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Government Publications- U.S. Statistical Resources


The United States has had a census every ten years since 1790 (the decennial Census of Population and Housing).

As the decennial census data are outdated by the time they are published, an ongoing American Community Survey (ACS) provides more accurate demographic profiles on an annual basis.

The Comparison of Census 2000 and ACS 2005 document provides general comparability issues between the 2000 Census and the 2005 American Community Survey.

There are other U.S. censuses besides the Census of Population and Housing:

  • Economic Census (conducted every five years): including Manufacturing census, Mining census, Construction data, Transporting census, Retail trade, Whole-sale trade and etc.
  • Census of Agriculture (conducted every 5 years)
  • Census of Governments (conducted every 5 years): focuses on state and local governments.

Census Resources

  • Census of United States
    A print resource with various years available. Locate the Census in the UBC Library Catalogue by searching for: United States and census and [year of the census].
  • DataFerrett
    data analysis and extraction tool to customize federal, state, and local data to suit your requirements. Use DataFerrett to develop customized spreadsheets, with the ability to turn the spreadsheets into graphs and maps without any additional software.



  • American Community Survey
    Performed annually since 1996. Collects and produces selected sample data on population, housing and social and economic information.
  • 1980 Census of Population. AW5.N456 C4
    In the Koerner Library microform collection. This collection consists of Volume 1, Characteristics of the Population: Number of Inhabitants; General Population Characteristics; General Social and Economic Characteristics; and Detailed Population Characteristics.
  • 1980 Census of Housing. AW5.U56 B87
    In the Koerner Library microform collection. Statistics from the census form were sent to 100% of households. Provides general housing characteristics for States, counties, SCSA's, SMSA's, urbanized areas, county subdivisions, places of 1,000 or more inhabitants (including towns/township in selected States), American Indian reservations, and Alaskan native villages.
  • Historical Census Browser
    From the University of Virginia Libraries, this site provides access to data "drawn directly from historical volumes of the U.S. Census of Population and Housing." Allows you to examine state and county topics for individual census years or over time; produce tables of data by state or county; and sort data by selected categories. Maps can also be generated for selected data.

    Data available from 1790 - 1960. Topics include education and literacy; agriculture; slave population; ethnicity/race; and the economy.

  • Selected Historical Decennial Census Population and Housing Counts
    Contains historical census reports in PDF for 1790-1860, 1990, and 2000, among other resources.

  • American FactFinder
    American FactFinder is the portal to the major products of the U.S. Census Bureau, including the decennial census (with access to the 1990, 2000 and 2010 Censuses), the latest American Community Survey, the Economic Census, annual population estimates, and annual economic surveys. It can generate maps, tables and reports from a variety of Census Bureau sources.
  • Measuring America: The Decennial Censuses from 1790 to 2000
    From the US Census Bureau, this publication contains the questionnaires and instructions from 1790-2000. Also includes finding guides to the 1840, 1885 and 1890 Censuses, as well as individual histories for all the censuses included in this publication.

    Note: while this publication provides essential historical background it does not include any of the data that was collected in these censuses. Digital access to the print census volumes for decennial censuses between 1790 and 2000 is available through the US Census Bureau on the Census of Population & Housing page.
  • United States Decennial Census Publications. AW1.R7358 (microform)
    This microform collection includes United States census documents and publications on population, manufacturing and vital statistics.
    • Note: UBC Library only has the reels for the years from 1790 - 1850 for population; 1810 - 1860 for manufacturing; and 1850 - 1880 for vital statistics.
    • The Library has the majority of later censuses in print. These can be found in the Library catalogue by searching for the specific census and year that you require.
    • The Library does not have an index for these reels, but the Bureau of the Census Catalog of Publications, 1790 - 1972 lists all the publications issued by the Bureau from 1790 - 1972 and can act as a quasi-index to this collection.