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Accessing Census 2000 Data

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Most everyone with the need to access decennial census data faces the daunting question of where do I start? Or, I have found the Census Bureau FactFinder ( Web tool, but how do I navigate it to get just the data I need? And in this lifetime?

This section provides a brief tutorial on accessing the Census 2000 "demographic profile" (DP) datasets. The DP datasets, also referred to as "Quick Tables" in the FactFinder data access options, provide access to the most widely used Census 2000 subject matter. A list of the subject matter fields is available in the four Web pages through dp4.htm. See main Census 2000 and Census 2010 links at left for broader decennial data access and use topics.

The no fee DMIGateway ( tool simplifies the process for many applications, but not all. DMIGateway also supports access to the American Community Survey data, non-Census sourced data and will support access to Census 2010 data as those data become available.

Tutorial by Example Using FactFinder. Suppose you need 15-20 subject matter items from Census 2000 for ZIP code areas for selected counties or all of the State of Arizona. Census 2000 data are tabulated for ZIP Code Tabulation Areas (ZCTAs) that approximate ZIP code areas as of Census 2000. See additional information on ZCTAs. Rather than spending the error prone time to access individual detailed tables from Summary File 1 (SF1) and Summary File 3 (SF3), you might access the DP data instead (something of a distillation or set of derived SF1 and SF3 subject matter items). ZCTA summary data are not available using the FactFinder Download feature (located on the FactFinder main menu). Also, for non-ZCTA geograpgraphy, the DP datasets are not directly available for download. Below is a set of steps using FactFinder to access the DP data for ZCTAs. Substitute your preferred sub-state geography to access the DP data for other types of geographic areas.

1 go to Dataset (left column)
2 Decennial census
3 SF1
4 Quick tables
5 Geo within geo tab
6 5 digit ZCTAs
7 State
8 Arizona
9 all 5-digit ZCTAs
10 Add
11 Next
12 DP-1
13 Add
14 Show result
15 Download (tab)
-- After downloading, you have a multi-part dataset that can be optionally imported into Excel (or used in any other manner)
-- Do not close this page.
-- This gives you DP1 (complete count data) only; you also will want DP2, DP3, DP4 (sample based summary data)
-- To get these, click Datasets (toward top of page)
1 SF3
2 Quick tables
3 … your geo is already selected, click Next
4 DP2 (it is recommended that you do these one at a time)
5 Add
6 Show result
7 Download (tab)
8 Click Tables (toward top)
9 repeat steps 4-7 for DP3 and DP4
You are now done.
While there might be fewer steps in alternative automated ways that require specilaized software, the “overhead time” is often not worth using these alternatives.

Additional Information
Proximity develops geodemographic-economic data and analytical tools and helps organizations knit together and use diverse data in a decision-making and analytical framework. We develop custom demographic/economic estimates and projections, develop geographic and geocoded address files, and assist with impact and geospatial analyses. Wide-ranging organizations use our tools (software, data, methodologies) to analyze their own data integrated with other data.

Contact Proximity (888-364-7656) with questions about data covered in this section or to discuss custom estimates, projections or analyses for your areas of interest.

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