"Basic Tables" Demographic Profile Report Generator

Lots of Helpful Examples

The only hard part of this application is that you have to know the geographic codes and you have to type them in instead of just clicking on a selection list. We provide links (at the bottom of the page) to assist you in finding the required codes for counties, metro areas and places. For things like ZIP codes, census tracts and block groups - if you don't know the code then how do you know you want data for it?
Note: If you simply must have menus then we have now created a "front end" application that gives them to you. There is a link to it from the main page of this application. (But that version won't allow you to access data for the U.S. totals, regions, divisions or block groups like this one will.)

What this application does not do is provide you with list of geocodes for any area and then let you create reports for all of them. It will not give you data for all counties in New Jersey or all tracts in Jersey county. But if you have a specific tract in Jersey county in mind, then you can enter the codes for the state, county and tract and the application will show you a report for that one area.

If what you really want is a report that shows maybe just a few variables for a lot of geographic areas then this is not the right application. Or if what you really want is these reports, but you want to do a whole bunch of them (like one for every city in South Dakota and every tract in Tallahassee then you might just want to contact the Urban Information Center to have us do that with a program -- or you might want to write a program that will do that at your site. This is doable because you can invoke this application using a URL without having to fill out the form. To see how this might work, study the URL that gets generated (and displayed in your browser's Location window) when you create a report; it should be easy to see the pattern -- then you can create HTML forms that reference such URL's as hyperlinks so people accessing your pages can have easy access to these profiles. To see how this works take a look at a sample page that we have created that uses this technique. Be sure to use your browser's "View Document Source" capability to look at the HTML code for the URLsamples page. It implements all the examples described on this page but without the user ever having to enter a code.


Each of the following examples deals with generating a report for one specific type of geographic area. The area type is color coded in the header to help you spot the example you may be looking for.

To get a profile for the state of Maine

Enter 'me' or '23' in the box for the state. Hit the Submit Query button. (This is a hard one; lots of people would enter 'ma' and get Massachussets by surprise.)

To get a profile for St. Charles county, MO

Enter 'mo' for state and '183' for county. (If you did not know that 183 was the county code for St. Charles you could go down to the County codes link button at the bottom; when that page appears click on the MO link across the top to jump to the Missouri portion of the page, and then manually scroll forward to see the entry for St. Charles. Hit the back button on your browser twice to return to the entry form and type 183 in the county code box.) Click on Submit Query.

To get a profile for census tract 1001 in the city of Chicago

Enter 'il' for state and '031' for county. That's the code for Cook county. You do not have to and should not enter the code for the city -- tracts are classified within counties, not cities. That's what it means on the form when it says "State and county required" after the box for entering the tract code. It also says "leading zeroes optional"; this means that if you wanted tract 25 you could enter "0025" or "25" (you could also enter "25.00" or "0025.00", etc. - it would be hard to mess it up; just be sure to type the decimal point if you are requesting a tract with a suffix code - "201" will be interpreted as tract 201, not 2.01.) Click on Submit Query.

To get a profile for Block Group 2

Assuming it's in the tract just requested in the previous example, just return to the form and leave all the codes filled in as before. Now enter a "2" in the box for the block group and hit the Submit Query button.

To get a report for the city (place) of Tallahassee, Florida

Blank out the county entry box, or use the Reset button (next to the Submit Query button) to blank out all the text entry boxes. Enter 'fl' or '12' for the state. The tract and block group boxes should also be empty. If you need to get the code for Tallahassee look down at the bottom of the form for the Place Codes hyper-link. This works very similarly to the way you found the FIPS code for the Missouri county in the earlier example. When the Place codes page is displayed, you click on the FL link across the top and then scroll forward to find Tallahassee. You could also use your browser's "find" command for a city with such a distinctive name -- but be sure you are in the right state. This page will give you the 5-digit FIPS code for the place. Use the back button on your browser to get back to the form and enter "70600" in the entry box for the place code. Hit Submit Query.

