Skip Header

We are hiring thousands of people for the 2020 Census. Click to learn more and apply.

PARDON OUR DUST – Transformation

Wed Jul 25 2012
Written by: Stephen Buckner
Component ID: #ti397309592

You may have noticed that has been undergoing some modest changes since December.  Based on customer research and feedback we collected and analyzed over time, we heard loud and clear that both search and navigation of our site could be much better.  Visitors to shouldn’t have to work so hard to find the information and statistics they’re looking for to complete their research, personal projects or business needs.

Component ID: #ti145915020

I’m happy to say that we are well underway with our transformation, and that we’re in the midst of beginning to roll out some big changes in the coming months.  I hope to use this blog as a place to regularly update our Census Bureau customers on those changes, but also to create an ongoing dialogue to solicit feedback and suggestions on how to improve the site.  Each post will focus on a particular subject and area of improvement, including things like search, navigation, data visualization, APIs, new data access tools and even mobile apps.

Component ID: #ti1509589541

Tomorrow, the Census Bureau will be launching its first-ever public API for developers, and in early August, our first mobile app – America’s Economy.  Both are big steps for the Census Bureau, because they acknowledge that our users are not only changing how they want our statistics, they’re changing how they access them.

Component ID: #ti1509589542

The API serves up both 2010 Census and American Community Survey statistics for every neighborhood in the US, and delivers on our commitment to create a platform for innovation by “opening up our data”.  This information-centric approach is outlined in the recently released Federal Digital Strategy, and promises to be the new default for all public data – users of all varieties will benefit by creating new ways and tools to explore the data they want to, rather than the government restricting its use through PDFs and impossible to download formats.  We’ve already gotten lots of comments during our initial beta-version phase over the last 2 months, but feel free to keep them coming following our public launch of the census API.

Component ID: #ti1509589544

America’s Economy (Figure 1) will let economist, planners and policy makers have greater access to key indicators about the health of the U.S. economy via their mobile devices.  This customer-centric approach combines numbers from the Census Bureau, Bureau of Economic Analysis and Bureau of Labor Statistics to create a better view of our constantly changing economy and markets.  The app will be available for both Android and IOS smart phone and tablet users.  Two additional apps will be launched later in the Fall, but I’ll save those details for a future post.

Component ID: #ti1509589545

We are looking to create a contest or a hack-a-thon to bring users and developers together in one room to design apps we have not even thought of.  In the interim, ask yourself what types of applications you would like to see developers work on.

Component ID: #ti1509589547

The point is, while we are genuinely excited about some of the changes we’re making to, they’re all meaningless if they don’t meet the needs of our users.  We greatly appreciate and encourage your feedback at, and hope to construct a new site worthy of your daily interest and explorations.

Component ID: #ti1509589548

You can also follow us on Twitter @uscensusbureau for the latest updates, news and statistics about our changing nation’s people, places and economy.

  Is this page helpful?
Thumbs Up Image Yes    Thumbs Down Image No
Comments or suggestions?
No, thanks
255 characters remaining
Thank you for your feedback.
Comments or suggestions?
Back to Header