Business & Career Library

Business Resources: Demographic Information

Consumers, that is customers for the products or services a company offers, can be individuals or businesses. The Census offers information on both; the Census of Populations gives you data or demographics about people and the Economic Census covers businesses and industries.

Population Demographics

Visit the Census website's American FactFinder for demographics on individuals. To get a "Fact Sheet" on the population of an area enter a geographic designation such as New York, NY or a specific zip code.

The most recent Census data was collected in 2010; the American Community Survey offers more recent information for states, counties and major cities. The data in both surveys is classified as "General," "Social," "Economic" and "Household" characteristics. Click on "Show More" to get more details. Information on household income is found under "Economic Characteristics."

More demographic and economic information is found in the Census Bureau's County and City Data Book a local area supplement to the Statistical Abstract of the USA. Counties and cities arranged alphabetically by state and the data are listed in tables.

For an explanation of the census and how you can use it take a look at The who, what, and where of America : understanding the census results, a book in the Business Library's collection.

The Census offers much, much more. Here is just a sampling:

  • Facts on the Hispanic/Latino population including social and economic characteristics
  • Detailed income data for all areas to research discretionary spending power
  • Comprehensive information about Federal government expenditures, in The Consolidated Funds Report.

Business Demographics

For data or demographics on business customers, use the Economic Census. The How to Research and Industry section gives an explanation of what you will find.

For determining the number of businesses of a particular type in a county or state - check out County Business Patterns on the Census Bureau site, remembering that Brooklyn is Kings County. (The Business Library also has County Business Patterns in print format.)

Reference USA also does this and also give details on the company's name, owner, location and more.

New York City Data

New York City's Department of City Planning offers one of the most NYC-friendly ways to access census data at the community district level. Access to the data is through the official New York City website,, click on "Reference."

The Business Library also has the Department of City Planning's Socioeconomic Profiles of New York City Community Districts, covering ancestry, nativity, poverty, education, income, labor force participation, housing costs, vehicle availability and commutation information; Statements of Community District Needs for all five boroughs; and Demographic Profiles, covering total population by age, household type and size, and housing unit size, type and vacancy data in paper format.


American Community Survey
American FactFinder:
Consolidated Fund Report:
County and City Data Book:
County Business Patterns:
Economic Census:
New York City Department of City Planning:
Statistical Abstract of the USA: