This is the "U.S. Census data" page of the "SOC 201 - Race, Ethnicity, Minority Groups and Social Justice" guide.
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SOC 201 - Race, Ethnicity, Minority Groups and Social Justice  

Keyed to a demographic statistics assignment for Rosalia Solorzano's Downtown Campus section
Last Updated: Feb 11, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

U.S. Census data Print Page

Race & Ethnicity in the Census

Defining race, ethnicity, and ancestry is complex and contentious.  The U.S. Census revises its definitions every ten years.

The U.S. Census links below help define these categories. And they point to relevant statistics.


Race data available

Overview of race and Hispanic origin


2010 Census: How it works

  • The 2010 Census form
    This is the form that EVERY U.S. resident was supposed to fill out in 2010. Notice that only a few questions are asked on this form. Data on gender, race, and where people live are included.
  • American Community Survery--much longer form
    This is a much longer survey, but it is only completed by a representative sample of U.S. residents. From this sample come very accurate estimates for ALL U.S. residents on things like household income and educational attainment.
  • 2010 U.S. Census (site)

U.S. Census Bureau--Quick Facts

Census data have a few limitations:

  • Only parts of the 2010 Census have been released yet.
  • Due to privacy, no data is released that would identify anyone.
  • Data on smaller geographical areas are harder to get.

American Factfinder (2 versions)

Allows you to keyword search for data across many recent censuses. You can try to relate different variables.

NOTE:  Copying a URL for a table probably will NOT work.  Make sure to copy data to an email message and send it to yourself.

  • American Factfinder (classic)
    This is the (supposedly) easy way to access Census data. Let's call it "classic" because it will go away when the new version is complete. Right now it gives the largest amount of data, especially on early censuses.
  • American Factfiner (new)
    This is where the newest 2010 data will be revealed (in stages over many months).

Your Librarian

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Joe Brewer
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Downtown Campus Library
Office: LB 131
Phone: 206-7249

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