UP504 • Data: Structure, Characteristics and Sources, plus Accessing On-Line Data (including the US Census)

modified: Wednesday, February 6, 2008 2:05 PM

Other UP504 class pages of interest:
other useful statistical sites
overview of US Census sources

Dates: Feb 4

Sections of this document:
US Census
census forms
census geography
census 2000
downloading data into Excel [new]
in-class exercises [new]
other resources / sources of data

return to UP504 main page



The Economist. "Census sensitivity: Numbers mean power, which is why counting people is so controversial."
Dec 19th 2007



When you are to gather or construct a data table, there are several dimensions to consider:

1. time (single point in time, comparative statics, time-series)

2. space (geographic location:  e.g., city, county, MSA, state, country)

3. unit of analysis (e.g., person, household)

4. variables (e.g., annual income, age, occupation)

Also: what comparative cases (if any) will you use?

Some common data problems:

  1. What to do when the various variables are from different years (e.g., population from 1990, but income from 1989, etc.)
  2. What to do with missing data.
  3. What to do with categories not adding to 100%. (rounding error? missing data? double counting? e.g., with Hispanic wrongly added to race.)
  4. How to deal with suppressed data.
  5. Interpolation and extrapolation.


Inductive (from observation to theory) or deductive (from theory to observation)?
hypothetico-deductive:  Know what you want before you hunt for data.

exploratory-inductive:  But sometimes serendipity leads to unexpected data.

Sample vs. Full Count (Census)
sample size - N
population size - M
sampling fraction = N/M
normally we assume that N/M -> 0 (that is, one is sampling a very small fraction of the population) Is this a problematic assumption? see this brief example).

Data Sources (and Citations)

1. paper

2. electronic based on a paper published version

3. electronic with no paper published source

(also:  data tapes)

 Useful Programs

1.  Web browser (to view this document)

2.  web page composer /html editor (to create this document)

3. A File Transfer Program old days: FTP (to download and upload this page to my ifs space so that it is available on the web); now: use SSH Secure Shell (Windows) or Fugu (Mac OS X).

4.  Excel -- to analyze downloaded data (or use SPSS, SAS, Systat, etc.)

5.  Adobe Acrobat (to read formatted .pdf files)

Definitions and Historical Context

Note the connections of statistics to statecraft (common linguistic root) and to counting citizens, taxation, property.

OED, 2nd ed.

census se.nss, sb. [L. census registering of Roman citizens and their property, registered property, wealth, f. censere to rate, assess, estimate. ]

1. The registration of citizens and their property in ancient Rome for purposes of taxation.

2. Applied to certain taxes, esp. a capitation or poll-tax. Obs.


a. An official enumeration of the population of a country or district, with various statistics relating to them. Also attrib.

A census of the population has been taken every tenth year since 1790 in the United States of America, since 1791 in France, and since 1801 in Great Britain. In Ireland the earliest census was in
1813, since which it has been taken simultaneously with that of Great Britain.

b. attrib., as in census return,


-taker; census-paper, a paper left at each house, to be filled up with the names, ages, etc., of the inmates, and returned to the enumerators on the day of taking the census.





  an enumeration of people, houses, firms, or other important items in a country or
  region at a particular time. Used alone, the term usually refers to a population

  census--the type to be described in this article. However, many countries take

  censuses of housing, manufacturing, and agriculture.



OED, 2nd ed.

