January 16, 2022

Developers: Census Bureau Makes New Congressional Districts and Three Decades of Decennial Data Available in API

From the U.S. Census:

Three decades worth of statistics about America’s people, places and economy are now available for use on the U.S. Census Bureau’s application programming interface, which makes the information available for Web and mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. In addition, 2011 American Community Survey estimates for the new districts formed for the 113th Congress are also now available in the API.

The statistics from the 1990 and 2000 censuses join the previously available data sets from the 2010 Census and the American Community Survey. Software developers create apps to make the statistics directly available to Web and mobile consumers.

Developers could use the statistics available through the API to create a variety of apps and tools, such as ones that allow homebuyers to find detailed demographic information about a potential new neighborhood. By combining Census Bureau statistics with other data sets, developers can create tools for researchers to look at topics such as school quality, toxic waste or restaurants and how they impact a community.

Two existing examples of tools that can be created from the information in the API are Easy Stats, a Census Bureau data access program made available last year and “Sitegeist,” an app from the Sunlight Foundation that tells people about their neighborhoods.

The data from 1990, 2000 and 2010 provide summary statistics on population, age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, household relationship and owner/renter status from the national level down to the level of census tracts and block groups. The developer website has information on geographic changes over time for these decennial census data sets.

Highlights of the congressional district data available in the API are also available through Easy Stats. In addition, soon users will be able to download these data for all congressional districts for the 113th Congress from the Census Bureau’s file transfer protocol site (ftp).

Developers can access the API online and share ideas through the Census Bureau’s Developers Forum.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.