Skip to Main Content

U.S. Census Information

A guide for locating census information on communities and neighborhoods

GIS Layers & Data From the Census Bureau

National Historical GIS (NHGIS)

The National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS) includes Decennial Census data from 1790-2010, as well as selected data from the American Community Survey, County Business Patterns, Census of Religions, Special city Censuses of Chicago & Detroit and more. All of this data is available for download along with the accompanying boundary files. This is the easiest way to import and use Census data in ArcGIS. Refer to the directions below for importing and joining tables with geographic boundaries. Free registration is required to download data.

U.S. Census & American Community Survey

Some important sources of Decennial Census and American Community Survey data. See slides to the right for a brief introduction to the differences between Decennial Census and American Community Survey Data. For more information, see the U.S. Census Information guide.

Neighborhood Research?

Don't forget to check out the Neighborhood and Community Census Data page for information on how to study neighborhood and other local boundary areas using Census data.