statistic stati.stik, a. and sb. [ad. G. statistik sb. statistisch adj., Fr. statistique adj. and fem. sb., ad. mod.L. statisticus, f. *statista (Ital. statista) statist. Cf. Ital. statistico adj.,
statistica sb., Sp., Pg. estadÌstico adj., estadÌstica sb. The earliest known occurrence of the word seems to be in the title of the satirical work Microscopium Statisticum, by `Helenus Politanus',
Frankfort (?), 1672. Here the sense is prob. `pertaining to statists or to statecraft' (cf. statistical a. 1). The earliest use of the adj. in anything resembling its present meaning is found in mod.L. statisticum collegium, said to have been used by Martin Schmeizel (professor at Jena, died 1747) for a course of lectures on the constitutions, resources, and policy of the various States of the world. The G. statistik was used as a name for this department of knowledge by G. Achenwall in his Vorbereitung zur Staatswissenschaft (1748); the context shows that he did not regard the term as novel. The Fr. statistique sb. is cited by LittrÈ from Bachaumont (died 1771); Fr. writers of the 18th c. refer to Achenwall as having brought the word into use. The sense-development of the word may have been influenced by the notion that it was a direct derivative of L; status state sb. ]

B. sb.


a. = statistics 1. rare.

b. A quantitative fact or statement.

c. Statistics. Any of the numerical characteristics of a sample (as opposed to one of the population from which it is drawn). Cf. parameter 2 f.

2. = statistician.

OED, 2nd ed.

sample s.mp'l, , sb. Forms: 4 sampel, saumpel, -pul, -ple, saunpil, 4-5 saumpil, 4-6 sampill, saumple, 5 sampil(le, sampull, saumpyl, 4- sample. [ME. sample, aphetic f. essample: see
example sb. ]

1. A fact, incident, story, or suppositious case, which serves to illustrate, confirm, or render credible some proposition or statement. (Cf. example sb. 1.) Obs.


a. A relatively small quantity of material, or an individual object, from which the quality of the mass, group, species, etc. which it represents may be inferred; a specimen. Now chiefly Comm., a
small quantity of some commodity, presented or shown to customers as a specimen of the goods offered for sale. (An individual article offered as a specimen of goods sold by number and not by

weight or measure is now more commonly called a pattern.)


b. of immaterial things.

c. A specimen taken for scientific testing or analysis.

d. Statistics. A portion drawn from a population, the study of which is intended to lead to statistical estimates of the attributes of the whole population.

The U.S. Census

The term "census" has at least three common uses:

1.  as a type of count:  a full count (at least in theory) rather than a sample

2.  as a data set:  the actual count of the U.S. population every ten years.   Hence Decennial censuses (every 10 years - 1980, 1990, 2000, etc.)

3.  as a government agency:  the government agency that administers this count (the Bureau of the Census, which is under the Department of Commerce).  Note:  the decennial census is but one of MANY sets of data that the agency collects.

The U.S. Constitution provides for a census of the population every 10 years, primarily to establish a basis for apportionment of members of the House of Representatives among the States. For over a century after the first census in 1790, the census organization was a temporary one, created only for each decennial census. In 1902, the Bureau of the Census was established as a permanent Federal agency, responsible for enumerating the population and also for compiling statistics on other subjects. Historically the census of population has been a complete count. That is, an attempt is made to account for every person, for each person's residence, and for other characteristics (sex, age, family relationships, etc.). Since the 1940 census, in addition to the complete count information, some data have been obtained from representative samples of the population. In the 1990 census, variable sampling rates were employed. For most of the country, 1 in every 6 households (about 17 percent) received the long form or sample questionnaire; in governmental units estimated to have fewer than 2,500 inhabitants, every other household (50 percent) received the sample questionnaire to enhance the reliability of sample data for small areas. Exact agreement is not to be expected between sample data and the complete census count. Sample data may be used with confidence where large numbers are involved and assumed to indicate trends and relationships where small numbers are involved.

Census data presented here have not been adjusted for underenumeration. Results from the evaluation program for the 1990 census indicate that the overall national undercount was between 1 and 2 percent the estimate from the Post Enumeration Survey (PES) was 1.6 percent and the estimate from Demographic Analysis (DA) was 1.8 percent. Both the PES and DA estimates show disproportionately high undercounts for some demographic groups. For example, the PES estimates of percent net undercount for Blacks (4.4 percent), Hispanics (5.0 percent), and American Indians (4.5 percent) were higher than the estimated undercount of nonHispanic whites (0.7 percent). Historical DA estimates demonstrate that the overall undercount rate in the census has declined significantly over the past 50 years (from an estimated 5.4 percent in 1940 to 1.8 percent in 1990), yet the undercount of Blacks has remained disproportionately high.

link:    The 2000 U.S. Census

Where is each person counted? ( US Census language reproduced below with web sources ...)
2000 1990

The 2000 Census Residence Rules

"Planners of the first U.S. decennial census in 1790 established the concept of "usual residence" as the main principle in determining where people were to be counted. This concept has been followed in all subsequent censuses and is the guiding principle for Census 2000. Usual residence has been defined as the place where the person lives and sleeps most of the time. This place is not necessarily the same as the person's voting residence or legal residence. Also, noncitizens who are living in the United States are included, regardless of their immigration status."


"Citizens of foreign countries who have established a household or are part of an established household in the U.S. while working or studying, including family members with them - Counted at the household. Citizens of foreign countries who are living in the U.S. at embassies, ministries, legations, or consulates - Counted at the embassy, etc. Citizens of foreign countries temporarily traveling or visiting in the U.S. - Not included in the census."


Boarding school students - Counted at their parental home rather than at the boarding school.

College students living away from home while attending college - Counted where they are living at college.

College students living at their parental home while attending college - Counted at their parental home.

For the 1990 Census:
"Each person included in the census was to be counted at his or her
usual residence--the place where he or she lives and sleeps most of the time or the place where the person considers to be his or her usual home. If a person had no usual residence, the person was to be counted where he or she was staying on April 1, 1990.

  Persons temporarily away from their usual residence, whether in the United States or overseas, on a vacation or on a business trip, were counted at their usual residence. Persons who occupied more than one residence during the year were counted at the one they considered to be their usual residence. Persons who moved on or near Census Day were counted at the place they considered to be their usual residence."

How about students?
"Persons Away at School--   College students were counted as residents of the area in which they
were living while attending college, as they have been since the 1950 census. Children in boarding schools below the college level were counted at their parental home"
source: Population and Housing Unit Counts, Selected Appendixes: 2000



Two Types of Census Forms
questionnaire type who received the questionnaire 2000 - Format of Compiled Census Data (Summary File) 1990 - Format of Compiled Census Data (Summary Tape File)
long form a sample (either 1/6 or 1/2 or 1/8 of hhds. receive this form, depending on population size of location):  overall:  1-in-6.    see documentation on sampling rates. SF3 STF3
short form full count (every hhd. receives this form) SF1 STF1



In between the 10 Year Census -- How are population estimates made?

Current Population Survey (CPS)
This is a monthly nationwide survey of a scientifically selected sample representing the noninstitutional civilian population. The sample is located in 754 areas comprising 2,121 counties, independent cities, and minor civil divisions with coverage in every State and the District of Columbia and is subject to sampling error. At the present time, about 50,000 occupied households are eligible for interview every month; of these between 4 and 5 percent are, for various reasons, unavailable for interview.

While the primary purpose of the CPS is to obtain monthly statistics on the labor force, it also serves as a vehicle for inquiries on other subjects. Using CPS data, the Bureau issues a series of publications under the general title of Current Population Reports, which cover population characteristics (P20), consumer income (P60), special studies (P23), and other topics.

