The US Census Bureau has released its first-ever API to the public. The new US Census Bureau API allows “developers to design Web and mobile apps to explore or learn more about America’s changing population and economy,” according to the announcement.
The new Census API provides data from two sets of popular statistics:
As noted by the U.S. Census Bureau: The API does not include any information that could identify an individual; such information is kept strictly confidential by law. The API only uses statistics that the Census Bureau has already released publicly and in aggregate form.
Developers can access the Census API data through a stateless HTTP GET request and responses are returned in JSON format. In order to access the data, a key must be inserted into the request URL. Developers can request a key by submitting a key request form.
Screenshot of the U.S Census Interactive Population Map – View live at http://2010.census.gov/2010census/popmap/
The U.S. Census Bureau has also launched a Developer Forum and an App Gallery where developers can provide feedback on the API, submit questions and share apps that have been created using the Census API. There are currently two applications featured in the App Gallery:
With the release of the U.S. Census Bureau’s first-ever public API and other upcoming communication improvements, the U.S. Census Bureau is striving to meet the goals of the President’s digital strategy of making information more transparent and customer-centered.