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Contact: Public Information Office
The U.S. Census Bureau today released a new online service that makes key demographic, socio-economic and housing statistics more accessible than ever before. The Census Bureau’s first-ever public Application Programming Interface (API) allows developers to design Web and mobile apps to explore or learn more about America's changing population and economy.
The new API lets developers customize Census Bureau statistics into Web or mobile apps that provide users quick and easy access from two popular sets of statistics:
The 2010 Census and the American Community Survey statistics provide key information on the nation, neighborhoods and areas in between. By providing annual updates on population changes the survey helps communities plan for schools, social and emergency services, highway improvements and economic developments.
“We hope to see many apps grow out of the Census API, as this opens up our statistics beyond traditional uses,” Census Bureau Director Robert Groves said. “The API gives data developers in research, business and government the means to customize our statistics into an app that their audiences and customers need.”
For example, developers could use the statistics available through this API to create apps that:
“Apps give people simpler access to our statistics so they can get the information they need to answer questions or solve problems,” said Stephen Buckner, chief of the Census Bureau's Center for New Media and Promotions. “As Web developers exercise their creativity with our statistics, we believe the public will gain more opportunities to access more of our information on their laptops and mobile devices — anytime and anywhere they wish.”
The Census Bureau has also launched a website for developers to provide feedback and ideas on the API. The website includes an “app gallery” where the public can view and download Web apps that have already been created:
With the release of this API and other upcoming forward-looking online communications improvements, the Census Bureau is meeting the goals of the President's digital strategy to make information more transparent and customer-centered.