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Selecting Rural Data in American Factfinder

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This step-by-step guide from the Rural Health Information Hub shows 2 methods for selecting rural data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Factfinder tool, which provides access to a wide range of statistics describing the U.S. population. Learn how to use the Geographic Comparison Tables and direct selection of locations to easily identify data for use in rural health grant applications, community health needs assessments, and more.

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Selecting Rural Data in American Factfinder

  1. 1. Finding Statistics and Data Related to Rural Health Selecting Rural Data in American Factfinder December 2016 ruralhealthinfo.org
  2. 2. Two Methods for Selecting Rural Data Method 1: Geographic Comparison Tables The simplest method for finding both rural and urban data. Method 2: Choose Specific Geographies Useful if you are seeking only rural statistics.
  3. 3. Method 1: Geographic Comparison Tables
  4. 4. What are Geographic Comparison Tables (GCTs)? GCTs provide statistics for a group of related geographic areas. You can use GCTs to compare data for: • Urban/Rural • Metropolitan/Micropolitan/Noncore
  5. 5. Begin at http://factfinder.census.gov
  6. 6. Select “Advanced Search”, then click the SHOW ME ALL button
  7. 7. Select “Topics”
  8. 8. In “Topics”, select “Product Type”
  9. 9. Then select “Geographic Comparison Table”
  10. 10. Click CLOSE in the “Select Topics” window
  11. 11. Under “topic or table name”, enter “rural” and click GO
  12. 12. The list of tables will be updated to reflect your selections so far
  13. 13. From here, add additional topics of interest, for example “Veterans”
  14. 14. If you select 5-year ACS estimates by state from the list:
  15. 15. You will see state level rural statistics for Alabama:
  16. 16. With the option to view the same data for other 5-year periods (end year shown):
  17. 17. As well as the option to view the same data for other states:
  18. 18. Method 2: Choose Specific Geographies
  19. 19. Begin at http://factfinder.census.gov
  20. 20. Select “Advanced Search”, then click the SHOW ME ALL button
  21. 21. Check “Your Selections” to see if any previous search selections are listed
  22. 22. If search selections are listed, click “clear all selections and start a new search”
  23. 23. Select “Geographies”
  24. 24. Within Geographies, click on the “Name” Tab
  25. 25. On the Name Tab, scroll down to “Show Geographic Components”
  26. 26. Click the “Show Geographic Components” checkbox
  27. 27. Type “rural” in the search box and click “Go”
  28. 28. The list will update to show just those choices that include “rural”
  29. 29. Select the choices you want, such as “United States -- Rural”
  30. 30. You could also select a state, for example “Colorado -- Rural”
  31. 31. Once you’ve made your selections, click the “Add” button
  32. 32. The choices you added appear in “Your Selections”
  33. 33. Click the x to remove “rural” from “Your Geography Filters” To add comparison data for the entire U.S. and all of Colorado:
  34. 34. “United States” will be at the top of the list. Select and click “Add”
  35. 35. Type “Colorado” in the search box and click “Go”
  36. 36. “Colorado” will be at the top of the list. Select and click “Add”
  37. 37. “Your Selections” now lists U.S. and Colorado, overall and rural
  38. 38. Now select the type of data you are interested in, such as “Topics”
  39. 39. For example, you might be seeking data on Veterans
  40. 40. After making your selection, click CLOSE in the “Select Topics” window
  41. 41. If you select the 5-year ACS estimates for Veteran Status:
  42. 42. You will get detailed data for the geography and topic selected: Table modified for display purposes. Margin of error columns removed.
  43. 43. With the option to view the same data for other 5-year periods (end year shown):
  44. 44. For more information on rural data: The Rural Health Information Hub guide Finding Statistics and Data Related to Rural Health https://www.ruralhealthinfo.org/ topics/statistics-and-data ruralhealthinfo.org

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