The United States Government provides a wealth of information on demographics, housing, and other topics through the U.S. Census Bureau. However, this information can sometimes be difficult to find and use. The resources below are provided to help you more easily navigate information available from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Getting Started: Where Should I Look?
The following is a list of the sources you can use to locate census information.
- Census Quickfacts -- Quickfacts provides at-a-glance census information at the national, state, and county level, and is searchable by geographic area.
- American Factfinder -- American Factfinder is an online resource provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. It contains population, geographic, housing, and economic data. Factfinder allows you to search for information on population, race, ancestry, income, disability, education, employment, language, marital status, occupation, poverty status, housing characteristics, and more. It covers most geographic areas, from state, county, city/town, place, all the way down to specific ZIP codes and census tracts. It also offers geographic reference maps.
- Census Data Sets -- Available through American Factfinder, the census data sets (also called summary tables or summary files) are an efficient method for locating the most detailed demographic information available from the census.
- County and City Data Book -- For less detailed demographic information, the County and City Data Book is a good source. Arranged as a series of tables, the book is available in the reference section of the 4th floor under call number HA 202 .A36 or over the Internet.
- State and Metropolitan Area Data Book -- The State and Metropolitan Area Data Book provides summary statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the states and metropolitan areas of the United States. It is designed to serve as a statistical reference and guide to other statistical publications and sources.
- Economic Census -- The economic census is the single most comprehensive set of data about the structure, functioning, and operating condition of the American economy. Every five years the Economic Census gathers statistics about virtually every business and government to provide a detailed portrait of the American economy from the national to the local level. Monthly, quarterly and annual surveys update and extend the census data with estimates of current economic conditions.
- U.S. Census Bureau Home Page -- If you can't find what you're looking for through one of the other resources, try the Census home page. Census resources are indexed by subject, and you can also ask questions about census bureau publications and resources.
The University of Colorado at Boulder has an extensive listing of other demographic resources and what they contain which can be found
How Do I Search? Different census sources require differing search methods. The following is a list of tutorials that will help you when searching for detailed census information.
- Demographics Handout -- A handout developed by the Government Documents Department showing step-by-step how to execute a quick search and an advanced search using data sets through American Factfinder.
- Factfinder Tutorials
- Census Toolkit from the University of Michigan -- A 30 page PDF with sections on how to choose a data source, data source descriptions, geography and maps, working with census data and maps, general 2000 information, and historical census data.
If you can't find what you're looking for, contact the Government Documents Department personnel for help in answering your questions.
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Local Census Data at a Glance:
Calhoun County Quickfacts