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BA 516 Creating Value in Exchange

Research guide for BA 516 Creating Value in Exchange

Demographic Tools

To construct a successful business or marketing plan, it is important to know your audience. Demographic tools are a good way to discover something about the people and the communities you plan to market to.

Here are several online tools (freely available) to get you started.

Statistical Abstract of the United States from Proquest (this one is available to OSU students, faculty and staff only) - A comprehensive collection of statistics on the social, political, and economic conditions of the United States. Tables may be downloaded as Excel or PDF files.


American FactFinder - Data from the U.S. Census Bureau's many surveys. Includes population, housing, and economic information. A step-by-step LibGuide for how to use AFF can be found at


Oregon Explorer: Rural Communities - Information compiled and updated here at OSU. It pulls together information from a variety of sources about Oregon communities that can't be found anywhere else.


About Census Data

Census Bureau Home Page

This is the primary entry point to current and historical Census data for various topics (people and housing, business and industry, and several special topics) and by geography. News, quick facts, publications, and interactive maps are also available. Meant primarily for "power users" of data, or if you are looking for information from specific surveys; most people will elect to use American FactFinder and other aggregated sources of Census information.

  • There is a "Quick Facts" box in the middle of the page where you can easily pull basic data with a few clicks.Choose a state from the drop-down and take it from there!
  • Find information about and links to various Census and related surveys using the Topic or Geography drop-downs at the top of the page.
  • Quick links to data are listed at the bottom of the page.
  • To find or create downloadable tables and maps, use American Factfinder. 


Census data is also available in many other databases and publications. Here are some useful examples.


Earliest date

Latest date

Smallest geography aggregated, when available

Mapping utility included?

Download formats


Statistical Abstract of the U.S. (Proquest)



Most indicators national
Some by state


Data: Excel
Presentation format: PDF

This online version OSU only. Historic paper back to 1879: HA 202. 

Historic eds. online (freely available)

Historical Statistics of the United States



Most indicators national
Some by state


Data: Excel
Presentation format: PDF

This online version OSU only. Also in paper (colonial times to 1970: HA202 .B87 1976)




Block Group


Data: Excel, CSV, PDF
Maps: GIF, PDF

Database for OSU use only. Can choose variables from multiple surveys; can compare data from different years in normalized 2000 or 2010 geographies (Includes marketing data from other sources, too)

American FactFinder





Data: CSV
Presentation format: PDF, Excel, RTF

Freely available. Can choose variables from multiple surveys including Economic Census, American Community Survey

Census FTP site



Block (some files)


Data: ASCII fixed width, CSV, DBF, and others

Freely available. Selected raw Census data, some back to 1960s