Some definitions

Urban and rural÷

According to the 1990 census definition, the urban population comprises all persons living in (a) places of 2,500 or more inhabitants incorporated as cities, villages, boroughs (except in Alaska and New York), and towns (except in the New England States, New York, and Wisconsin), but excluding those persons living in the rural portions of extended cities (places with low population density in one or more large parts of their area); (b) census designated places (previously termed unincorporated) of 2,500 or more inhabitants; and (c) other territory, urban constitutes the rural population
Residence÷In determining residence, the Bureau of the Census counts each person as an inhabitant of a usual place of residence (i.e., the place where one usually lives and sleeps). While this place is not necessarily a person's legal residence or voting residence, the use of these different bases of classification would produce the same results in the vast majority of cases.
Race÷The Bureau of the Census collects and publishes racial statistics as outlined in Statistical Policy Directive No. 15 issued by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. This directive provides standards on ethnic and racial categories for statistical reporting to be used by all Federal agencies. According to the directive, the basic racial categories are American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian or Pacific Islander, Black, and White. (The directive identifies Hispanic origin as an ethnicity.) The concept of race the Bureau of the Census uses reflects self identification by respondents; that is the individual's perception of his/her racial identity. The concept is not intended to reflect any biological or anthropological definition. Although the Bureau of the Census adheres to the overall guidelines of Directive No. 15, it recognizes that there are persons who do not identify with a specific racial group. The 1990 census race question includes an "Other race" category with provisions for a write in entry. Furthermore, the Bureau of the Census recognizes that the categories of the race item include both racial and national origin or sociocultural groups. Differences between the 1990 census and earlier censuses affect the comparability of data for certain racial groups and American Indian tribes. The lack of comparability is due to changes in the way some respondents reported their race as well as changes in 1990 census procedures related to the racial classification. (For a fuller explanation, see 1990 Census of Population, Volume I,

Hispanic (many be of any racial category - so don't add with racial categories, since it cuts across racial categories)
see US Census definition


Census Geography


US Census Geography Census Geography
US Census Geography Reference Resources
US Census Geographic Services and Information
the "Geographic Overview" (on tracts, blocks, etc.)

Current 1998 List of Metropolitan Areas

Metropolitan Areas and Components, 1996, With FIPS Codes
(Metropolitan areas defined by Office of Management and Budget, 6/30/96)


A Hierarchy of Census Areas (from the 1990 Census): from BIG to small

see a pdf version of this hierarchy
1 Nation (US)
4 Regions (e.g., Midwest)
9 Divisions (e.g., East North Central)
57  States and Statistically Equivalent Entities (e.g., Michigan)
3,248 Counties and Statistically Equivalent Entities (e.g., Washtenaw)
60,228 County Subdivisions and Places (e.g., Ann Arbor)
576 American Indian and Alaska Native Areas
62,276 Census Tracts and Block Numbering Areas (BNAs)
229,192 Block Groups (BGs)
7,017,427 Blocks

What are blocks?
"Census blocks are small areas bounded on all sides by visible

features such as streets, roads, streams, and railroad tracks, and by

invisible boundaries such as city, town, township, and county limits,

property lines, and short, imaginary extensions of streets and roads.

sourcetechnical documentation

Metropolitan Areas

Overview: The US government developed standard definitions of metropolitan areas in the 1940s [source]. These definitions have changed over time, reflecting both changes in the structure of US metropolitan areas and changes in our understanding of metropolitan geography.

Metropolitan Areas: Detroit as an example
  A Map of Lower Michigan Counties

35                 Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint, MI CMSA
  35 0440              Ann Arbor, MI PMSA

  35 0440 26091          Lenawee County
  35 0440 26093          Livingston County
  35 0440 26161          Washtenaw County
  35 2160              Detroit, MI PMSA
  35 2160 26087          Lapeer County
  35 2160 26099          Macomb County
  35 2160 26115          Monroe County
  35 2160 26125          Oakland County
  35 2160 26147          St. Clair County
  35 2160 26163          Wayne County
  35 2640              Flint, MI PMSA
  35 2640 26049          Genesee County

Population in the Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint,MI CMSA and its three component MSAs,
1980 - 1994 (in thousands)
METROPOLITAN AREA  1980 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1980-90 1990-94
Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint,MI CMSA  5,293 5,187 5,215 5,236 5,246 5,256 -2.0 1.3
   Ann Arbor, MI PMSA 455 490 498 504 509 515 7.7 5.1
   Detroit, MI PMSA  4,388 4,267 4,285 4,299 4,304 4,307 -2.8 0.9
   Flint, MI PMSA 450 430 432 432 433 433 -4.4 0.7


