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How to Research Your NYC Community District: Demographics & Census Info

Working with Data

What topics do you need?

  • Race, gender, age, educational attainment...

What unit of analysis do you need?

  • Individuals, families, households...
  • Companies, schools...
  • Automobiles, commodities...

What geographic unit do you need?

  • National: U.S., country level
  • State, regional, county/parish, local, cities...
  • International

What time period/years do you need?

  • Fixed time: most recent available, past 5 years, historical...
  • Time series: annual, quarterly, every 10 years...

Knowing what you need is an important first step. Don't skip it! You need to have a strong idea of the specific data needed to answer your research question. Come  meet with a librarian.

Who would collect this data?

When searching for data, think carefully about what organizations might have collected the data you need.  Governments and international organizations often maintain and provide access to the data they collect, while businesses and independent researchers' data are less available to the public. For the later, subscriptions to data archives and business databases are sometimes a solution.

Here are some possible data collectors to consider:


  • Generally free, may be on the internet or in print (e.g. books, almanacs)
  • Data format varies widely
  • Collected through research to help aid policy decisions
  • Also collected through administrative processes as a result of work the government does
  • Examples:
    • U.S. Federal level: Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Center for Disease Control
    • U.S. State & Local level: Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, New Orleans Department of Information Technology & Innovation
    • Non-U.S. government: Indonesia Central Statistical Agency, Mozambique Instituto Nacional de Estatística, Statistics Canada
      Use to locate these national statistical agencies.

International Organizations

  • May be free or subscription/fee based
  • Data format varies widely
  • Collected through research to help aid policy decisions
  • Examples:
    • International Government Organizations (IGOs): United Nations, World Health Organization, OECD, World Bank
    • International Non-governmental Organizations (INGOs): Amnesty International, Médecins Sans Frontières

Data Archives

  • Often includes data collected by individual scholar/researchers
  • Maybe be fee/subsription based
  • Examples: ICPSR, Roper

Business & Trade

  • Usually proprietary, requiring subscription if available outside a company
  • Examples: Market research, industry-wide statistics, individual company financial data

Don't ignore the scholarly literature (books & articles). Bibliographies and existing research may help you identify what types of data are available, and where to access them.


Infoshare - Easy to search NYC demographic info from the Census.

Newest New Yorkers - Immigrants

Newest New Yorkers - Characteristics of the City's Foreign-Born Population (published in 2013).

You can find more recent data by neighborhood and or CD in the other resources on this Guide, just search by foreign-born population.

Sources for New York Statistical Data

NYC PUMAs and Community Districts Map

Map of New York City PUMAs by CD (Public Use Microdata Areas as defined by the Census) and Community Districts. Note that PUMAs approximate NYC Community Districts (CDs) borders.

NYC Census FactFinder

The New York City Census FactFinder provides easy access to Census data for New York City. To search, first choose the type of geographic area you want (census tract or Neighborhood Tabulation Area). Then pick your location. You can search by address, intersection, place of interest, census tract, subway station, or neighborhood.

US Census Bureau's American Factfinder

The US Census' Database American FactFinder - access to data about the US from several censuses and surveys.

Here's an additional list of Data Resources and Tools from the US Census Bureau

Check out this PPT from the Census staff called How to Use American Community Survey (ACS) Geodatabase Files and ArcMap

For help, contact the US Census' Data Dissemination Branch at:, 301-763-2032

Census Reporter

Census Reporter is a Knight News Challenge-funded project to make it easy for journalists to write stories using US Census data.


U.S. Congregational Membership: County Reports from the Association of Religion Data Archives. Most recent data is from 2010, and the report is published every 10 years.

Note: The U.S Census does not collect data on religion