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United States Technology

US Census Bureau Offers Public API For Data Apps 47

Nerval's Lobster writes "For any software developers with an urge to play around with demographic or socio-economic data: the U.S. Census Bureau has launched an API for Web and mobile apps that can slice that statistical information in all sorts of nifty ways. The API draws data from two sets: the 2010 Census (statistics include population, age, sex, and race) and the 2006-2010 American Community Survey (offers information on education, income, occupation, commuting, and more). In theory, developers could use those datasets to analyze housing prices for a particular neighborhood, or gain insights into a city's employment cycles. The APIs include no information that could identify an individual."
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US Census Bureau Offers Public API For Data Apps

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  • the gov can use this data for themselves in the campaign. With demograph info you can finally manage your campain more effectively.
    • the gov can use this data for themselves in the campaign.

      What campaign?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You do know that 'the gov' does not run the political campaigns, right? And that this information has been available for over 200 years (but not with a fancy API, so that makes all the difference)?

  • I recently pulled the census data and it's pretty much useless since any information you could use to look at results by city or region have been stripped out in the version available to the general public. Sucks.

    • I don't know what specifically you tried to do, but there is a lot of data available down to the block group and block level, which are relatively small geographic units. There's even more data available by "place", which would include any major city and many smaller cities and towns. Some of the tax data is redacted for confidentiality (e.g., when there is only one employer of a certain type in a geographic area, they won't release payroll information for it), but that's pretty unusual in larger areas.


  • Granted that this information has already been available on request, but maybe these new tools will make it easier for watchdog groups to crunch the census numbers themselves and act as a check on gerrymandering politicians, exposing redistricting plans that don't seem to square with the census data.

If graphics hackers are so smart, why can't they get the bugs out of fresh paint?