(Note: FIPS = Federal Information Processing Standards) see this resource

MSA= Metropolitan Statistical Area

CMSA= Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area

PMSA= Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area

SS= State

CCC= County

PPPPP= Place (city/town)
Type of Metropolitan Area   Number Example
MSA (metropolitan statistical area) stand alone metro area (a county or counties)


268 (e.g., Lansing-East Lansing, MI MSA)
CMSA (consolidated MSA) a very large metro area, consisting of a collection of PMSAs 21 (e.g., Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint, MI CMSA)
PMSA (primary MSA) a subset of CMSAs 73 (e.g., Ann Arbor, MI PMSA)

New York CMSA has 15 PMSAs

LA CMSA has four (albeit big ones)

Detroit CMSA has three: Ann Arbor, Detroit, and Flint.

MA (Metropolitan Area) The MA classification is a statistical standard developed for use by Federal agencies in the production, analysis, and publication of data on MAs. The MAs are designated by the Office of Management and Budget. Metropolitan Areas can be classified as a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) or as a Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area (CMSA), that is a MA divided into Primary Metropolitan Statistical Areas (PMSAs.) See also MSA/CMSA/PMSA.

More detailed definitions:

PMSA (Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area) An area defined by the Office of Management and Budget as a Federal statistical standard, comprised of one or more counties (county subdivisions in New England), within a metropolitan area, having a population of 1,000,000 or more. When PMSAs are established, the larger area of which they are component parts is designated a Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area.

CMSA (Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area) An area defined by the Office of Management and Budget as a Federal statistical standard. In metropolitan areas where Primary Metropolitan Statistical Areas (PMSAs) are defined, the larger area of which the PMSAs are components is designated a CMSA.

MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) An area defined by the Office of Management and Budget as a Federal statistical standard. An area qualifies for recognition as an MSA if it includes a city of at least 50,000 population or an urbanized area of at least 50,000 with a total metropolitan area population of at least 100,000. See also (MA).

NECMA (New England County Metropolitan Area) A county-based equivalent to the official metropolitan areas in the six New England States, where the standard components are county subdivisions (cities and towns) instead of counties as in other states.

For descriptive details and a listing of titles and components of MA's, see Appendix II.

Metropolitan Areas (MA's)
The general concept of a metropolitan area is one of a core area containing a large population nucleus, together with adjacent communities that have a high degree of social and economic integration with that core.

Metropolitan statistical areas (MSA's),

consolidated metropolitan statistical areas (CMSA's),

and primary metropolitan statistical areas (PMSA's)

are defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as a standard for Federal agencies in the preparation and publication of statistics relating to metropolitan areas.

The entire territory of the United States is classified as metropolitan (inside MSA's or CMSA' -- PMSA's are components of CMSA's) or nonmetropolitan (outside MSA's or CMSA's).

MSA's, CMSA's, and PMSA's are defined in terms of entire counties except in New England, where the definitions are in terms of cities and towns. The OMB also defines New England County Metropolitan Areas (NECMA's) which are county-based alternatives to the MSA's and CMSA's in the six New England States. From time to time, new MA's are created and the boundaries of others change. As a result, data for MA's over time may not be comparable and the analysis of historical trends must be made cautiously. For descriptive details and a listing of titles and components of MA's, see Appendix II.

 Also, New England has NECMAs: New England county MA. Place and county alternatives to the standard MAs

home page FAQ (frequently asked questions) new in 2000:  
ability to select multiple racial categories.

time table of data products release from 2000 Census

American FactFinder - the data retrieval system for the 2000 Census

How to access the 2000 Census Data:

for an overview, see Comparison of 2000 Census Delivery Vehicles, UM Documents Center

several options:



