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FAQs for Business Research

A collection for business research frequently-asked-questions, how-to's, and other random research tips.

If you are looking at demographic or economic trends over time by city or county, the U.S. Census can be a great source of information.  Unfortunately, Census data prior to the year 2000 can be challenging to easily retrieve.  

I've found that the County and City Data Book or  Statistical Abstract of the United States to some of the easier sources to use when trying to find older Census data.  It's a  bit of a time consuming process, but the directions below are pretty easy to follow. 

Note:  The directions below are for the County and City Data Book, but the same process will work for the Statistical Abstract of the United States

1. Go to source book and Select a Year

  • If you have more-advanced data and research needs, you might find the IPUMS USA data more useful.   Please note that I am not an expert by any means on using IPUMS.  

Using the County & City Data Book via Hathi Trust, choose the volume/year that you need.


Image demonstrating choosing a volume/year

2. Search for your location

Use the Keyword search box to search for your City or County


Search by city in the Hathi Trust search box

3. Find data from search results

Click the links to specific pages with your location name.  You may need to look at multiple pages within the volume to find what you are looking for. 


Find pages that match your city


Read the census data in the PDF