Loyola University Chicago Libraries

Census Research: Databases and Web Sites

Statistical Resources

  • American Community Survey (ACS) -- U.S. Census Bureau -- The American Community Survey (ACS) collects and produces population and housing information every year instead of every ten years to provide more up-to-date data throughout the decade. Covers age, race, income, commute time to work, home value, veteran status, and other important data. Surveys about three million housing unit addresses annually.

    Click here to access the American Community Survey Data Sets.

    Gives one-year estimates for geographic areas with a population of 65,000 or more, including 800 counties and 500 metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas. Three-year estimates will be available for about 1,800 counties and 900 metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas. For areas with a population less than 20,000, five-year estimates will be available. The first five-year estimates, based on ACS data collected from 2005 through 2009, will be released in 2010.
  • Annual Economic Surveys-- U.S. Census Bureau -- The Census Bureau collects and produces economic information to provide more up-to-date data throughout the decade.
    • Annual Survey of Manufactures (ASM)provides sample estimates of statistics for all manufacturing establishments with one or more paid employee.
    • County Business Patternsis an annual series that provides subnational economic data by industry. It covers most of the country's economic activity, but excludes data on self-employed individuals, employees of private households, railroad employees, agricultural production employees, and most government employees.
    • Nonemployer Statistics summarizes the number of establishments and sales or receipts of businesses without paid employees that are subject to federal income tax. Most nonemployers are self-employed individuals operating very small unincorporated businesses, which may or may not be the owner's principal source of income.
  • County-Level Data-- U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA), Economic Research Service (ERS) -- State and county data on education, population, poverty, unemployment and median income.
  • County-Level Education Data-- U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA), Economic Research Service (ERS) -- State and county data on college completion rates.
  • County-Level Population Data-- U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA), Economic Research Service (ERS) -- State and county population change since 2000.
  • County-Level Poverty Rates-- U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA), Economic Research Service (ERS) -- State and county poverty rates.
  • Data Sets-- U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA), Economic Research Service (ERS) -- Includes education, population, unemployment, income, and poverty data, as well as state fact sheets, nutrition, and food trade, prices, safety, and markets.
  • Economic Census / Economic Censuses-- U.S. Census Bureau -- The Economic Census provides a detailed portrait of the Nation's economy once every five years, from the national to the local level. The Economic Census is conducted every five years, in years ending in '2' and '7.' Data from the 2002 and 1997 Economic Censuses have been released. Data from the 2007 Economic Census will be available as released.

    Click here to access the Economic Census Data Sets.

    The Census provides information on business operating at more than 21 million locations, giving key information on the number of businesses and employees, the value of shipments, sales, receipts, revenue and payroll. There are several related programs, including Surveys of Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises. The Census of Agriculture and Census of Governments are conducted at the same time.
  • Local Area Personal Income-- U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis -- Personal income, compensation, employment, and wages. National region, state, MSA, and county statistics from 1969 to latest.
  • Selected Historical Decennial Census Population and Housing Counts-- U.S. Census Bureau -- The decennial census occurs every 10 years in the years ending in "0," to count the population and housing units for the entire United States. Population counts 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. .

    Click here to access the Decennial Census Data Sets.

Search Census Records through FamilySearch.org

The Family History Library (FamilySearch.org) is a non-profit service sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Church has been gathering and preserving genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years.

The Family History Library in Salt Lake City will be placing the entire 1790-1930 United States Census index online in a freely accessible format.

The Statistical Abstract of the United States

The Statistical Abstract of the United States, published since 1878, is the authoritative and comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States.

Use the Abstract as a convenient volume for statistical reference, and as a guide to sources of more information both in print and on the Web.

Sources of data include the Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and many other Federal agencies and private organizations.

In the spring of 2011, the Census Bureau announced that the edition that year would be the last one produced at government expense.

ProQuest has now taken on responsibility for updating and releasing this publication, the most used statistical reference tool in U.S. libraries. We bring to this task 35 years of experience in acquiring, abstracting, and indexing Federal Government statistical publications and tables.

See the link below for the most up to date information.

Other Resources Online

Census Maps, Interactive (1940- ), from Social Explorer.

Census.gov, site of the the U.S. Census Bureau, houses the following data sets:


American FactFinder allows access to the above Census data in the form of maps, tables, and reports, though the interface and complexity of the site can be intimidating to new users. Those new to the Census site should explore both the American FactFinder Tutorials and the Help Pages. An extensive Question & Answer Center at the Census site can help with questions on specific features, functions, and data types.

To get an idea of the types of data available, try searching your own street address. After you submit your address, a dropdown menu will appear specifying the type of geographic area containing your address available for investigation. Census Tracts allow for detailed views of your immediate neighborhood; select it and press 'Go.' What follows is a detailed list of hyperlinks to invidual reports regarding the address you entered.

Click here for a map of Census Tract 104 for Cook County, Illinois, home to Loyola University Chicago. Table DP-1, Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2000, details sex, racial, relationship, and housing statistics for this Census Tract area.

ICPSR: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research


In addition to the Help sites mentioned above, the following pages may be of related assistance.

Census Documentation, Guides, and History
A bibliography created for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Citation Style for Information on the Census Bureau Internet Site

How to Access and Use Census Bureau Data

Success Stories Gateway: Using Data Effectively at Census.gov