Guide to the U.S. Census of Population: Tract & Block Data

Use American FactFinder to determine the census tract number for an address

Note: Turn off the pop-up blocker in your browser before searching American FactFinder.

Definition: A Census Tract is a small, relatively permanent statistical subdivision of a county delineated by a local committee of census data users for the purpose of presenting data. Census tracts nest within counties, and their boundaries normally follow visible features, but may follow legal geography boundaries and other non-visible features in some instances, Census tracts ideally contain about 4,000 people and 1,600 housing units. More information about census tracts.

Find census tract number and data by street address:

  1. From American FactFinder, click on the link to Census Tract Street Locator from the lower right side of the page, which brings you to the Geographies option in the Advanced Search.
  2. Input an address, including the zip code, in the appropriate boxes and click on Go
  3. In the Geography Results table that comes up, the geographical areas in which the address is located will be listed by the Geography Type, and it will also include the census tract number listed in the Geography Name column.
  4. Click on the census tract number to add this to your search criteria. It will appear under Your Selections at the top left corner of the page.
  5. You are now ready to enter additional criteria by clicking the plus sign + next to relevant Topics, Race and Ethnic Groups, etc. from the menus on the left-hand side to create your data tables.
  6. Note: to change the year of the census data, under Topics, click the plus sign + next to Year.

If you can't find your census tract number by address in American FactFinder:

  • Try using the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council's tool and then return to American FactFinder and search the census tract number using the Guided or Advanced search options, selecting Geographies, and then the geographic type.
  • Go to the Census Reference Maps site and download the census tract map for the year of the census and state.

Sources for Finding Older Census Tract Data

Since American FactFinder only has the last two decennial census and the latest American Community Survey data, to find detailed data on population and housing at the census tract level, one must rely on print sources, which are listed below and available in the Oviatt Library. The catalog record has a "map it!" button to lead you to the location of the volumes.

  • 1990 Census volumes are located on the 3rd floor of the Oviatt Library, stack #1, labeled with the call number HA 201 1990.

  • 1980 Census volumes are located on the 3rd floor of the Oviatt Library, stack #1, labeled with the call number HA 201 1980.

    • Note: Data for Los Angeles by tract numbers is in the volumes labeled PHC80-2- 226

    • For other locations, click this link to access the catalog record for the 1980 census of population and housing. Census tracts Then, click the View Additional Copies button to display the volumes of the area you need.

    • If you do not see the census tract volumes for the area you need, search the Library Catalog by keyword as follows: 1980 census tracts name of city/county.

  • Additional years of the Census maybe found by searching the Library Catalog by title, "YYYY census of population."

What if the census tract number changed?

  • To find earlier census tract numbers for Los Angeles and other southern California counties by street address, consult the census tract maps using the Thomas Guide (Census Tract Ed.)

  • Go to the Census Reference Maps site and download the census tract map for the year of the census and state.

See Also: Where Can I Find Historical Census Data FAQ