Blog Post

Insight: The Retirement of American FactFinder

By: Mallory Bateman

You might know that April 1 is Census Day, or the point of reference for the 2020 Census. What you might not know is that on March 31, 2020, American FactFinder will be going offline. For the past decade and a half, American FactFinder (AFF) has been the way for the public to access the Census Bureau’s data. While the interface could be challenging and navigation was not always intuitive, AFF served its purpose and became a go-to resource. Over that time, technology and the types of data requests coming from the public have changed and a new platform was created.

After several years in development, data.census.gov will be the only place to access Census Bureau data beginning April 1. With this shift comes some changes to the data that will be easily accessible. The 2000 and 2010 decennial data, population and housing unit estimates will be added, while ACS data prior to 2010 will not. The interface is intended for one-and-done type data searchers, with a main search functionality set up to process searches like “children in Herriman” to produce results. Like American FactFinder, data.census.gov will link people to tables and maps, with the addition of other pages on the Census Bureau website that might be helpful.

For heavier data users, data.census.gov might be a difficult adjustment. The Census API provides a great way to access the data if you are looking for a bit more specificity. There are some handy tips available via the API homepage as well as recorded webinars and instructional videos. For additional information on all kinds of Census topics, Census Academy provides a great place to start.

The good news is that there will be