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Applications built on Census data typically take advantage of three underlying services: Census Data API, TigerWeb REST Services and the Geocoder REST Services:

  • Census Data API
    The Census Data Application Programming Interface (API)
    ( is an API that gives the public access to raw statistical data from various Census Bureau data programs. In terms of space, we aggregate the data and usually associate them with a certain Census geographic boundary/area defined by a FIPS code. In terms of time, we associate the data with a specific vintage (reference year).
  • TigerWeb
    TigerWeb REST Services is an API serving Census area boundaries/shapes referenced by FIPS codes. This service can take two types of parameters to return one or more Census boundaries: a FIPS code or a latitude/longitude pair. FIPS codes are 12-digit codes that are hierarchical in code so that the higher numbers define higher-level geographies and lower numbers define lower-level geographies.
  • Geocoder
    Our publicly available geocoder is an API that translates addresses and other location formats into lat/lng parameters, which are then fed into the TigerWeb REST services to request a Census boundary.

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Focus: Census Data API

The primary purpose of this guide is to cover the Census Data API. For further instructions for using TigerWeb or Geocoder, visit:

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