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Frequently Asked Questions

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Top Questions

How do I find a Census tract code for a specific street address?
The Census Bureau offers an ... (more)

How many people reside in urban or rural areas for the 2010 Census? What percentage of the U.S. population ...
The urban areas of the United States for the 2010 Census contain ... (more)

American FactFinder: How do I cite tables and maps in American FactFinder?
Dynamically generated tables, maps, and files from American FactFinder:(Use semicolons to separa... (more)

Why am I receiving phone calls from the U.S. Census Bureau about the ACS?
Our telephone representatives attempt to call households to collect important survey information. If someone has cont... (more)

Does the Census Bureau have data for religion?
The Census Bureau conducted censuses of religious bodies at 10-year intervals from 1906 through 1936. The results wer... (more)

What is the difference between EAR99 and NLR?
EAR99 is a classification for an item. It indicates that a particular item is subject to the Export Administration Re... (more)

Someone came to my home to interview me for the ACS. Is this legitimate?
If someone has contacted you about the ... (more)

What data can I get for ZIP Code Tabulation Areas?
You can get population and housing data for ... (more)

Does the U.S. Census Bureau provide any data by first names and surnames?
The Census Bureau provides first and surname da... (more)

I am using the American Community Survey (ACS) Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) data, and I see a geograp...
Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs) are non-overlapping areas that partition each state into areas containing about 10... (more)

What specific questions are asked on the 2015 Census Test?
For each household member, we ask how many people live in the house, and for each person the name, sex, age, relationshi... (more)

How do I find my import commodity code? How do I find my Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) number?
The United States International Trade Commission allows you to ... (more)

How do I determine if my geographic area of interest is urban or rural?
In March 2012, the Census Bureau released the list of Urban Areas and their boundaries, based o... (more)

Can I complete the ACS online?
In most instances, yes. If you received a letter or postcard inviting you to complete the American Community Survey o... (more)

American FactFinder: How do I find all the Census Tracts in a Place?
Select Advanced Search. Click the Geographies button located below Topics (left side of pa... (more)

Where can I find historical census data on the population?
In addition to our Selected Historical ... (more)

What is the difference between establishment and firm? What about companies?
These are terms used in our economic census and survey activities. ... (more)

American FactFinder: How do I find the population of my city, town, county, or state?
From the Main Page ( Enter the name of your state, county, city, town, ... (more)

I forgot my ACS PIN.
When you access the American Community Survey onl... (more)

Can you tell me more about group quarters (GQ) or group housing facilities in the American Community Survey...
Group Quarters (GQ) are places where people live or stay, in a group living arrangement, which is owned or managed by... (more)

How do I find statistics on beverage consumption in the U.S.?
The U.S. Census Bureau does not collect data on beverage consumption; however, information on the topic can be found ... (more)

 In the United States Constitution, the census is required for the apportionment of representatives; w...
The United States Constitution states that "[An] Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting... (more)

What does the U.S. Census Bureau produce by race and Hispanic origin?
U.S. federal government agencies must adhere to st... (more)

Why does the ACS ask for my name and my telephone number?
The American Community Survey (ACS) asks for individuals' names for two reasons.  First, we have found over many... (more)

How can I find the latitude and longitude of areas such as census tracts?
The Census Bureau’s Gazetteer Fi... (more)

What is sampling variability and how do I interpret it?
Because estimates are based on a sample rather than the entire population, the published estimates may differ from th... (more)

I don't know which of the Census 2000 summary files I need. What are the differences?
The four summary files below for Census 2000 are among the most detailed data products available from the popula... (more)

Do I have to respond to the 2015 Census Test?
Yes, participation in the test is mandated by law (per Title 13 of the U.S. Code). This same law also requires the Censu... (more)

What if I don't know the exact answer to an ACS question?
On the American Community Survey (ACS), if no one in your household knows the answer to a question, and the informati... (more)

What is the TIGER/Line Shapefile metadata and how is it useful?
The Census Bureau releases TIGE... (more)

Why was my address selected for the ACS?
Addresses selected for the American Community Survey (ACS) come from the Census Bureau’s Master Address File (MAF). T... (more)

What is the Internal Transaction Number?
  The Internal Transaction Number (ITN) is a unique transaction reference number that AES provides to in... (more)

Do you have data by single year of age?
Yes, the U.S. Census Bureau produces data by single year of age: The U.S. Census Bureau... (more)

How can I be sure my information is really going to the Census Bureau and not some third party?
Our secure server uses a digital certificate (digital ID) issued by a Certificate Authority (CA) as proof of identity... (more)

Who is the U.S. Principal Party in Interest (USPPI)?
The person in the United States (U.S.) that receives the primary benefit monetary or otherwise of the export transact... (more)

How can I get permission to use or publish census data?
Copyright protection is not available for any work of the United States Government (Title 17 U.S.C., Section 105). ... (more)

My living room and kitchen are in one big room. How do I count the number of rooms on the ACS?
When counting the number of rooms in a home for the American Community Survey (ACS), please count rooms separated by ... (more)

I am concerned about identity theft. How does the Census Bureau protect my ACS information?
We understand concerns about identity theft and privacy. We will ensure that only authorized persons with a work-rela... (more)

Can you explain how American Community Survey (ACS) tables are numbered? For example, what do the letters a...
Since the release of the 2005 American Community Survey (ACS) data, detailed tables, as well as other tables and maps... (more)

Where can I view the census tract and/or block boundaries for my area?
An easy way to view Census tract or block boundaries is to use our interactive web mapping application, ... (more)

What is the difference between apportionment and redistricting?
Population data from the decennial census provide the basis for both apportioning seats in the U.S. House of Represen... (more)

1940 Census Records
Please refer to the following resources regarding the 1940 Census. ... (more)

What are research data centers?
Here are the typical questions we receive on this topic: What are Census Research Data Center... (more)

I am looking for statistics on total warehouse space (square footage) in the U.S.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration ( http://www... (more)

Can the U.S. Census Bureau help me find information about my family's history?
Although censuses are a source of genealogical information, the Census Bureau does not provide these data nor can we ... (more)

Why does the ACS ask such detailed questions?
We ask these questions because federal and state government require the data that we collect to manage or evaluate pr... (more)

Does the U.S. Census Bureau provide data on poverty?
Our web site on Poverty provides data links to... (more)

Why is the ACS information addressed to resident and not to me?
The American Community Survey (ACS) information is mailed to addresses, rather than to individuals, throughout the count... (more)