A few questions:
  1. How did the Census handle non-English speakers? The Census did provide Census forms in languages other than English. Please see this link.
  2. How were migrants from Puerto Rico to the 50 US States classified? As "native" but "born outside the United States". There are two broad categories: "Native" and "Foreign Born". "Native" is divided into "born in the United States" and "born outside the United States" (the latter including "Puerto Rico", "US island Areas" and "Born abroad of American Parents"). "Foreign born" is divided into "Naturalized citizen" and "Not a citizen".
  3. Where are citizens living abroad counted? It depends on employment status and whether you are in the military or not. For a detailed discussion, see "Residence Rules" for the 2000 Census. To quote this source:
    U.S. citizens employed overseas as civilians by the U.S. Government, including family members with them - Counted as part of the U.S. overseas population and not as part of the U.S. resident population.
    U.S. citizens not employed by the U.S. Government who are working, studying, or living overseas - Not included in the census."
    (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division, Population & Housing Programs Branch Maintained By: Laura K. Yax (Population Division) Created: August 9, 1999 Last Revised: September 13, 2002 at 07:24:37 AM)


Different ways to download data -- i.e., how do you get data you see on the screen into an Excel Spreadsheet?

You may often find interesting data on the web and want to import into an Excel file. This process, depending on the format of the source data, might be either easy or complicated.

Ordered roughly from easy to difficult:

FORMAT OF SOURCE DATA How to convert into an Excel File
Excel file

1. If you are lucky, the data is already in Excel format. Simply download the file to your machine.

tab-, comma, or space-delimited (e.g., in a Word or text file). 2. If the data is in a text or word format (etc.), and the data columns (variables) are delimited (separated) by tabs, commas (csv), spaces, etc., then open the text file in Excel. Excel's (Text Import Wizard) will then prompt you for the data format: select delimited and then what character(s) delimit (i.e., separate) the data columns. This should result in a usable Excel file.
fixed width 3. If the data is organized with each variable in a fixed column (e.g., city code in columns 1-3, year in columns 4-7, etc.) then open the text file in Excel. Excel's (Text Import Wizard) will then prompt you for the data format: select fixed-width and then insert vertical break lines between the variables. This should result in a usable Excel file.
html file 4. If you are lucky, the creator of the web page organized the data using tables (note: this section of this web page itself is formatted as a table). You should hopefully be able to simply copy and paste the table into a blank Excel worksheet, with the table organization (in rows and columns) retained. If the data is NOT organized by tables, copy-and-paste results may be unpredictable.
.pdf file

5. PDF to Excel -- this one is not so straightforward, since pdf files are formatted for easy, standardized printing but NOT for easy data transfer, so getting data from a pdf file is sometimes an adventure. Here are a few methods. Try the one that works best (and that matches your source data format). In general order of preference:

a. Double-check to see whether the data set is available in another format other than pdf (such as Excel, tab or comma or space-delimited; etc.). You might even contact the source to see what they say.

b. Use the "select Table Tool" in Adobe Acrobat (note: this is NOT in Adobe Acrobat Reader, but in the more powerful program Adobe Acrobat). Use this tool to select the table (or a subset of the table), and then either directly copy-and-paste into Excel or create a text file as an intermediary, and then open this text file with Excel, which should prompt the "Text Import Wizard" within Excel. Important: sometimes it may be more effective to break the process of copying and pasting into several subsections: e.g., copy and paste, in separate steps: the title, the data columns with text, the data columns with numerical values, and then finally the footnotes/sources. (You may need to experiment to see what works best.) See this useful guide: EXPORTING PDF FILE TABLES TO EXCEL SPREADSHEETS (from the TriUniversity Data Resources). Or use this google search to find similar pages.

c. Use MS Word (or another text editing program) as a stepping stone between pdf and Excel. Copy the relevant part of the pdf file, pasting into MS Word (or another text editing program), and then viewing the resulting text. Convert text to Courier (or another equal spacing font) to better see the data table structure. Make invisible elements visible (e.g., tabs, spaces, paragraph returns). Then do some global "find and replace" to clean up the table. The goal is a file with tabs (^t) separating each column, and paragraph returns (^p) separating each line (i.e., case). Watch out for extra tabs (e.g., multiple tabs between columns should be converted to single tabs), otherwise your table columns will be misaligned.

