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Syracuse University Libraries

U.S. Census: Historical Census Data

Sources, information and How-To's regarding the United States Census - the Bureau and its programs.

Custom Data Search

This Google Custom search engine performs a search on websites that have been evaluated for their usefulness in providing data and statistics. Results will open in a new window.



Historical Census Data

The following sources have census data going back, in some cases, to the first Census in 1790.  You should keep in mind that not all data from all censuses are avaialable in any format - some were destroyed in fires, others were simply lost.


  • Historical Census Browser - Data down to the county level back to 1790; you can create tables and simple maps.
  • Social Explorer - Data and maps from the Decennial Census back to 1790 and the American Community Survey back to 2006. See our SocialExplorer tutorial.
  • Census Scope - Charts, maps and rankings back to 1980
  • 1990 Census - Data from the 1990 decennial Census
  • IPUMS - The Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS-USA) consists of more than fifty high-precision samples of the American population drawn from fifteen federal censuses and from the American Community Surveys of 2000-2010.
  • Historical Statistics of the United States - Online version of standard reference for quantitative data about American history. Statistics can be downloaded to Excel or CSV, printed and graphed.
  • Statistical Abstract of the United States - The Statistical Abstract of the United States, published since 1878, is the authoritative and comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States. Print version
  • County and City Data Book - The is the most comprehensive source of information about the individual counties and cities in the United States. It includes data for all U.S. states, counties, and cities with a population of 25,000 or more. It contains additional data for places with a population of 100,000 or more.
  • State and Metropolitan Area Data Book - The State and Metropolitan Area Data Book features more than 1,500 data items for the United States and individual states, counties and metropolitan areas from a variety of sources.
  • Publications from the Census Bureau - Printed reports going back to 1790
  • Virtual CD-ROM/Floppy Disk Library - This web site provides public access and preservation services for the nearly 5,000 CD-ROMs, DVDs, and floppy disks distributed by the GPO under the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). These tangible products have been received through the FDLP since the 1980s and consist of millions of individual files containing fundamental data on economics, the environment, population, and life and physical sciences.

Numeric Data Resources

Paul Bern's picture
Paul Bern
Rm 556 E.S. Bird Library
222 Waverly Ave
Syracuse, NY 13244