Introducing a new way to navigate by topics. Access the latest news, data, publications and more around topics of interest.
Our population statistics cover age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, migration, ancestry, language use, veterans, as well as population estimates and projections.
This section provides information on a range of educational topics, from educational attainment and school enrollment to school districts, costs and financing.
We measure the state of the nations workforce, including employment and unemployment levels, weeks and hours worked, occupations, and commuting.
Our statistics highlight trends in household and family composition, describe characteristics of the residents of housing units, and show how they are related.
Health statistics on insurance coverage, disability, fertility and other health issues are increasingly important in measuring the nation's overall well-being.
We measure the housing and construction industry, track homeownership rates, and produce statistics on the physical and financial characteristics of our homes.
The U.S. Census Bureau is the official source for U.S. export and import statistics and regulations governing the reporting of exports from the U.S.
The U.S. Census Bureau provides data for the Federal, state and local governments as well as voting, redistricting, apportionment and congressional affairs.
Search an alphabetical index of keywords and phrases to access Census Bureau statistics, publications, products, services, data, and data tools.
Geography provides the framework for Census Bureau survey design, sample selection, data collection, tabulation, and dissemination.
Geography is central to the work of the Bureau, providing the framework for survey design, sample selection, data collection, tabulation, and dissemination.
Find resources on how to use geographic data and products with statistical data, educational blog postings, and presentations.
The Geographic Support System Initiative will integrate improved address coverage, spatial feature updates, and enhanced quality assessment and measurement.
Work with interactive mapping tools from across the Census Bureau.
Find geographic data and products such as Shapefiles, KMLs, TIGERweb, boundary files, geographic relationship files, and reference and thematic maps.
Metropolitan and micropolitan areas are geographic entities used by Federal statistical agencies in collecting, tabulating, and publishing Federal statistics.
Find information about specific partnership programs and learn more about our partnerships with other organizations.
Definitions of geographic terms, why geographic areas are defined, and how the Census Bureau defines geographic areas.
We conduct research on geographic topics such as how to define geographic areas and how geography changes over time.
Visit our library of Census Bureau multimedia files. Collection formats include audio, video, mobile apps, images, and publications.
Collection of audio features and sound bites.
The Census Bureau packages data and information into easy-to-understand visuals.
Browse Census Bureau images.
Read briefs and reports from Census Bureau experts.
Watch Census Bureau vignettes, testimonials, and video files.
Read research analyses from Census Bureau experts.
Access data through products and tools including data visualizations, mobile apps, interactive web apps and other software.
Developer portal to access services and documentation for the Census Bureau's APIs.
Explore Census Bureau data on your mobile device with interactive tools.
Find a multitude of DVDs, CDs and publications in print by topic.
These external sites provide more data.
Download extraction tools to help you get the in-depth data you need.
Learn more about our data from this collection of e-tutorials, presentations, webinars and other training materials. Sign up for training sessions.
Explore Census data with interactive visualizations covering a broad range of topics.
Learn how we serve the public as the most reliable source of data about the nation's people and economy.
How we provide the best mix of timeliness, relevancy, quality, and cost for the data we collect.
Our researchers explore innovative ways to conduct surveys, increase respondent participation, reduce costs, and improve accuracy.
Our surveys provide periodic and comprehensive statistics about the nation, critical for government programs, policies, and decisionmaking.
Learn about other opportunities to collaborate with us.
Explore the rich historical background of an organization with roots almost as old as the nation.
Explore prospective positions available at the Census Bureau.
Explore Census programs targeted for particular needs.
Discover the latest in Census Bureau data releases, reports, and events.
The Census Bureau's Director writes on how we measure America's people, places and economy.
Find interesting and quirky statistics regarding national celebrations and major events.
Listen to audio files on fun facts, historical figures, and celebrations of the month.
Find media toolkits, advisories, and all the latest Census news.
See what's coming up in releases and reports.
Although the Census Bureau entered the computer age with the introduction of UNIVAC I in 1951, its data processing speed was hampered by the continued reliance upon punch cards. Transferring questionnaire data to punch cards that UNIVAC "read" and stored on magnetic tape was a time consuming process that remained relateively unchanged since the late nineteenth century.
To take advantage of UNIVAC's speed, National Bureau of Standards scientists and Census Bureau engineers began development of FOSDIC (Film Optical Sensing Device for Input to Computers). Completed in 1954, the first generation of FOSDIC "read" the position of pencil-filled circles on questionnaires and translated the responses to computer code stored on magnetic computer tape.
The Census Bureau first used FOSDIC to process a decennial census in 1960. Enumerators transferred data collected on questionnaires to a "FOSDIC-readable schedule" on which questionnaire responses were recorded as pencilled-in circles. At the Census Bureau, technicians used extremely sensitive photography equipment to convert these forms into microfilm. (In 1970 and later censuses, all questionnaires were FOSDIC readable, illiminating the need to have enumerators tranfer data from questionnaires to FOSDIC schedules).
These shaded circles appeared as light dots on the microfilm. When the microfilm passed through the Census Bureau's new fleet of FOSDIC III machines (FOSDIC II had been designed for the Weather Bureau), they read the placement of the bright marks on the microfilm and translated them into computer code.
The Census Bureau used updated versions of FOSDIC for the 1970, 1980, and 1990 censuses. FOSDIC proved so succesful that it was not replaced until the introduction of optical character recognition for Census 2000.