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U.S. Census of Population and Housing Basics : American FactFinder

Introduction to finding demographic and housing facts and statistics collected by the U.S. Census Bureau.

American FactFinder (data from 2000 through current; can create tables and maps)

Go to American FactFinder (AFF)

FactFinder Help

General Information

  • American FactFinder is the Census's main tool for retrieving data from some of its biggest surveys
  • Revised interface released in January 2013
  • Multiple download options available; see Download Center - A step-by-step guide to downloading data
  • Can create
    • Reference maps, showing geographical features and boundaries (including tract and block boundaries)
    • Thematic maps, where you can compare geographically one data item
  • Data is available from the following surveys:
    • American Community Survey (2005--  )
    • American Housing Survey
    • Annual Economic Surveys
      • Annual Survey of Manufactures (ASM) (2003--  )
      • County Business Patterns (CBP) and ZIP Code Business Patterns (ZBP)(2004--  )
      • Nonemployer Statistics (NES) Data Sets (2004--  )
    • Decennial Census (2000 & 2010)
    • Economic Census (2002 & 2007)
    • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Tabulation
    • Population Estimates Program (2011--  )
    • Puerto Rico Community Survey

Citing AFF

There is no standard citation method for American FactFinder data that will satisfy all citation styles! Be sure to check your specific styleguide for exact methods.

The information below originally appeared in the American FactFinder FAQ. As of October 2018, one cannot directly link to this information, but if you go to the Census Bureau's Frequently Asked Questions section, enter "cite american factfinder" in the search box, and click "search all help," this should be in the first result.

Below is a general structure for citing census data from American FactFinder. Places where citation styles may differ are noted. (Use semicolons to separate the elements)

  • U.S. Census Bureau;
  • Name of the database or other data repository/source (e.g., American FactFinder), set off by quotation marks, or follow publication citation style; 
  • The name of the person who generates the tabulation, etc., e.g., "generated by John Smith;"
  • The name of the software package used to generate the tabulation, if known, e.g., "using American FactFinder;"
  • The URL of the application software's main or first page set off by angle brackets, e.g., <>;
  • The date, within parenthesis, when the user generated the tabulation, e.g., (7 January 2012).



  • U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey, 2010 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, Table GCT0101; generated by John Smith; using American FactFinder; <>; (7 January 2012).
  • U.S. Census Bureau; Census 2000, Summary File 1, Table P001; generated by Jane Jones; using American FactFinder; <>; (20 February 2012).
  • U.S. Census Bureau; 2010 Census Summary File 1; Tables P1 and QT-P1; generated by John Smith; using American FactFinder; <>; (12 December 2011).

Retrieving statistical tables

Community Quick Facts
  • Quickest, easiest way to get a few facts about a state, county, city, town, or zip code
  • You'll retrieve one fact for each of the topics listed on the left, but below each fact will be a list of tables which may be related to that fact.
Guided Search
  • Searches for tables using a subset of search methods and most requested geographies
  • For more search options and to select from all available geographies, use the Advanced Search
Advanced Search
  • Has access to all geographic types and datasets available in AFF

AFF download options

The following information comes from the AFF's Download Center page.

From the search results page: Download up to 10 tables from the search results page in a comma-delimited format (.csv), which can be imported into Microsoft Excel and spreadsheet and database programs.

When viewing a table: Download a single table from the “table” view in comma-delimited (.csv), PDF, Microsoft Excel (.xls), or Rich Text Format (.rtf) formats.

Use the Download Center: For experienced users - download tables for groups of selected geographic summary levels or prepackaged datasets via FTP.

Download spatial data from reference maps and thematic maps: For experienced users - download tables for groups of selected geographic summary levels or prepackaged datasets via FTP.