NCSU Libraries Census Related Webpages and Resources

Need in-depth Census data assistance? Contact Data Services.

U.S. Population and Housing Census Data

Resources for Finding Tabular and GIS Census Data

This is intended to be a guide to starting points for finding Census data. There are many sources of Census numeric data in tabular format and of boundary files suitable for GIS. If you have questions, please contact the Data Services Librarian.


Notes and Tips:

  • NCSU Libraries' Population Census Guide of Printed Materials, includes detailed year by year explanatory material and describes Printed resources (as opposed to only digital, as shown in the table below).
  • The links below take you to aggregated numeric Census data. If you are looking for images and names from the actual Census documents of 1790-1940, go to HeritageQuest.
  • Looking for recent Income data? This is possibly the most common data topic that is only available via the American Community Survey (ACS) and not from the short form Decennial Census. Income data is best retrieved from American Factfinder 2, and the smallest geography that it is reported to is the block group level. More ACS Details...

Recommended Comprehensive Historic and Current Census Data Sources

Online Resource Name and Link

Access

Census Years

What's Available?
Smallest Geography
Relative Ease of Use
Social Explorer Free for NCSU
Pricing
1790-Present Download Data, Online Maps, Custom Reports Block Groups Easy
National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS) Public/Free 1790-Present Download Data and GIS shapefiles Blocks Moderate
American Factfinder Public/Free 2000-Present Download Data, Online Maps, Custom Profiles Blocks Moderate
TIGER/Line Geographic Data Public/Free 1990-Present GIS shapefiles, geodatabases, web services Blocks Easy

Pre-Compiled Datasets for GIS

These datasets will have the geographic boundary files and data tables with a limited set of variables already joined.
Online Resource Name and Link

Access

Census Years

What's Available?
Smallest Geography
Relative Ease of Use
ArcGIS.com
Search on your own to narrow the results
Public/Free Varies Download GIS datasets, web mapping services Varies Moderate
NC OneMap
Data for North Carolina only
Public/Free 1970-Present Download GIS datasets, web mapping services Blocks Easy
Check your local GIS website
For example, Wake County provides pre-compiled Census data for download from their site.

Population Projections / Forecasts

Online Resource Name and Link

Access

Projection Years

What's Available?
Geographies
Relative Ease of Use
Business Analyst
(Must request access from Data Services first) [Direct Connection]
NCSU Only 5 Years Out Business and Demographic Reports for selected locations Block Group Moderate
SimplyMap - [Direct Connection] NCSU Only, or through NC Live at your Public Library 5 Years Out Data Downloads and Reports, Online Maps Block Group Moderate
North Carolina Data Center, LINC Public/Free 20 Years Out Download Data, Maps NC - State and Counties Easy
Woods and Poole NCSU Only > 20 Years Out Download Data US, State, Region, County, Metro, Micro areas Easy
US Census Bureau Public/Free > 40 Years Out Download Data US only Easy

Normalized Data

Census data for one decennial census, normalized by the geography boundaries of another census. For example, 2010 Census data in 2000 boundaries, and vice-versa. Used to compare and study demographic changes over time.
Online Resource Name and Link

Access

Normalization Years

What's Available?
Smallest Geography
Relative Ease of Use
Longitudinal Tract Data Base (LTDB) from Brown University - Project Website
LTDB GIS Geodatabase - Tables and tracts joined, provided by Philip McDaniel, UNC GIS Librarian.
Public/Free 1970-2010 Data Download, GIS Geodatabase Tracts
CensusCD Neighborhood Change Database Public access D.H. Hill Lib. 1970-2000 Data Download, GIS shapefiles Tracts Moderate
Summary File 1, 2010 data in 2000 boundaries Public access D.H. Hill Lib. 2000/2010 Data Download, GIS shapefiles Tracts Moderate

 

For more information or assistance, contact:

  • Jeff Essic, Data Services Librarian (Contact for GIS and Numeric Data)

    (919) 515-5698

Return to Numeric Data Resources