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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.


  • National Historical Geographic Information System provides easy access to summary tables and time series of population, housing, agriculture, and economic data, along with GIS-compatible boundary files, for years from 1790 through the present and for all levels of U.S. census geography, including states, counties, tracts, and blocks
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

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Rm 556 E.S. Bird Library
222 Waverly Ave
Syracuse, NY 13244