Cut-and-paste option

If you are the sort who has trouble remembering or writing down a 5-digit code and then reliably typing it back in several seconds later, you can - with most Windows-standardized browsers - use the clipboard to store and retrieve the looked up code. When you are viewing the code page just select the text comprising the 5-digit code and hit ctrl-c to copy it to the clipboard. Then when you get back to the form and have the cursor positioned in the text entry box, instead of typing the 5 digits just hit ctrl-v to paste the code in.

To get a profile for the city of Cool Valley, Missouri

Hit Reset. Enter 'mo' for the state. Go the Place codes link to get back to that page. Click on the MO link across the top. Scroll down through the cities listed for Missouri; Cool Valley is not listed because it has a 1990 population of less than 10,000. But the last entry for each state is another hyper-link to a page with the codes for all the smaller towns for that state. (If you know the city you're looking for is under 10,000 then the easy way to get to the "Other MO Cities" button is to go to the following state (click on the MT link in this case) and then just go up 1 line in your browser.) If you do this you'll find that the FIPS code for Cool Valley is 16228. Go back to the entry form and type this code in the box for the place code. Note that had the code begun with 0's you would have been required to enter them. This application will accept 4-digit census place codes or 5-digit FIPS versions. The application checks the length of the code entered to determine which kind you specified. Also notice that it says on the form "State required, county ignored". The profiles are available for complete places within state only; you cannot get a report for the portion of a city that is within a county (not from this application at this time, at least.)

To get a profile for ZIP 94301 (Palo Alto, CA)

Hit Reset. Enter "ca" in the state field, and "94301" in the ZIP box. Nothing else. Click on Submit Query.

To get a profile for ZIP 27512 (SAS I.)

Enter "nc" in the state box and "27512" for ZIP. Click on Submit Query. You should get a screen that says the application was unable to find the specified geographic codes. This is because the ZIP codes for which we have census data are limited to residential ZIP codes that were in existence in the summer of 1991. 27512 is the ZIP code for SAS Institute, Inc. in Cary, NC. It is probably a non-residential ZIP, one that is unique to the Institute. It may or may not have existed in 1991. Just be aware that many valid ZIP codes will not be found by this application, either because they are new since 1991, or because they are business, post-office-box-only or other non-residential ZIPs.

To get a profile for the entire Kansas City metro area

Hit reset. Enter '3760' in the box where it says "Enter the 4-digit 1990 MSA or CMSA code". Note that you have not entered anything in the state box. (To get the code for the metro area you can click on the Metro Areas hyper-link at the bottom of the form, and scroll through to find Kansas City.) Click on Submit Query. Note that the report shows a total population of about 1.5 million.

To get a profile for the Missouri portion of the Kansas City metro area

Repeat what you just did for the Entire metro area, but now enter 'mo' in the state box. Notice that the report you get shows a total population of about 961,000. The header line - the geocode and areaname - are also different.

To get a profile for the Chicago PMSA

There is a Chicago CMSA (Consolidated MSA) and a Chicago PMSA (Primary MSA - a subarea of the CMSA.) To get data for a PMSA you must enter the code in the box provided for it. You can look up the codes on the Metro codes page provided. Enter '1600' for the PMSA. You can leave the state box blank or enter 'il' -- since the PMSA is entirely within Illinois you'll get essentially (the Geocode will be different) the same report. (To get the CMSA, enter '1602' in the MSA or CMSA box.)

To get a profile for the entire US or a US Region or Division

You have to read this help page. Leave all input boxes empty except for the state box. Enter "us" or "00" to get a report for the entire country; enter a value of "r1", "r2", "r3" or "r4" to get a report for one of the 4 US Census Regions; enter a value of "d1" thru "d9" to get a report for a US Census Division. As usual, you have to click on the Submit Query button.

To get a profile in a text format instead of the HTML Tables format

Just click on the "plain text" radio button at the bottom.
You can also opt for the HTML table format but without the borders option that causes the table cells to be outlined. We like to use this option when the results are going to be printed - we think printed tables look better without borders, but tables on the screen look better with them.

Known Problem: It's with our data source, not our software -- the Average Rent data item is missing for place and block group level reports. We're looking for a replacment source for these data levels.


Comments and suggestions to: Glenn Rice

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