Tag Archives: census data

NHGIS Releases Standardized Tables for 2000 & 2010 Census

Comparing Census data from one decade the next can be difficult since boundaries  and variables can change. Trying to figure out those differences can be time consuming and sometimes frustrating. To help make this easier, NHGIS recently released 65 time series tables standardizing 2000 & 2010 100% count variables to the 2010 Census boundaries for ten geographic levels including tracts, block groups and 5 digit zip code tabulation areas (ZCTAs).

The tables are marked with a TS from within the Topic filter

NHGIS topic filter

Available standardized tables are listed in the Time Series Tables tab, and labeled Standardized to 2010 under the Geographic Integration column.


More information on time tables produced by the NHGIS can be found in the Data Documentation section, including both the geographically standardized tables as well as nominally integrated tables. The page includes methodology, and a PDF containing the complete list of variables within the time series datasets.

NYC 2010 Tract Boundaries

Map of 2010 Census Tracts

Click for interactive map

There are so many places to get Census boundaries, but often for NYC, the layers from NYC Dept of City Planning BYTES of the Big Apple are the most detailed.

However, these boundaries do not contain fields to join with some of the more popular sources for Census variables, either for the the 2010 Decennial Census or the American Community Survey 5-year estimates.

It doesn’t take too much time to create the various fields, and as you can see in the examples, these are very similar with just a couple minor variations. The boundaries are available in the data catalog.

NYC Planning uses a seven character ID identifying tracts, the first digit is the borough ID and the remaining six are the Census Bureau defined tract ID which is good if joining to the tables created by NYC Planning only.

Example Borough ID Tract ID
1010400 1 010400

The Census Bureau uses an 11 character ID for joining with data from the Census Bureau American FactFinder or Social Explorer

Example State Code County Code Tract ID
36061010400 36 061 010400

NHGIS uses a 14 character ID

Example Prefix State ID County ID Tract ID
G3600610010400 G 360 0610 010400

Infoshare uses a 10 character ID

Example County ID Tract ID
0610104.00 061 0104.00

The 2010 Tract boundaries can be joined with data from

  • The 2010 Decennial Census
  • American Community Survey (ACS) 5-yr estimates
    (except ’05-’09 which uses the 2000 boundaries!)

Social Explorer for Historical Maps

Looking for historical U.S. Census maps?  Try Social Explorerhttp://www.columbia.edu/cgi-bin/cul/resolve?clio7334603 – a database product that helps to visually analyze and understand the demographics of the United States through the use of interactive maps and data reports.  Explore thousands of historical data maps, from the first US Census in 1790 to the present!

Census – Population Density, NYC Metro Area

1790, 1890, 1990

1790 1890 1990

Statistical Treats for a Happy Halloween!

 Happy HalloweenDid you know?

  • 1.1 billion total pounds of pumpkin were grown in the U.S. in 2010 
  • there are an estimated 41 million potential trick-or-treaters in the U.S., ages 5-14
  • California led the nation in the number of chocolate and cocoa manufacturing establishments, with 135

Find these and other fun holiday statistics at the U.S. Census Bureau’s Newsroom, Facts for Features & Special Editions page – one of the census projects designed for journalists.  This collection of statistics from demographic and economic subject areas provides information, background, and source citing for topics in the news.  Happy Halloween!

Housing Topics at the U.S. Census Bureau

Census Housing Topics

Looking for housing data?  You can find data on:

  • home ownership
  • historical to present U.S. rental vacancies
  • median asking and sale price for the U.S.
  • tables on housing affordability

…and more!  Go to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Housing Topics page.

Spotlight on: American FactFinder


affNeed a place to start when looking for Census data?  American FactFinder (http://factfinder.census.gov) is an online data source for population, housing, economy and geography from the following data programs: 

  • Decennial Census
  • American Community Survey
  • Current Population Estimates
  • Economic Census
  • Annual Economic Surveys

American FactFinder is your source for population, housing, economic and geographic data for the United States!  Can’t find what you need?  Contact the librarian:  dssc@libraries.cul.columbia.edu.

Economic Census Information at Columbia

Looking for information from the Economic Census?  Taken by the U.S. Census Bureau every five years, the Economic Census provides a detailed statistical profile of a large segment of the national economy.  You can find information directly at the U.S. Economic Census website, or you can view a table of economic census holdings here at Columbia University Libraries.

2010 Census – Be Sure You Are Counted

The Decennial Census is a once a decade count of everyone in the U.S. and the 2010 Census is about to get underway. Before the end of March the post office will be delivering a Census form to every household in the U.S.  Students living away from home are counted where they reside while at school and not at their parents’ home.  Watch your mailbox because, if you are living off-campus,  the form should arrive by April 1.  For those living in dorms, the forms will be delivered between April 1 and May 15th.


10 Questions in 10 Minutes
That describes the Census form.
Who Gets Counted?  Everyone!
Citizens and non-Citizens
What Do You Need to Do?
Complete the form and mail it back.

    2010 Census
Picture 2

Academic researchers and students are heavy users of the socio-demographic profiles that are produced by the government and based on the Census count.  An accurate count, which someday might be useful to your research, depends on your participation.

If you have questions about your participation, the form, or the importance of the Census, the answers are at the Census Bureau’s 2010 Census web site, http://2010.census.gov/2010census/