d. You can have the professionals do it (try this google search for some options). You might also look at the File Format and Data Conversion Site.

bitmap (image) file 6. Here the numbers and text of the data table are in an image file, and one cannot directly copy and paste into Excel -- since the alphanumeric characters are simply images, not characters. You might try "optical character recognition" (OCR) software, which translates images into machine-readable text. Wikipedia has a list of OCR software. Adobe Acrobat can do OCR: look in "Document" > "Paper Capture". (Note: Adobe cannot handle all types of images; images should be clean; and scanned images should be 200 - 600 dpi for B&W and 200 - 400 dpi for grayscale or color.). Once you convert the image file, you will need to check for errors in the conversion. Then you will need to get the file into a format that Excel will be able to read accurately (see 5b and 5c above).


see also this Excel Tutorial

UP504 Practice Exercise -- "Data Scavenger Hunt"

In preparation for class, I would encourage you to attempt the following data tasks. This should make the topics more relevant. Consider this a kind of data "scavenger hunt".Note: some of these tasks are easier than others. You do NOT need to turn these answers in, but bring your any answers in to class for discussion.
[Hint: for Questions 1-4, think about whether the data is from the Census short form or long form]

TASKS (easier ones first):

1. find (from US Census 2000) the number of people living is:

a. the NEW York CMSA
b. the New York PMSA
c. New York City
d. the zip code area containing the former World Trade Center (in Lower Manhattan)

2. Download the above data into Excel.


3. Using the same geographic categories from above (a,b,c,d), find the values for this variable:


4. Using the American Factfinder, generate a thematic map of:

Mean Travel time to work (2000) for
(a) the US by county
(b) for the New York CMSA by county subdivision

(NOTE: you might experiment with changing data boundaries and features]


5. Downloading data from a .pdf file (this is a tricky one, but do give it a try! see the above discussion of downloading into Excel) Access the online version of the State and Metropolitan Area Data Book: 2006



Find this table:
Table C-1. Metropolitan Areas With Component Counties — Population and Population

Your task: download the data for the Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI MSA (download page 193, including -- the column headings with variable names/labels)
(Note: pdf files are formatted for easy, standardized printing but NOT for easy data transfer, so getting data from a pdf file can be an adventure...)


Other Resources / Sources of Data

University of Michigan
UM Documents Center http://www.lib.umich.edu/govdocs/
Documents Center -Statistical Resources http://www.lib.umich.edu/govdocs/stats.html
ICPSR - Data Access http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/access/index.html
Map Library http://www.lib.umich.edu/maplib/
US Government (including the Bureau of the Census)
Data Access Tools http://www.census.gov/main/www/access.html

American Fact Finder (the US Census new Interactive database engine)

US Census Glossary http://www.census.gov/main/www/glossary.html
Statistical Abstract of the US http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/
County Business Patterns http://www.census.gov/epcd/cbp/view/cbpview.html
Fedstats http://www.fedstats.gov/
State and Metropolitan Area Data Book - 5th Edition http://www.census.gov/statab/www/smadb.html

County and City Data Book


State & County QuickFacts

Bureau of Transportation Statistics http://www.bts.gov/
US Census Maps http://www.census.gov/geo/www/maps/
US Census Map Products http://www.census.gov/geo/www/maps/CP_MapProducts.htm
see the population density map for 2000
CDC MAPPING http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/pubs/pubd/other/atlas/atlas.htm  
State of Michigan
State of Michigan: Census and Statistical Data for Michigan http://www.michigan.gov/census/
State of Michigan: Center for Geographic Information http://www.michigan.gov/cgi
UNDP http://www.undp.org/
Cyburbia (not a data set per se, but a good resource for planners) http://www.cyburbia.com
Other mapping services www.mapblast.com
History of Statistics (UCLA site) http://www.stat.ucla.edu/history/ including as early Chinese version of Pascal's Triangle (binomial distribution)