On January 29, the U.S. Census Bureau released an updated version of its flagship online data tool, American FactFinder.
The update version offers two new ways to search the data: “Community Facts” and “Guided Search,” in addition to a slightly enhanced version of the old interface that is now called “Advanced Search.”
With “Community Facts,” users can enter a state, city, town or ZIP code. The results cover popular facts, such as total population, median age, educational attainment, median household income and individuals below the poverty level — along with links to relevant tables.
The “Guided Search” approach goes through a search step by step, starting with asking what type of information you need (people, housing, business and industry, specific dataset or table number) and then leading through options for narrowing or searching.
The “Advanced Search” option, while largely familiar from the previous version, also has enhanced “search within results” features. And finally, a prominent “Download Options” feature has been added.
A virtual tour is available for a quick video overview of the changes.