Getting start with American Factfinder

This lab provides some tips for using American Factfinder to complete a neighborhood analysis over time in Philadelphia.

First, you will need to identify the location of your neighborhood and identify the appropriate Census Tracts in 2000 and 2010. Note that these numbers can change over time, as can the basic geographies. It is extremely important that the boundaries used in 2000 match the boundaries used in 2010. Otherwise, you are not comparing the same neighborhoods.
This website is a helpful starting point, but there are no official neighborhood designations in Philadelphia. To find your Census boundaries, refer to these or other resources:
Tiger Web Apps
2000 Census Tract Maps (note that you can change the location of the map based on the number at the end of the URL and the map key in the bottom right.)
2010 Maps (See note above about moving the map)

Once you have written down the appropriate Census Tract numbers, get started with American Factfinder. In the left drag-down menu, start with Advanced Search. I recommend starting with the dataset in the Topics section and entering one of the data sets you plan to use (e.g., 2000 SF3, the 2000 long form data.) After you click on the dataset, you will see it gets added to the selection criteria in the top left.

Next, click Geographies, manually enter Census Tracts, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and the desired Census Tract numbers.

Next, start with the quick tables to begin your database on the neighborhood.

From this base, you can add more specific data that are relevant to your neighborhood analysis. I recommend using the search function above. Be sure to remove the Product Type: Quick Tables from the top left selection, before searching to see a complete list. Do, however, keep the data type selected. Otherwise you will be searching from an unmanageable number.

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