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Find Facts Fast ... with American FactFinder

by George Selby

March 29, 1999

With more than 5 millon hits per week, the U.S. Census Bureau's Web site was recently named (yet again!) one of the nation's "Top 100 Web Sites" by PC Magazine.

Now, however, the statisticians and Web masters at the Bureau have released a major improvement to the site that will enable data users and researchers to locate information even faster and more effectively than before. This feature is called American FactFinder.

American FactFinder lets you:

  • Obtain facts about your community fast.
  • Retrieve quick reports and summary tables of statistics on population, housing, industry, and business, all for the geographic areas of your choice!
  • Search Census Bureau data and then format the results to create customized tabulations.
  • Create reference maps to show boundaries and features for cities, counties and other geographic entities.
  • Produce quick thematic maps to reveal geographical patterns in statistical data.

American FactFinder accesses a wealth of data from the 1990 and forthcoming 2000 Decennial Censuses of Population and Housing (vital information on the social and economic characteristics of the Nation's population and their housing), the American Community Survey (updates the decennial census data collected every year), and the 1997 Economic Census (provides detailed facts about the Nation's economy from the national to the local level).

Three Releases Planned for 1999

Three releases of American FactFinder are planned for 1999. The first release is about to take place and will reflect the data noted above. The second release of the system in the spring of 1999 will have additional data manipulation and mapping enhancements, while the third release planned for the summer of 1999 will include 1998 American Community Survey data along with additional manipulation capabilities. With each release the Census Bureau will solicit user feedback to improve and enhance the system throughout 1999 and 2000 in preparation for Census 2000 data dissemination.

Get a Free Brochure

A FREE brochure containing a Quick Guide to American FactFinder is available upon request by phoning the Census Bureau Customer Service Center at 301-457-4100, or go to to learn more about American FactFinder capabilities.

About the Author:

George Selby, a member of the Federal Communicators Network, is a Supervisory Marketing Specialist in the Marketing Services Office of the U.S. Census Bureau in Suitland, Maryland. You may reach him at 301-457-3110 or