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The type of data collected by the US Census has varied over its history, 1790 to present. The census' primary purpose is the allocation of representatives to each state for US House of Representatives and not a complete socio-economic survey of the populace. The type of data available from the census can vary and even the questions asked by the census taker or census questionaire varies with each decennial census. The 2000 Census was the last decennial census in which detailed data was gathered from a sample of the population using the long-form questionnaire. Starting in 2001, detailed sample data is being gathered as part of the American Community Survey.
US Census of Population & Housing Decennial Censuses
The U.S. Bureau of the Census has been collecting data since 1790. When people think of the Census Bureau, they usually think first of population statistics, but the agency also gathers economic and other data. See the tabs above for information on those topics.
The U.S. Census counts every resident in the United States. It is mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution and takes place every 10 years. The data collected by the decennial census determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and is also used to distribute billions in federal funds to local communities.
Census of Population and Housing data present here ranges from our most recent census to the historical decennial census conducted throughout the decades. Some of the data were scanned as an effort to make historical census information available to the public.
All publications in pdf format. The site provides information on each census and contents of each questionnaire and instructions for filling it out. Other information includes availability of population schedules, availability of the 1930 Census Records, finding guides, State and Territorial Censuses, mortality schedules, population items on principal Census questionnaires, a History of the Decennial Censuses (1790 to 2000), individual histories of the United States Censuses
The first censuses in 1790 and 1800 were "simple" counts of population that fulfilled the U.S. Constitution's requirement. While later censuses met this constitutional mandate, they also gathered greater detail about the nation's inhabitants. As a result, the census has grown from a "head count" to a tool enabling us to better understand the nation's inhabitants, their pursuits and activities, and needs.
Expansion of the census began in 1810, when census-takers also asked questions related to the industrial pursuits of the nation's inhabitants. In 1850, the census began collecting "social statistics" (information about taxes, education, crime, and value of estate, etc.) and mortality data. Subsequent censuses gathered more detailed data on race and ancestry, health, housing, and transportation.
The NCSU Libraries contains summary statistical reports compiled from each of the U.S. decennial censuses. For the decennial censuses from 1950 to 2000, the Census Bureau included Table Finding Guides in population and housing publications. These tables list the variables (topics) with columns shows the geographic level and table number where the data can be found. The guides appear in the printed publications.
The Census Business Builder (CBB) is a suite of services that provide selected demographic and economic data from the Census Bureau tailored to specific types of users in a simple to access and use format.
Search by residential street address and find block, tract and other geographical units for US Census data. Census Reporter is an independent project to make data from the American Community Survey easier to use. They are unaffiliated with the U.S. Census Bureau.
This application provides accesses to the multi-state MABLE geographic database to generate custom correlation lists as reports and/or files. You can also narrow data results to public use microdata areas (PUMA) Quick review video available from the US Census.
A web-based mapping and reporting application from the US Census Bureau that shows where workers are employed and where they live. It also provides companion reports on age, earnings, industry distributions, race, ethnicity, educational attainment, and sex.
The U.S. Census Bureau’s TIGERweb is a web-based application that allows users to visualize the data within the U.S. Census Bureau’s Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing database (TIGER) online. TIGERweb contains three mapping applications: TIGERweb, TIGERweb Decennial and TIGERweb Economic.