December 2, 2015

U.S. Census Launches Dataset “Discovery Tool” & Adds New Datasets To API

The new U.S. Census dataset discovery service (beta) launched earlier this week.

From the announcement:

The Census Data API team is proud to announce the beta release of our machine-readable dataset discovery service: If you prefer a JSON file describing all available datasets, check out:

The content of this document is based largely on the Open Project Data Common Core Metadata Schema, and extended to include metadata specific to Census Bureau datasets. The URI may be used to access the same information as XML.

The Open Project Data Common Core Metadata Schema documentation is a good starting point for understanding the fields output by the discovery service.

Also new from Census this week is the addition of datasets to its API (Application Programming Interface).

Data sets now available in the API are:

  • July 1, 2013, national, state, county and Puerto Rico population estimates
  • 2012-2060 national population projections
  • 2007 Economic Census national, state, county, place and region economy-wide key statistics
  • 2012 Economic Census national economy-wide key statistics
  • 2011 County Business Patterns at the national, state and county level (2012 forthcoming)
  • 2012 national, state and county nonemployer statistics (businesses without paid employees)

The API also  includes three decades (1990, 2000 and 2010) of census statistics and statistics from the American Community Survey covering one-, three- and five-year periods of data collection.  Developers can access the API online and share ideas through the Census Bureau’s Developers Forum.

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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