I would like to download 2010 Census Block Data for several towns and I can't seem to find it on American Factfinder.

Is it there? And if not, does anyone know where I could find it?

  • 23
    That website is a total trainwreck. I feel your pain.
    – Nathanus
    May 6 '11 at 15:19
  • Only the "redistricting data" have been released, which is happening now in May 2011. See 2010.census.gov/2010census/data .
    – whuber
    May 6 '11 at 15:27
  • 1
    Apparently now you can only get Block-level 2010 population data for U.S. Territories? Anyone know why states are no longer available? Aug 3 '14 at 22:14
  • 1
    If you have a new question, please ask it by clicking the Ask Question button. Include a link to this question if it helps provide context.
    – Brad Nesom
    Nov 14 '14 at 21:38
  • I want to point out that website requires you enter a specific address to get a predicted income level based on Census tract information, according to their about page. It is not true block level information.
    – Chris W
    Nov 22 '14 at 21:46

12 Answers 12


UPDATE American Factfinder has been decommissioned. The replacement is Explore Census Data.

It is on the new version of American Factfinder and don't feel bad, even Census Bureau employees are confounded by the new site.

Example for population and housing for Newark, DE:

Start searching for the theme you're after:

  1. Under Topics choose People > Basic Count/Estimate > Population Total and Housing > Basic Count/Estimate > Housing Units - or whatever you're interested in. Your results will show up in the table list in the main window.
  • See your current filter in the 'Your Selections' window in the top left-hand window
  1. Click on Geographies, a window for selecting geographies opens. Note if you select a geography where the table above is not available, you'll get a message and your options will reflect what is available at this geographic level.

    • Select a Geographic Type ie. Block Group - 150
    • Select a State
    • Select a County
    • Click from the available geographic unit from the 'Select one or more geographic areas...' and choose Add to your selection
    • Your geography is added to the 'Your Selections' window
    • Close the Select Geographies window.
      • Note if you want to download tables for multiple counties, go through the Geographies window again and you'll see each one added to 'Your Selections'
  2. If you want to further filter your results to a race/ethnic group, click Race and Ethnic groups

    • Note if you have chosen a topic that doesn't allow a filter by race/ethnicity, you should clear that from 'Your Selections' window and choose a different topic (or leave it blank)
  3. Click from the table list in the main window to add to your download list

    • note these
  4. Click the download button and verify your .zip creation and download

  5. When your download is finished, open the .zip and see the file ending with _with_ann.csv

    • This is your data that you will load into your database or join to your shapefile
    • Note the GEO.id2 column - this is the BLOCKGROUP ID that will link to the same column in your Blockgroup Shapefile

Here is an image showing how to open the CSV in LibreOffice - ensure the GEO.id2 column is read as 'TEXT' so that leading 0's are kept (and ensure you set up the proper column data type if you import into PostgreSQL)

enter image description here

And lastly the data in LibreOffice, showing that when you do import the data somewhere, discard the second and third columns so you only keep the header and data:

enter image description here

  • Note that this only works for cities, not towns.
    – neuhausr
    May 11 '11 at 13:23
  • It works for towns for me. With what town are you having problems?
    – Sean
    May 11 '11 at 15:15
  • Ex: Hassan Twp in Minnesota (or Alexandria Twp in NJ). Once you pick that Geography, the only Summary Levels available are County Subdivision (the total) and Census Tract. It seems like for sub-county units, only Census "Places" have the "All Blocks Within" option? Probably depends on how the Census classifies things in each state.
    – neuhausr
    May 12 '11 at 13:20
  • Townships are different from towns by Census Bureau definitions. Part of the confusion is that town and township are often synonymous in MN. You're right that there is no filter for townships and other Minor Civil Divisions (MCDs). The data that is there now is for redistricting and MCDs probably aren't a priority because they are so inconsistent across the country. Look for it to be an option in the future.
    – Sean
    May 12 '11 at 13:40
  • @Sean I just went through this process, and it has changed a bit... do you mind if I update this answer? Aug 21 '16 at 15:28

http://www.census.gov/geo/www/tiger/tgrshp2010/tgrshp2010.html allows you to download census blocks by county.

