How to Cite Census Data, including American Community Survey Data

So this blog post probably won’t be among the most captivating posts I’ve ever written. But it might help someone who is googling around for “how to cite Census data.”

UPDATE: this post was revised on May 8, 2013.

The citations below are in Modern Language Association format — or MLA. And the format of the citation that you’re going to use will depend on HOW you pull the Census data. For example if you use the Census Bureau’s American Fact Finder tool, you’ll use 1 format whereas if you use pull the data from the Census Bureau’s FTP site, you’ll use a different format.

How to Cite American Community Survey Data

1. Cite American Community Survey data pulled via the American Fact Finder (most popular)

United States Census Bureau / American FactFinder. “B11001 : Household Type (Including Living Alone).” 2007 – 2011 American Community Survey. U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey Office, 2011. Web. 1 January 2013 <http://factfinder2.census.gov>.

Note: the date is the date that you pulled the data from the American Fact Finder.

2. Cite American Community Survey data pulled via the Census’ electronic files on the ftp site

United States Census Bureau.“Summary File.”2007 – 2011 American Community Survey. U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey Office, 2013. Web. 1 January 2013 <http://ftp2.census.gov/>.

Note: the date is the date that you download the data from the ftp site.

How to Cite Decennial 2010 Census data

 1. Cite Census 2010 data pulled via the American Fact Finder (most popular)

United States Census Bureau / American FactFinder. “P12 : Sex by Age.” 2010 Census.U.S. Census Bureau, 2010.Web. 1 January 2013 <http://factfinder2.census.gov>.

Note: the date is the date that you pulled the data from the American Fact Finder.

 2. Cite Census 2010 data pulled via the Census’ electronic files on the ftp site

United States Census Bureau. 2010 Census.U.S. Census Bureau. 2010. Web. 1 January 2013 <http://www.census.gov/2010census/data/>.

Note: the date is the date that you download the data from the ftp site.

Alternative format. The Census 2010 technical document has the following suggested citation format:

Census2010CitationFormat

 

How to Cite Decennial 2000 Census data

1. Cite Census 2000 data pulled via the American Fact Finder

United States Census Bureau / American FactFinder.“Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2000 Census 2000 Summary File 1 (SF 1) 100% Data.” U.S. Census Bureau, 2000.Web. 1 January 2013 <http://factfinder.census.gov>.

Note: the date is the date that you pulled the data from the American Fact Finder.

Double Note: you can’t actually pull Census 2000 data from the the American Fact Finder 2. You used to be able to (or “used to could” for any Texans reading this post) get this data from the old American Fact Finder 1. So I’ll just leave this example here as a hypothetical example.  

 2. Cite Census 2000 data pulled via the Census’ electronic files on the ftp site

United States Census Bureau. 2000 Census.U.S. Census Bureau, 2000.Web. 1 January 2013 <http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2000/>.

Note: the date is the date that you download the data from the ftp site.

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One Response to How to Cite Census Data, including American Community Survey Data

  1. zeenab February 12, 2013 at 3:03 pm #

    Thank you! Very helpful.