Using American FactFinder: Selecting the Geographic Area

This guide provides information on using American FactFinder to find, retrieve and map Census data. It includes information on the various types of data available through American FactFinder based on surveys done by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Selecting the Geographic Area

1. Census data can be retrieved for a wide variety of geographic entities, including the United States, U.S. States, Counties, County Subdivisions (townships), Metropolitan Statistical Areas, Places, Incorporated Places, Census Tracts, Block Groups, Blocks, and American Indian or Alaska Native areas and Hawaiian home lands. To choose the geographic area(s) of interest:

a) Click on Geographies in the Search Options on the left side of the page. The system offers a search box and several tabs.

b) The Name tab in the Select Geographies menu offers the widest array of geographies (everything from the Nation to Blocks and other areas). Click on the Name tab and choose the geography best suited for the study topic. Note: Block data cannot be retrieved for large, populous states (such as the entire state of Illinois). Users must select a few counties at a time.

c) Choose the type of geography of interest. The system will then offer Filter Options that allow users to further narrow the geographic options.

d) Once the selection has been made, the word Add at the top of the Geography Results display becomes active. Click Add. The selection will appear in the Your Selections box at the top of the left side of the page. If there are multiple pages for a given geography, Add must be clicked before moving to the next page to select additional geographic areas (the system will prompt the user to add the selections before moving to the next page).

e) After selecting all of the geographic areas of interest, close the selection box by clicking the Close button in the upper right corner of the selection box.