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Use the Census   Tags: how_do_i  

Last Updated: Apr 4, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Get Started with the Census

"The actual enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of 10 years, in such manner as they shall by Law direct." -- Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution of the United States


The Census Bureau produces the Census as mandated by the Constitution, as well as other demographic and economic data. The data is used by the government to determine representation in Congress, allocate funding,and make decisions, but it is also available for free and available in a variety of formats for the public. You can explore the Census for your research or to discover the diversity in your community.  

  • The Racial Dot Map
    From the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, it is a visualization of racial diversity--One Dot Per Person for the Entire United States.

Featured Sources

Need more...

  • U.S. Census Bureau
    Access current and older datasets.
  • Population and Housing (1790 - 2010)
    This data makes up what you typically think of as the (Decennial) Census. Great for basic statistic questions but also for research of demographic and social trends.
  • County Business Patterns
    Annual statistics for businesses (number of paid employees and the number of establishments by employment size and by industry)

Cite the Census

You are free to use the publically available data in the Census for your research, but you do need to cite it. You may find guidance in standard citation manuals, but here are a few additional sources that might help.


More Help

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Nia Rodgers
Liaison to Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness
(804) 828-8565

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Bettina Peacemaker
Assistant Head for Academic Outreach and  Business Research Librarian
(804) 828-8960


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