Using American FactFinder: Census Bureau Download Center

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.

Using the Census Bureau Download Center

While data for Census Tracts and Block Groups is available through Advanced Search, Block level data (the smallest geographic area for which the Census Bureau reports data) is only available through the Census Bureau Download Center. Block level data is only available for the SF1 files of the 2010 and 2000 Decennial Censuses. To download data:

1. Connect to American Factfinder and click on Download Center.

2. Select a Dataset. Only the Decennial Census has Block level data.

3. Choose the data set of interest.

SF1 - Summary File 1, contains data on population, race, Hispanic origin, ancestry, age, households, and families.

SF2 - Summary File 2 contains data on population characteristics, such as sex, age, household size, tenure and type, relationship to householder such as nonrelative or child, family and family type.

Decennial Census data is also used to develop specialized summaries, such as data used for Redistricting, Congressional Districts and other small area summaries. Block level data is only available for SF1 data. When the data set of interest has been selected, click Add to Your Selections. Then click Next.

4. Choose the state and county of interest by using the pull-down menus on the Geographies page. Block level data can only be retrieved for one county at a time. After a selection has been made click Add to Your Selections. Then click Next.

5. The next page asks the user to identify the table of interest. Identify the data set of interest by clicking in one or more check boxes and then click Next. The system will provide a summary of the data to be downloaded. Users are also offered the option to include descriptive element names and urban/rural summaries if included in the file. Always include descriptive element names, because they are more meaningful than the alphanumeric codes for field names used by the Census Bureau. To change the selection, click Cancel. Otherwise, if everything is correct, click OK. The data download process will start.

Data will be provided as a zip file with a text readme file, a file with notes about the data, and metadata and data in separate csv files.