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Sandra Rowland


Census Bureau Touts New Data Delivery System

American FactFinder, the latest innovation in Census Bureau data delivery via the Internet, is in final testing and will be fully operational when state redistricting data are released in March, the Commerce Department's Census Bureau reported today.

"Our goal is to make the voluminous demographic and economic statistics collected by this agency easy to find and use for everyone, from novices to experts, by putting them all in one place," said Paula Schneider, the agency's principal associate director for programs. "We are launching a new era in the dissemination of Census Bureau statistics."

On the Internet since March 1999, American FactFinder <>, offers easy access to Census 2000 data, the latest economic census, the American Community Survey and the 1990 population census.

American FactFinder revolutionizes the way the Census Bureau publishes decennial results. About 90 percent of the census results were in print in 1990, but only 10 percent of Census 2000 data products will be available in that form. American FactFinder will allow the Census Bureau to disseminate more data to more users faster than in 1990.

The first results from Census 2000 (the apportionment population counts issued last Dec. 28) soon will be joined by massive amounts of data in March that could be used to redraw federal, state and local legislative districts.

The data sets will show population counts for 63 race categories, which include those who reported in 57 categories of two or more races, as well as counts for the Hispanic population and the population not of Hispanic origin cross-tabulated by the same 63 race categories. These tabulations will be repeated for people 18 and over. All the tables will be available for the nation's 50 states, 3,232 counties and county equivalents, 50,161 places and county subdivisions, 66,304 neighborhoods (census tracts) and 8.3 million blocks.

This information is just the first wave. Later, there will be data on everything from ancestry to the type of fuel used for home heating.

"The best may be yet to come," said Schneider. "For example, we're working on a feature that would allow a user to type in their address, find their census tract number, then get a demographic profile and map for the tract, which is the equivalent of a neighborhood."

American FactFinder has:

  • a "Basic Facts" section with data for commonly asked questions, and an interface in Spanish for Census 2000 data on Puerto Rico;
  • a thematic and reference map section;
  • a "Kids' Corner" designed for children ages 7 to 11;
  • a keyword or place name search engine; and
  • a "data sets" icon to access detailed tables

American FactFinder was developed under contract with the Census Bureau by IBM Global Services Corp., principal contractor (responsible for systems architecture, design, data warehouse and integration) and Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc. (mapping applications).

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | | Last Revised: September 09, 2014