Government Information

This guide has links to Federal governmental resources.

U.S. Census Bureau

The US Census Bureau has population statistics, information about the economy, businesses, education, employment, etc. There are maps and infographics ("An infographic uses a set of tables, graphs and maps to display statistical findings in easy-to-understand manner"). Data tools include the American FactFinder.  United States Census Bureau. US Department of Commerce.

Menu bar at top of page has: Topics, Geography, Library, Data, Surveys/Programs, Newsroom, and About Us.

Main page has:

  • Population clock for US and the world. Click on Learn More >> to see components of the changes; top most populous countries; select a date for US population on that date (April 2010- ); and other population in the US information.
  • QuickFacts provides state by state access to facts about people, business, and geography.
  • U.S. Census Bureau Economic Indicator has.RSS feed; get to archived and historic time series (select years only) via top bar or View All
  • Latest News
  • Stat of the Day
  • Footer with menu of shortcuts to specific topics on the Census site, arranged by: About Us; Find Data; Business & Industry; People & Households; Special Topics; and Newsroom.


Under Topics find:

  • Population ("statistics cover age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, migration, ancestry, language use, veterans, as well as population estimates and projections.")
  • Economy ("official source of statistical data tracking the national economy.")
  • Business ("key information about businesses")
  • Education ("educational attainment and school enrollment to school districts, costs and financing.")
  • Emergency Preparedness (latest events, data, data-tools, and news)
  • Employment ("state of the nation's workforce, including employment and unemployment levels, weeks and hours worked, occupations, and commuting.")
  • Families & Living Arrangements ("trends in household and family composition, describe characteristics of the residents of housing units, and show how they are related.")
  • Health ("statistics on insurance coverage, disability, fertility and other health issues")
  • Housing ("measure the housing and construction industry, track homeownership rates, and produce statistics on the physical and financial characteristics of our homes.")
  • Income & Poverty ("the gauge many use to determine the well-being of the U.S. population. Survey and census questions cover poverty, income, and wealth.")
  • International Trade ("U.S. export and import statistics and regulations governing the reporting of exports from the U.S.")
  • Public Sector ("data for the Federal, state and local governments as well as voting, redistricting, apportionment and congressional affairs.")


"Geography is central to the work of the Census Bureau, providing the framework for survey design, sample selection, data collection, tabulation, and dissemination.  Geography provides meaning and context to statistical data."

Under Geography find:

  • Latest Information--this does not appear to be up-to-date as of early December 2015.
  • About (who--Geographers, Cartographers, Statisticians, and Information Technology Specialists--and what they do)
  • Education ("Find resources on how to use geographic data and products with statistical data, educational blog postings, and presentations that we have given at conferences and other events")
  • GSS Initiative ("a continuous plan to provide the most current, accurate, and complete address, feature, and boundary data to the Census Bureau’s customers and data users.")
  • Interactive Maps ("interactive mapping tools from across the Census Bureau.")
  • Maps & Data ("geographic data and products such as the TIGER/Line Shapefiles, KMLs, TIGERweb, cartographic boundary files, geographic relationship files, and reference and thematic maps.")
  • Metropolitan & Micropolitan ("geographic entities delineated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for use by Federal statistical agencies in collecting, tabulating, and publishing Federal statistics.")
  • Partnerships ('partnerships with federal, state, local, and tribal governments as well as commercial partners.")
  • Reference "The what, why, and how of Census geography.  What are the definitions of geographic terms, why are geographic areas defined, and how we define geographic areas.")
  • Research ("research on geographic topics such as how to define geographic areas and how geography changes over time.  We also conduct research and development on how to collect changes in geographic boundaries, how to collect address data, and how to maintain a large spatial database.")


  • Latest Information (new publications, annotated)
  • Audio ("access to official audio files from the Census Bureau, including "Profile America," a daily series of bite-sized statistics, placing current data in a historical context.")
  • Infographics ("a set of tables, graphs and maps to display statistical findings." Infographics are sorted by date, first year being 2012. Many are in multiple colors. Code for embedding infographic on one's own Web pages is provided, in addition to high resolution image and PDF version.)
  • Photos (arranged by category; see multimedia usage policy.)
  • Publications (recent publications listed first; browse back in time to 1793--see one item--to see other publications of the US Census Bureau. Sampled publications in PDF.)
  • Videos ("Watch official videos about the Census Bureau's latest projects, operations and activities." See multimedia usage policy.)
  • Working Papers (Most recent working papers listed first. 1985- . Sampled publications in PDF.)


Footer on US Census Page: Selected Menu Topics


These are a selection of specific areas of the Census site that are of particular interest:

American FactFinder.

Place for facts gathered by the US Census Bureau. On this site find data from the:

  • American Community Survey  ("age, race, income, commute time to work, home value, veteran status, and other important data.")
  • American Housing Survey  ("longitudinal housing unit survey conducted biennially in odd-numbered years.")
  • Annual Economic Surveys (every five years and "more than 100 economic surveys covering annual, quarterly, and monthly time periods for various sectors of the economy."
  • Annual Surveys of Governments ("statistics on the characteristics and key economic activities of our nation's nearly 90,000 state and local governments")
  • Census of Governments ("every 5 years, for years ending in 2 and 7"; covers organization, employment, and finance.)
  • Decennial Census (every 10 years per Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution of the United States, first conducted in 1790. "The results from the 2010 Census are available in a number of datasets in American FactFinder."
  • Economic Census ("detailed portrait of the Nation's economy once every five years, from the national to the local level. The Economic Census is conducted every five years, in years ending in '2' and '7.'")
  • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Tabulation ("a custom tabulation of data from the American Community Survey (2006-2010 5-Year Estimates) that is designed to measure the effects of and compliance with Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) laws.")
  • Population Estimates Program ("estimates of the population for the United States, its states, counties, cities and towns, as well as for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and its municipios." "These estimates are used in federal funding allocations, as denominators for vital rates and per capita time series, as survey controls, and in monitoring recent demographic changes.")
  • Puerto Rico Community Survey ("information such as age, race, income, commute time to work, home value, veteran status, and other important data."

Top menu has these types of searches: community facts, guided search, advanced search, download center

New to the site? Functions and features has Using FactFinder, which has information on using the resource and includes use of community facts (state, county, city, town, or zip code), guided search (information by people, housing, businesses or industries, specific datasets, or table numbers or title), advanced search (search for topics or tables), table viewing, and Census geography.

Advanced researchers might want to look through the "American FactFinder Deep Linking Guide," a PDF document of 42 pages (as of early December 2015).

Economic Census

"U.S. Government's official five-year measure of American business and the economy. It is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, and response is required by law." There are many chances between the 2007 and the 2012 Economic Census.

Find economic data by:

  • Industry Statistics Portal--know your NAICS (North American Industrial Classification System) and/or SIC (Standard Industrial Classification) code to use this, or use the Select an Industry on the left-hand side.
  • Topic--six most popular topics in American FactFinder (site also listed above) with selected tables for each: Annual Survey of Manufactures; Commodity Flow Survey; County & ZIP Code Business Patterns; Economic Census; Economic Census of Island Areas; Nonemployer Statistics; and Survey of Business Owners.
  • Geography--includes topics just above and State Government Tax Collections Survey and Census of Governments along with geographic coverage of economic programs not in the American Fact Finder. For example: Export Statistics, Import Statistics, Monthly Wholesale Trade, Retail E-Commerce Sales, Building Permits, and Exports from Manufacturing Establishments.
  • Demographic--sends to US Census site People and Households-Data By Subject.

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