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Census and Demographic Data: Historical

Sources of historical census data

Resource Description Smallest Geography Earliest Year Format
Social Explorer Query and map a variety of census and demographic data. Provides estimates using 2010 boundaries for a standard set of variables from 1970 through 2000 (normalized geography) as well as data back to 1790 in original boundaries. Learn how to join data to a TIGER file to use in GIS. block group 1790 .csv, .xls
National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS) Archived census data and historical census boundary files (data needs to be joined to them). varies by year, some down to block 1790 .csv, .shp
Historical Decennial Census and Population Housing Counts Reports on historical census variables. N/A 1790 .pdf
ICPSR Census data held by ICPSR varies by year, some down to tract 1790 .ASCII
Longitudinal Tract Database The LTDB provides estimates using 2010 boundaries for a standard set of variables from 1970 through 2000 (normalized geography). Need to manipulate the database to use it. tract 1970 Access, Stata code
Census FTP site Access older census data for large areas. tract 1980 .txt
IPUMS-USA High-precision samples of the American population drawn from federal censuses and the American Community Surveys. microdata 1790 .ASCII
Population and Housing Unit Estimates Yearly estimates of basic population demographic and housing variables county 1970 .txt