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View of Georgetown campus from the Virginia side of the Potomac

View of Georgetown campus from the Virginia side of the Potomac

Census Information

A guide to research resources for census information.

A Note on Microdata

Public Use Microdata Sample files show the full range of population and housing unit responses collected. For example, they show how respondents answered questions on occupation, place of work, and so forth. The PUMS files contain records for a subsample of housing units and group quarters persons, with information on the characteristics of these housing units and group quarters persons plus the people in the selected housing units.

Microdata users frequently want to look at relationships among variables not shown in the standard products offered by the Census Bureau. The advantage of PUMS is that data users can tabulate data according to the characteristics they want or need to know about. For example, what are the characteristics of unemployed homeowners? What characteristics do families with four or more children have in common?

PUMS files are perfect for people, such as students, who are looking for greater accessibility to inexpensive data for research projects. Data users in academic life -- economists, psychologists, and sociologists -- have found the PUMS useful for regression analysis and modeling applications.


Public Use Microdata Samples (PUMS) files are made available by the Census and contain microdata unpublished by regular Census publications.  PUMS data is collected by the Decennial Census, American Community Survey, and other surveys conducted by the Census.

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