The American FactFinder is the primary tool used to access Census data. It also gives users access to other key datasets, such as the American Community Survey (ACS), economic census and other programs.
The Census Bureau hosts an online video, the American FactFinder Virtual Tour, and a series of tutorials to demonstrate the enhanced features and functions of American FactFinder.
In addition, a tutorial called “American FactFinder Quick Start” specifically demonstrates how to conduct a basic text search, view search results and select a data product to view. Additional tutorials on other FactFinder features, such as creating a map, transposing rows and columns, and performing topic searches, are also available.
Creating ACS Data Tables
To obtain the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) data, users typically must design their own customized table. With ACS data, you also have a choice among three data sets: 1-year data, or combined 3-year or 5-year data sets. For areas with relatively small populations, the combined-year data sets enable the user to obtain data with a lower margin of error.
To access ACS data, go to the Download Center, or the guided or advanced search features. To more easily locate ACS data and create a table, use this method for workforce-related data analysis and planning purposes.
1. Select from the “Topics,” and choose “Dataset.”
2. Click on the year and the particular 3 datasets for that year that you desire.
3. Then, choose “People.”
4. Within the “People” category, you will most commonly be selecting “Education,” “Employment,” or “Income & Earnings.” The “Employment” category has the most choices, including occupation, industry, part-time/full-time status, class of worker, work disability status, etc.
5. After making your selection, click on “Geographies,” if you wish to choose a state, county, or smaller jurisdiction (the default choice is for the national total).
6. After you select the jurisdiction, check the “Add” at the top of the “Geography Results” bar.
7. By now, the number of table choices should have narrowed considerably. You can either scroll through the list of tables, or type in the characteristic that you especially want in the “Search” box. If the variable exists, the list will be reordered with your choice at the top of the list.
8. Once you see the title of the table you want, you can double-click on it to open it.