Update: the TIGER/shapefiles does not have any demographic data - if that's what you are looking for you would need American FactFinder.

  • Thanks! Though I guess i should have specified. I actually am looking for the demographic data at the block level.
    – user573163
    May 6 '11 at 15:34
  • I think that only has the geography, the population data isn't attached.
    – neuhausr
    May 6 '11 at 15:35
  • Correct, the TIGER/shapefiles does not have any demographic data - for that you would need American FactFinder. May 6 '11 at 15:48
  • Right, and apparently they don't have that data yet: ask.census.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/356/kw/census%20block/…
    – user573163
    May 6 '11 at 15:54
  • @user573163, that link is from the 2000 Census. The Census released the New American FactFinder earlier this year (it's factfinder2.census.gov vs. factfinder.census.gov)
    – neuhausr
    May 6 '11 at 16:33

They are available on the Census FTP site at http://www2.census.gov/geo/tiger/TIGER2010BLKPOPHU/

  • This link contains # of houses and Population. Sep 6 '14 at 22:06

To get a whole state's data, you can use the ftp option here: http://www.census.gov/rdo/data/2010_census_redistricting_data_pl_94-171_summary_files.html That's probably overkill, but since with FactFinder you 1) can't select a town's blocks by themselves (only cities or counties) and 2) can't download (in my experience) a whole county's blocks through FactFinder, that may be the best option. You might check if the state has released the block data in an easier to manage format, too.


just download the block data and then get the demographic profile summary file...
DPSF information pdf
DPSF page

  • are you sure you can lookup data by blocks? I have populated my database w/ data from CA: www2.census.gov/census_2010/03-Demographic_Profile and all of the block, block_group, census tract columns are blank. Only state and country levels are filled out in the Geo_Header table. How can I reference by (fips) block code?
    – eggie5
    Jul 11 '13 at 17:55

Just to add the National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS) to the list. It provides, free of charge, aggregate census data and GIS-compatible boundary files for the United States, currently between 1790 and 2012. For Data availability see here.


The main Census TIGER page here lists 2010 Census Population and Housing Unit Counts - Blocks:

These state based files have the population and housing unit count by block from the 2010 Census. These files are available for the 50 states and the District of Columbia only.

Unfortunately the database is down right now so I can't test it, but that looks like the right resource.

  • 1
    And...weeks later, still "performing system maintenance." Dec 24 '13 at 3:01
  • 1
    And...months later.... Feb 18 '14 at 21:03

You can get block and block group census data at: http://www.census.gov/2010census/popmap/ Have to dig into the system a bit, but good data available.


I wanted to update @Sean and @DPSSpecial's response by focusing on the Census Block request. In my first attempt I found it somewhat frustrating to understand how to get block-level data.

I decided to start with Geography because I was not sure what data was available at the block level and in using the Guided search, i kept getting 0 available datasets. So, using the Advanced Search as they suggested I first didn't see Block as a selection. You have to choose the 'all geographic types' at the top of the dialog. After a minute the dialog refreshes and there is Block near the bottom.

enter image description here

Next is the step to narrow down your geographic area of interest. Below is an image showing my experience. For me, the biggest realization was that I did not have to pick a census tract. The UI gives no indication that this is optional. I wanted all of LA County and thought for a moment I would have to go tract by tract... But that's not the case.

enter image description here

I hope this helps someone.


As of 2020, the american fact finder has been taken down. 2010 block groups by state are now available from https://www2.census.gov/geo/tiger/TIGER2010BLKPOPHU/.

Use these codes to identify the right file https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/?cid=nrcs143_013696


Just use NHGIS. You can get the tabular data and and any GIS geographies you may need, all in one place. and it comes pre-formatted for joining using the GISJOIN field.


Go to http://www.publicmapping.org/resources/data to get data in Excel. Great Site!


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.