MAY 25, 2023 — Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released the 2020 Census Demographic Profile and Demographic and Housing Characteristics File (DHC). These products provide the next round of data available from the 2020 Census, adding more detail to the population counts and basic demographic and housing statistics previously released for the purposes of congressional apportionment and legislative redistricting.
“These statistics belong to the American people. Thank you for your participation in the census and encouraging your friends, neighbors and community to respond. We’re giving these data back to you now to understand and benefit your community,” Census Bureau Director Robert L. Santos said. “2020 Census data will serve as an important baseline for years to come for our annual surveys and population estimates, and in the community planning and funding decisions taking place around the nation.”
The newly released 2020 Census data products go beyond the data already available on the total population, the voting-age (age 18 and older) population, race, Hispanic origin and housing occupancy. This release contains more detailed age groups, the first data available on sex from the 2020 Census, information on families and households, and more detail on housing. They also show the intersection of many of these topics by race and Hispanic origin.
The Demographic Profile provides an overview of the topics covered in the 2020 Census in one, easy-to-reference table for geographies down to the tract level. The DHC provides more detailed tables, many down to the block level. The Demographic Profile and many of the DHC tables are also available for ZIP Code Tabulation Areas — generalized representations of U.S. Postal Service ZIP Code service routes.
The 2020 Census shows the following about the nation’s age and sex composition:
The public can explore these age and sex statistics in two data visualizations:
A series of downloadable ranking tables related to each visualization is also available.
More information about age and sex is also available in the America Counts stories: An Aging U.S. Population With Fewer Children in 2020 and 2020 Census: 1 in 6 People in the United States Were 65 and Over, and two briefs: Age and Sex Composition: 2020 and The Older Population: 2020.
The DHC provides age and sex data on the major race and ethnic groups defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. The data show the following about the age and sex composition of race and ethnic groups:
Comparisons between the 2020 Census and 2010 Census race data should be made with caution and take into account improvements the Census Bureau made to the Hispanic origin and race questions and the ways it codes what people report in their responses.
Accordingly, data from the 2020 Census show different but reasonable and expected distributions from the 2010 Census for the White alone population, the Some Other Race alone or in combination population, and the Multiracial population, especially for people who self-identify as both White and Some Other Race. These results are not surprising as they align with Census Bureau research this past decade, particularly with the results from the 2015 National Content Test, about the impacts of question format on race and ethnicity reporting. The improvements more accurately illustrate the richness and complexity of how people identify their race and ethnicity in the 21st century.
More information about Hispanic origin is available in the America Counts story: Hispanic Population Is Younger But Aging Faster Than Non-Hispanic Population.
In September, through the Detailed DHC-A product, the Census Bureau will release 2020 Census population counts and sex-by-age statistics for approximately 370 detailed racial and ethnic groups, such as German, Lebanese, Jamaican, Chinese, Native Hawaiian and Mexican, as well as about 1,200 detailed American Indian and Alaska Native tribes and villages, such as the Navajo Nation.
The 2020 Census provides information on U.S. households, defined as all the people living in a housing unit, including people living alone or in families (two or more people living together related by birth, marriage or adoption).
More information about families and households is available in the America Counts stories: Family Households Still the Majority and Share of U.S. Coupled Households Declined in 2020.
The 2020 Census provides information about occupied and vacant housing units. For occupied units, it includes information on tenure — whether the householder owns or rents the home. For vacant units, the 2020 Census provides information on the reasons for vacancy — whether the unit is for rent, for sale, held for seasonal use, etc.
The 2020 Census provides information on the population in group quarters — places where people live or stay in a group living arrangement that is owned or managed by organizations providing housing or services for the residents. They include places such as college residence halls, group homes, military barracks, emergency and transitional shelters, and correctional facilities. The DHC provides data on group quarters by age groups, sex, race and Hispanic origin, and group quarters types.
Group quarters population data available in the DHC include:
Group quarters data are available at data.census.gov.
The Census Bureau has a variety of tools to help the public explore and use these data.
A subset of the Demographic Profile and DHC data is available for easy exploration in the data visualizations, supported by additional resources.
The full Demographic Profile and DHC are available on the Census Bureau’s data dissemination platform, data.census.gov.
This platform allows data users to search geographies and access the data through tables, maps and downloads:
Instructional videos and how-to guides on accessing the DHC data, finding tracts using a map, exploring data for urban and rural areas, downloading and exporting data, and comparing 2020 and 2010 data are available on the 2020 Demographic and Housing Characteristics File (DHC) webpage.
As with all Census Bureau data products, the data in today’s release use disclosure avoidance methods to protect respondent confidentiality. To ensure that no one can link the published data to a specific person or household with any certainty, “statistical noise”— small, random additions or subtractions —was added to the data. The Census Bureau worked closely with the data user community to implement these protections. To assist with understanding how the new disclosure avoidance protections work, visit Disclosure Avoidance and the 2020 Census: The TopDown Algorithm and Why the Census Bureau Chose Differential Privacy.
When using DHC and Demographic Profile data, the Census Bureau encourages data users to aggregate small populations and geographies to improve accuracy and diminish implausible results. More information about how the statistical noise affects the data is available in the blog: What to Expect: Disclosure Avoidance and the 2020 Census Demographic and Housing Characteristics File. Additionally, the Census Bureau released metrics today to help data users understand the disclosure avoidance-related variability in the DHC. The 2020 Census is the first to be able to quantify this variability because it uses a more sophisticated approach for disclosure avoidance.
For information on 2020 Census data collection, confidentiality protection, nonsampling error, subject definitions, and guidance on using the data, visit the 2020 Census Demographic and Housing Characteristics File Summary File (DHC) Technical Documentation webpage. The results from the Post-Enumeration Survey and Demographic Analysis also offer additional insight about the quality of the 2020 Census.