Open Census Data

Visualize & download neighborhood demographic Insights

#5 Product of the DayNovember 19, 2018

Visualize Census demographics and visit pattern data by Census Block Group (neighborhood). Easily bulk download all the data.

Would you recommend this product?
12 Reviews5.0/5
Kevin, thanks for the hunt - I’m excited to share Open Census Data with the Product Hunt community. I’m Auren, the CEO of SafeGraph. SafeGraph is just a data company that believes in open access to information to spur innovation. We made Open Census Data because our customers needed this data to extend our Places Patterns dataset ( but couldn’t find it anywhere. Unfortunately, the download process is simply too difficult through the Census Bureau that most of our customers just gave up. And this wasn’t just a problem our customers faced. Use cases for Census data are everywhere and this remained a consistent bottleneck. You shouldn’t need to follow a confusing multi-step process ( several times over just to access publicly available data. In the spirit of open data, in addition to the Census data we also included a version of SafeGraph Patterns at the neighborhood level (census block group). This dataset answers questions such as: + Where brands do people visit in these neighborhoods? + When do people travel to a given neighborhood? + What neighborhoods do people travel from? Feel free to ask the team and I questions.
@auren looks awesome! very glad someone finally built this
@rogerdickey thx! that's super high praise coming from the Founder of Gigster. much appreciated!
Cool dataset. I’ve seen around the internet there are various ways to get different parts and pieces of the Census data already. How did you guys realize this needed to be made?
@kevin_w_huo There are different ways to get the data for specific states or zip codes. Our struggle, and the struggle for our customers, was to get the data on a national level in a single download. When apparently even Census Bureau employees are confounded by the website design, we knew we needed to do something. For example, see this 8 step answer which only gets you part of the data:
Hi Product Hunt! My name's Noah — I'm a data scientist at SafeGraph and am on the team that built this product. Would love for you to poke around this dataset and let me know what you think. Happy to answer any questions you may have about what we're releasing today :)
@noah_yonack Amazing stuff! As someone in the industry (not yet in the US) I have definitely felt the pain of having to gather census data from a million different sources. Just one question: How are you handling updating the data – when the next census comes I imagine – and do you plan on releasing an updated version when that happens? Love the idea, and the vision of open information for open innovation. Congrats!
@ignacio_guli_moreno Glad to hear this might be useful to you! You're exactly right — we plan to update and re-release this dataset when the next census comes out.
@noah_yonack Sounds awesome! Are you planning on releasing a blog post or something related to how you managed to put this together? Would be interesting to learn what technologies and workflows companies like SafeGraph use to build these cool datasets. Cheers!
@ignacio_guli_moreno Good question — we may release a blog post in the future about this! Will ping my team on this.
@noah_yonack great! Also, I have tried getting the data, and couldn't find it. Turns out it's being sent to the spam folder (Gmail). Just a heads up!
Very cool! how does the Open Census Data and neighborhood analytics fit in with the existing work you guys are doing and the larger vision?
@kashish_gupta Machine learning runs on data. Great data beats great algorithms. That means the more, and the better the data, the more innovation. Currently, companies like Google, Facebook, Tencent, and Amazon are able to collect data at vast scales. If they get a monopoly on data, they will likely get a monopoly on innovation. Getting as much data out there in front of businesses and researchers will empower more innovation with data. Open Census Data, neighborhood analytics, and the other datasets we curate like SafeGraph Places all aim to do just that. You can read more here:
neat! @auren what are some folks using this for? anything cool you'd like to see built?
@tomfme census data is really rich in information. I would highly encourage you downloading it and playing around with it.