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Census 2010


The 2010 Census collected the basic information needed for re-districting legislative boundaries. This information includes:

  • Total population
  • Age by sex
  • Race
  • Hispanic origin
  • Types of households
  • Household relationships
  • Occupied and vacant housing units

The American Community Survey (ACS) includes the social and economic data collected in previous decennial censuses. See the following for information about ACS.

  • American Community Survey: The Basics (University at Buffalo. University Libraries)
    Provides basic information about ACS.
  • American Community Survey vs. the Decennial Census Long Form: Are We Better Off Now Than We Were a Decade Ago? (Missouri Secretary of State. Missouri State Data Center in cooperation with the University of Missouri. Office of Social and Economic Data Analysis (OSEDA))
    Describes the advantages and disadvantages each.

Why collect all this information?

Federal laws authorize the Census Bureau to collect this information. See Subjects Planned for the 2010 Census and American Community Survey: Federal Legislative and Program Uses for references to legal requirements, descriptions of the variables collected, and explanations about how the data benefits communities.

Census methodology and background

Topics cover who to count, owning and renting housing units, sex, household relationships, age,  race and Hispanic origin.

2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File: Technical Documentation(U.S. Census Bureau. Economics and Statistics Administration)
Provides detailed information about statistics used to redistrict legislative boundaries.

2010 Decennial Census: Background and Issues (Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service (CRS))
CRS produces nonpartisan background reports for Congress. This paper describes relationships between the decennial census and the American Community Survey, statistical accuracy and coverage, confidentiality, and automation.

2010 Census Demographic Profile Summary File: Technical Documentation (U.S. Census Bureau. Economics and Statistics Administration)
Provides detailed information about the demographic profiles based upon the Summary File 1 dataset.

Coverage Measurement (U.S. Census Bureau)
Describes how the Census Bureau uses coverage techniques that measure response rates.

How We Count America: The census numbers tell us who we are and what we need (U.S. Census Bureau)
Summarizes how the census counts special populations.  Examples include those away from their usual residence, visitors and foreigners, students, those who live in multiple places, military personnel, prisoners, residents of group homes and shelters, and those in religious related residential facilities.

Questions and Answers: Real People, Real Questions, Real Answers (U.S. Census Bureau)
Provides questions and answers about the 2010 Census.

Questionnaire One of the Shortest Forms in History - 10 Questions in 10 Minutes (U.S. Census Bureau)
Reproduces the census form and explains why the Census Bureau asks each question.

Real People, Real Questions
A series of videos that answer questions about the census.

What Census questions do I have to answer? (The News Tribute, Tacoma, Washington)
Presents a good summary of why it is important to answer questions on the census form.

Read more here:

Census geography

2010 Census Geographic Products at a Glance (U.S. Census Bureau. Geography Division)
Covers reference information, maps, numbers of geographic entities, and relationship files. Relationship files compare current geographic boundaries to those used in the previous census.

See also Census Geography and Maps ( for descriptions of each geography.

  • Nation
  • Regions
  • Divisions
  • States
  • Core based statistical areas (CBSA)
  • Metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs)
  • Micropolitan Areas
  • Combined statistical areas (CSA)
  • Counties
  • County subdivisions (Minor Civil Divisions--MCDs)
  • Places
  • Census tracts
  • Block groups
  • Census blocks

Data sources

American FactFinder (U.S. Census Bureau)
American FactFinder is the Census Bureau’s key data dissemination tool. Search options include:

  • Community Facts—retrieve basic data for states, counties, cities, towns, or zip codes.
  • Guided Search—walks users through the process step-by-step.
  • Advanced Search and Download Options—designed for more advanced data users.

Novice census users might find this database difficult and confusing. Contact Edward Herman for assistance (716-645-7395;

2010 Apportionment Results (U.S. Census Bureau)
Provides tables and maps that describe Congressional apportionment, the number of Congress people to which each state is entitled.

2010 Census Briefs (U.S. Census Bureau)
Brief summaries describe different kinds of data.  Topics cover poopulation distribution and change, race and Hispanic origin, age, sex, households and families, and appportionment.

2010 Census Data Products: United States At a Glance (U.S. Census Bureau)
Descriptions cover data products, their planned release dates, and relevant geographies.

2010 Census Home Page (U.S. Census Bureau)
Links describe the census and its statistics. Additional information covers related census blogs, social networking sites, and multimedia resources.

2010 Demographic Profiles (U.S. Census Bureau)
Provides a profile of New York State population and housing characteristics. The file also offers detailed information about tenure and characteristics of owner occupied and renter occupied housing units for the state, counties, cities, towns, villages, Congressional districts, state Senate and Assembly districts, and census designated places.  Census Designated Places are unincorporated places recognized locally by popular names. ( i.e., Eggertsville section of Amherst.)

Cornell Program on Applied Demographics (Cornell University. College of Human Ecology)
Select the Census 2010 link to view statistics, reports prepared by Applied Demographics staff, and related Web sites.

Late Show with David Letterman - 2010 Census Top Ten (CBS Television)
Letterman talks about the top ten 2010 census results.

Missouri Census Data Center (Missouri State Library)
Provides statistics for all states and counties.

New York State Data Center (New York State. Empire State Development)
Access statistics, background information about geographic concepts, definitions of topics covered, and the questionnaire.

Social Explorer (Oxford University Press)
Reports provides 2010 statistics for states, counties, county subdivisions, places, and census tracts. Create tract and block group maps using the interactive map feature. The maps are not as sophisticated as those created with GIS software. However, those unfamiliar with GIS who need an occasional map will find Social Explorer very useful.