federal and state funds, to formulate public policy, and to assist with planning and decision making in the private sector. 

Source:Census Bureau

Census News

New Census App Helps Users Find Local Statistics on the Go

      The U.S. Census Bureau today released dwellr, a new mobile app that delivers on-the-go access to key demographic, socio-economic and housing statistics for thousands of places across the nation.

      Powered by American Community Survey statistics, dwellr can pull up a list of U.S. locations that matches users’ preferences for such variables as city size, geographic region, job type and income. Users can also learn more about where they are by a simple tap of the screen that reveals educational levels, housing values and commute times. 

      The customizable demographic and community variables featured in dwellr include: 

  •   city size
  •   commute type
  •    housing value
  •    income
  •    educational attainment and
  •   demographic variables including age, race, marital status and family type

The mobile app is now available for download through the Apple app store and Google Play store for Apple iPhones and iPads and Android phones and 10-inch tablets. Privacy protection is built into the app, and all information is stored only on the user’s device.

Other Census Bureau Digital Initiatives

      The Census Bureau’s first mobile app — America’s Economy — provides smartphone and tablet users with real-time releases of the economic statistics that drive decisions on employment, housing, construction, international trade, retail sales and manufacturing, and are important tools for businesses, economists, planners and policymakers.

Census Pop Quiz


New 2010 Census Data


2010 Census data is available via the new American FactFinder website.

2010 Census Data Home Page includes data on population change, density and apportionment back to 1910 with a nice interactive mapping feature for the data.

This site also includes information on future data release schedules.

Need help finding data? Contact Barbara Mento, Data/GIS Manager

Census Basics

Census 2000 Geographic Products and Information    2010 Products and Data
Slide show describing the geography hierarchy of census data and descriptions of the various geographic units such as blocks, block groups, census tracts, metropolitan areas (MSA, PMSA, CMSA)
Questionnaires 2000  and 2010
PDF files of the Census 2000 Forms and information on how the Census 2000 questions are used.

Census Data File Descriptions:

Summary File 1 (SF 1)
contains data on age, sex, households, families, and housing units based on answers to the questions common to both the Census 2000 Short-Form and Long-Form Questionnaires. [Census 2000] Age, Hispanic or Latino Origin, Household Relationship, Owners and Renters, Race, Sex, and more...

Summary File 2 (SF2)
contains 47 detailed tables focusing on age, sex, households, families, and occupied housing units for the total population. These tables are repeated for 249 detailed population groups based on the following criteria:
* no tables are available for geographic areas having a population of less than 100

* tables are repeated only for the race groups, American Indian and Alaska Native tribes, and Hispanic or Latino groups having a population of 100 or more within the geographic area.

Summary File 3
consists of 813 detailed tables of Census 2000 social, economic and housing characteristics compiled from a sample of approximately 19 million housing units (about 1 in 6 households) that received the Census 2000 long-form questionnaire. Fifty-one tables are repeated for nine major race and Hispanic or Latino groups: White alone; Black or African American alone; American Indian and Alaska Native alone; Asian alone; Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone; Some other race alone; Two or more races; Hispanic or Latino; and White alone, not Hispanic or Latino. Data on Ancestry, Citizenship, Disability, Educational Attainment, Income, Industry, Language Spoken at Home, Marital Status, Migration, Occupation, Place of Birth, Place of Work, Poverty, Rent, School Enrollment, Tenure, Units in Structure, and more...

Summary File 4 contains tabulations of population and housing data collected from a sample of the population. The data are shown down to the census tract level for 336 race, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian and Alaska Native, and ancestry categories.

Subject Guide

Barbara Mento
O'Neill 313