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.
Official audio files from the Census Bureau, including "Profile America," a daily series of bite-sized statistics, placing current data in a historical context.
Infographics include information on the Census Bureau's history of data collection, our nation's veterans and the American Community Survey.
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.
Information about the U.S. Census Bureau.
Information about what we do at the U.S. Census Bureau.
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 U.S. Census Bureau.
Information about the current field vacancies available at the U.S. Census Bureau Regional Offices.
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.
Profile America is a daily, 60-second feature that uses interesting vignettes for that day to highlight information collected by the Census Bureau.
Find media toolkits, advisories, and all the latest Census news.
See what's coming up in releases and reports.
What is a population estimate?
The Census Bureauís Population Estimates Program (PEP) produces July 1 estimates for years after the last published decennial census (1990), as well as for past decades. Existing data series such as births, deaths, Federal tax returns, medicare enrollment, and immigration, are used to update the decennial census base counts. PEP estimates are used in Federal funding allocations, in setting the levels of national surveys, and in monitoring recent demographic changes. A methodology reference accompanies most of our population estimates offerings.
How are estimates different from projections?
There is not a distinct dichotomy between population estimates and population projections, but there are some differences in time reference and derivation. Estimates usually are for the past, while projections typically are for future dates. Estimates generally use existing symptomatic data, for example, (births, deaths, migration), collected from various sources. Projections must assume future trends for fertility, mortality, and other demographic processes. At the Census Bureau, the population projections use the latest available estimates as starting points. In our current product offerings the user may see both an estimate and a projection available for the same reference date, which may not agree because they were produced at different times. In such cases, estimates are the preferred data.
Revisions to estimates and geographic detail
With each new issue of July 1 estimates, PEP revises estimates for years back to the last census. Previously released estimates become superseded. Revisions to estimates are usually due to input data updates, changes in methodology, or legal boundary changes. The frequency of estimates and availability of demographic detail vary by geographic level.
Why does the Census Bureau produce estimates?
The legal requirement for the Census Bureau to produce subnational population estimates is given in Title 13 of the U.S. Code. Title 13 states that: "During the intervals between each census of population required under section 141 of this title, the Secretary, to the extent feasible, shall annually produce and publish for each State, county, and local unit of general purpose government of fifty thousand or more, current data on total population and population characteristics and, to the extent feasible, shall biennially produce and publish for units of general purpose government current data on total population." The reason for producing estimates is given in Section 183 of Title 13: "Except as provided in subsection (b), for the purpose of administering any law of the United States in which population or other population characteristics are used to determine the amount of benefit received by State, county, or local units of general purpose government, the Secretary shall transmit to the President for use by the appropriate departments and agencies of the executive branch the data most recently produced and published under this title."
In other words, the Census Bureau produces subnational estimates for use in the allocation of funds to state, county and local governments. For this reason, the Census Bureau produces population estimates for general-purpose functioning governments. These governments have elected officials who can provide services and raise revenue. In addition to states and counties, incorporated places and minor civil divisions also serve as general-purpose functioning governmental units.