An API, or “Application Programming Interface,” is a tool that programmers can use to access data more efficiently. It reduces the need for data storage and provides software developers, data scientists, and others with a set of standard commands to easily access statistics that can be incorporated into their programs and applications.
This guide provides an overview of the Census Data API and how it can be used to access data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS), a source of up-to-date statistics on the social, economic, housing, and demographic characteristics of America’s communities.
The guide is intended for software developers and researchers who want to access ACS data to create mobile- or Web-based apps, as well as nonprogrammers who want to create simple queries to access ACS data through an Internet browser.
More detailed instructions on how to use the Census Data API are available in the Census Bureau’s Census Data API User Guide.
Others in Series
What Researchers Need to Know
This handbook helps researchers learn more about estimates for geographic areas, how to access data products, sampling error, and more.
What State and Local Government Users Need to Know
This handbook helps data users from state and local governments learn about ACS data and provides examples of how ACS data can answer real-world questions.
What ACS Public Use Microdata Sample File Users Need to Know
This guide helps data users learn how to access PUMS files, create PUMS tables, and measure accuracy and margins of error.