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Thread: Citing Census Data

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Feb 2007
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    Cambridge, MA
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    Citing Census Data

    Not sure if this is the right place for this question, but it seems to be the most general board.

    I'm a Community Organizer at a CDC with a committee of residents working to increase the inclusionary housing requirement within a PUD district being proposed in our city. I've put together an extensive document for our elected officials to help make the case that the proposed zoning changes don't address the need that exists in this low-income neighborhood.

    Politics aside, I'm not quite sure how to cite the extensive U.S. Census data I've used in the document, all found on the Census Bureau's American FactFinder website. FYI, I've been using the Census 2000 Summary File 3, looking at the three census tracts that cover our area.

    Furthermore, apart from the raw data I've used, how would I cite data that I've extrapolated from the FactFinder? For instance, I've determined the housing burden for all households by combining household cost data for owner and renter sets. How would I cite this to say it is based on information calculated from raw census data?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Upstate
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    In my opinion, it doesn't matter whether you got it off microfiche at the library or from American Factfinder - it's still the Census. In citing it as a source, say, below a table or chart, you can simply state:

    Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2000 Census

    In certain instances, you might want to tag "Summary File 3" onto the end if it's something others might want to access - it just helps them know where to find the data.

    As for the extrapolated data, as a consultant, I might state:

    Source: ABC Associates and U.S. Census Bureau

    or maybe

    Source: Calculations based on raw data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

    Hope that helps. I've been using Census data for 25 years, but everyone seems to do this differently depending on the audience.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    May 2005
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    New Town
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    What Mud Princess said. When citing the facts collected by the census, use the year and maybe the File. Otherwise, it is important to clarify extrpolations based on census data (and "calculations based on..." should do it). Other people need to have the opportunity to do heir own calculations, taking into considerations factors you may have missed. Well not just "you," but anyone trying to make an argument with data.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    Cambridge, MA
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    Well, that seems easy enough. Thanks for the help!

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