April 25, 2011

Other Sources of Census Data

Census 2010 datasets are finding a second home on the websites of think tanks, state data centers and advocacy groups that have repackaged the numbers in easy-to-use look-up formats. These sites are especially useful for people who only want one or two numbers, or who have not yet mastered the details of the American FactFinder look-up tool on the Census Bureau website.

For example, the Census Bureau last week released population counts, down to the block level, for seven kinds of group quarters, but the numbers are only available via the bureau’s data-firehose FTP site, which is intended for expert users. (An All Things Census posting in February explains why these numbers are being released earlier than usual.) Two public policy advocacy groups, the Prison Policy Institute and Demos, have released a free look-up tool with block-level tables of correctional facilities, searchable by county.

Using the bureau’s redistricting file, the US2010 project has posted easy look-ups of race and ethnic data for metropolitan areas and for cities with populations of 10,000 or more, as well as residential segregation indices. CensusScope has a rich trove of counts from the 2010 Census and earlier censuses for total populations, race/ethnic groups and the race/ethnic composition of the child populations for states, metropolitan areas, counties and cities (and metro-area segregation indices). And, of course, the Pew Hispanic Center has 2000 and 2010 Hispanic and non-Hispanic census counts for every state and county.

Many State Data Centers (here is a map with links to all of them) have repackaged census data for their localities in simple-to-use tables. In Alaska, the look-up includes Alaska native villages and tribal areas as well as cities, boroughs and other units of geography. California offers detailed data and some numbers from earlier years. Colorado offers rankings as well as data. Connecticut offers a color-coded map of population change and Indiana has population maps by school district and other geographies. Pennsylvania has detailed group quarters numbers for each of its counties.