U.S. Department of Commerce

Population Division’s Help Page

The Census Bureau welcome your comments and questions and will respond as quickly as possible. Please take a few moments and review this page before sending questions.

Try to locate the desired information through our Subjects A-Z button on the Census Bureau’s home page. The following may also answer your question(s) and/or expedite obtaining the information you need.

Links to...

Information about the Past

Decennial censuses provide detailed characteristics of the population for census tabulation geography. On the Internet, the American FactFinder provides access to these detailed characteristics for all census geographic levels (e.g., United States, states, counties, places, census tracts, ZIP Codes, Congressional districts). "See also The Census 2000 Gateway" data also are available.

...the Present...

The Census Bureau makes population estimates at the United States, state, county, metropolitan area, minor civil division, and place levels. Current population estimates also are available by age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin for the United States, states, and counties for selected reference years. The Census Bureau does not produce population estimates by age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin below the county level. We also produce housing unit and household estimates. The estimates site is updated regularly and contains the most current estimates available.

The Current Population Survey and the Survey of Income and Program Participation provide detailed social, economic, and demographic characteristics of persons and households for the United States. If you want current detailed characteristics information for the United States, click on the topic (e.g., education, marital status, mobility) you need under Subjects A-Z or use the DataFerrett access tool. Some historical data also are available by subject.

And the Future...

The Census Bureau makes population projections at the United States and state levels. A list of contacts in specific states who may make projections for smaller geographic levels also is available. Population projections of a variety of characteristics for the United States and states are available at through Subjects A-Z. International projections are available in our International Database.

The American Community Survey (ACS) is a national survey designed to enable communities to look at how they are changing. It will replace the decennial long form in future censuses and is a critical element in the Census Bureau's reengineered 2010 census. The ACS is composed of basic tables of housing and population characteristics. Additional tables are provided which include many of the basic tables with data for 11 racial and Hispanic Origin groups. The ACS detailed tables are available on the Census Bureau's American FactFinder site.

The Census Bureau has limited other historical data accessible through the Internet. Check under each topic listed under Subjects A-Z.

The Census Bureau library has historical census volumes.

Although censuses are a source of genealogical information, The Census Bureau does not provide these data

Other Information

For questions pertaining to compressed (.zip) files please see our PKZIP Information page.