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BEV BUTULA: Need census facts quick? Try QuickFacts

The U.S. Census Bureau offers a lot of information; so much, it can be overwhelming.

However, if you are looking for general information (or the most requested data items) the census’ QuickFacts might be a perfect resource. The QuickFacts website allows the researcher to obtain data on a national, state, county, or city level. Only incorporated cities with a population of greater than 5,000 are listed.

What type of information is available? In addition to population figures, QuickFacts includes mean travel time to work, educational background, housing units, manufacturer shipments, retail sales, and building permits issued.

The user will also find homeownership rates, median value of owner-occupied housing units, persons below poverty level, land area and much more.

To better understand the data makeup of each category and how it was gathered, the census provides an information link. The researcher selects the “i” just in front of the category to obtain this additional information. For example, “mean travel time” is defined as “the total number of minutes that it usually took the person to get from home to work each day during the reference week. The elapsed time includes time spent waiting for public transportation, picking up passengers in carpools, and time spent in other activities related to getting to work.

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