Why is there no data from the US Census Bureau

I just discovered DBnomics. Looks a great resource, and I hope to use it. But I have to ask: am I missing something because I can’t find US Census data? BEA and BLS are here, but Census produces some of the most important indicators for the US economy. Seems odd that I can’t find it. If I’ve overlooked it somehow, I appologize.

I agree that the US Census has amazing data. Some census data may be appropriate for DBNomics because it is presented in consistent, time series formats.

Two challenges of US census data make much of it not fit into the DBNomics paradigm (economic time series). The first is the sheer size of the data available. It is MASSIVE. Hundreds of features are available down to the census block level (a few city blocks in urban areas). The second is that data definitions change regularly. Census blocks are meant to have a consistent number of people, so their geographical boundaries change as the population changes. The variable definitions change, too.

The US census already has an outstanding API, and there are some great wrappers around it for R and Python, such as tidycensus. Check out Kyle Walker’s awesome (free) book for more detailed discussion.

I hope this is helpful!

Thanks for the response. But I do find it puzzling.

I would not expect a project like DBnomics to import the full population data from the US Census! Of course it’s massive, and not in an easily digestible format.

But the US Census also produces key economic time series such as Retail Sales, Manufacturing inventories and sales, and housing starts and construction statistics and so on. Without these, DBnomics is essentially crippled for much US macroeconomic research. I don’t understand why there wouldn’t be an effort to include this data, at least to match the data provided by other developed countries.

Admittedly, the decentralized US statistical system is frustrating to work with. But without the Census economics data, DBnomics can’t really claim to have any kind of comprehensive set of US data, which does seem like a fairly large gat.