Census Data for Transportation Planning

Older Census Data (pre-2000)

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Old Journey-to-Work Data
The FHWA is continuing a project to archive and protect journey-to-work data from the 1970 and 1980 Censuses. Older census datasets are becoming harder to manage due to obsolete mainframe computer storage media (e.g., 6250 bpi density tapes). Please contact the FHWA staff if you have old datasets that can be admitted into the archive, or are seeking old journey-to-work data for your research efforts. FHWA contacts: Elaine Murakami, Nanda Srinivasan, Ed Christopher.

Questions on commuting and the journey-to-work first appeared in the 1960 Census. Data on means of transportation to work, and county-to-county total workers, may be available in hard copy Census Bureau publications, or in records maintained by Metropolitan Planning Organizations. Check with your local University library or your MPO.

 The 1970 Census was the first decennial census to offer a cost-reimbursable journey-to- work program. It was named the UTP, or Urban Transportation Package. Data produced included tract-to-tract commuters by means of transportation to work.

 An out-of-print data report on the 1960-1970 journey-to-work data is the Urban Transportation Factbook (Parts #1 and #2) co-published by the American Institute of Planners (AIP) and the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association of the US (MVMA), March 1974. Copies may be available in University, MPO or State DOT libraries.

 The 1980 Census was the second decennial census to provide a cost-reiumbursable journey-to- work program. It was named the UTPP, or Urban Transportation Planning Package. Approximately 150 MPOs purchased their UTPP data from the Census Bureau.

 The 1990 Census was the first decennial census to include a nationwide journey-to-work program. The 1990 CTPP was an AASHTO pooled-fund program, and included "statewide elements" that included place-to-place and county-to-county commute data; and "urban elements" that included the traditional TAZ-to-TAZ and tract-to-tract tabulations. Data for the 1990 CTPP was distributed on 12 CDs for the statewide element; and 33 CDs for the urban elements. These CDs are still being distributed by the USDOT Bureau of Transporation Statistics (http://products.bts.gov/).

Other Old Census Data

One of the best online sources for 1990 Census data is the Census Bureau's 1990 Lookup page, at: http://homer.ssd.census.gov/cdrom/lookup. Also of interest is the Census Bureau's 1990 Census data site, at: http://www.census.gov/main/www/cen1990.html.

 The University of Virginia and ICPSR maintain a historical census data browser (1790-1960) with data at state and county-level, at: http://fisher.lib.virginia.edu/census/. Also of interest is the CIESIN (University of Michigan) Archive of Census Related Products, at: http://sedac.ciesin.org/plue/cenguide.html.

 A genealogists perspective on the US decennial census and other censuses is available at Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet, at: http://www.cyndislist.com/census.htm.

Page last updated: September 10, 2002