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New York City Census FactFinder Printer Friendly Version
New York City Census FactFinder
(NYC CFF)

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is New York City Census FactFinder (NYC CFF)?
  2. What types of searches can be performed in NYC CFF?
  3. What is a census tract?
  4. What is a Neighborhood Tabulation Area (NTA)?
  5. Can NYC CFF show me what population changes occurred in my area of interest in New York City?
  6. How accurate are the profile estimates in NYC CFF
  7. How reliable are the profile estimates in NYC CFF?
  8. Can I print out and save my search results?
  9. Can I go back and examine old search results?
  10. Where can I get information on New York City Community Districts (CDs)?
  11. How do I create my own study area and what is the maximum number of Census Tracts that I can select?

  1. What is New York City Census FactFinder (NYC CFF)?
    New York City Census FactFinder (NYC CFF) is New York City’s online map portal for querying Census information. It was developed by the Department of City Planning and Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications. The application provides up-to-date Census data for locations in New York City. To begin a search, choose the type of geographic area you want to profile (census tract or Neighborhood Tabulation Area). Then pick your location. You can search by address, intersection, place of interest, census tract, subway station, or neighborhood. Alternatively, you can simply use the select tool Select Tool on the interactive map to choose a census tract or Neighborhood Tabulation Area to be profiled. Multiple census tracts can be selected using the radius tool Buffer Tool or by using the radiustool and the control key together. For more information, view the User Guide.
  2. What types of searches can be performed in NYC CFF?
    The most recent release of NYC CFF has an expanded number of search methods that can be used to identify a census tract or Neighborhood Tabulation Area  of interest. Users can search by address, intersection, place of interest, census tract, subway station, or Neighborhood Tabulation Area using the “Search for a Location” section on the left console.

    See the CFF User Guide's section on using the console to search for a location

  3. What is a census tract?
    Census tracts are small statistical subdivisions of counties used by the US Census Bureau. In New York City, there are 2,168 census tracts, which typically have a population of about 3,000-4,000 each, and an average land area of about 90 acres. Each decade, the Census Bureau updates this geography, attempting to keep changes to a minimum. However, there were a sizeable number of changes between 2000 and 2010. Therefore, it is important for users of NYC CFF to keep in mind that it is the 2010 census tract geography employed in the application.
  4. What is a Neighborhood Tabulation Area (NTA)?
    Neighborhood Tabulation Areas, or NTAs, are aggregations of census tracts from the 2010 Census. They are are subsets of New York City's 55 Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs), which roughly represent the city’s Community Districts. NTA boundaries and their associated names do not definitively represent neighborhoods. NTAs were created to project populations at a small area level, from 2000 to 2030 for PlaNYC, the long-term sustainability plan for New York City. Since population size affects the error associated with population projections, these geographic units needed to have a minimum population, which was determined to be 15,000. This criterion resulted in combinations of neighborhoods into NTAs.

    The NTA geography is a valuable summary level for both the 2010 Census and the American Community Survey (ACS).  Regarding the decennial census, these geographic areas offer a good compromise between the very detailed data for census tracts (2,168) and the broad strokes provided by PUMAs (55). For the ACS, NTAs offer a statistically reliable alternative to the high sampling error that renders data for most individual census tracts unusable.

  5. Can NYC CFF show me what population changes occurred in my area of interest in New York City?
    Yes. NYC CFF, not only provides users with demographic profiles of particular areas of interest within New York City, it also shows the demographic changes that took place in the area between 2000 and 2010.
  6. How accurate are the profile estimates in NYC CFF?
    The demographic data provided in the 2010 Census Profiles are derived from the 2000 and 2010 censuses. The U.S. decennial censuses attempt to count all U.S. residents. While these censuses are regarded as the “gold standard” for measuring population, every census is subject to various types of error associated with the collection, processing, and dissemination of data. For example, after the latest 2010 Census, the City of New York asserted that there was an undercount in South Brooklyn and Northwest Queens (see the web page on the City’s 2010 Census Challenge). That said, users should have confidence in the overall numbers for most of the city, as well as for the percent distributions in South Brooklyn and Northwest Queens.

    ACS profile data are controlled to estimates at the county level from the Census Bureau’s Population Estimates Program. In general, these values are subject to considerably more non-sampling error than are values from the decennial census. For more information on the non-sampling error associated with ACS data, please see the ACS Design and Methodology Report, particularly chapters 11 and 15.


  7. How reliable are the profile estimates in NYC CFF?
    The demographic data provided in the 2010 Census Profiles are derived from the 2000 and 2010 censuses. Because these data are from full count censuses, they are not subject to sampling error.

    The ACS profile estimates are from a sample and are therefore subject to sampling error. The reliability of each estimate varies and can be gauged by examining the Margin of Error (MOE) or Coefficient of Variation (CV). As further guidance, NYC CFF grays out data associated with CVs of 20% or more – data with poor statistical reliability. For more information on MOEs, CVs, and ACS reliability, please see the Reliability of ACS Data section of the NYC CFF User Guide.

  8. Can I print out and save my search results?
    Yes. Users can export a map or profile and save it as an Adobe® PDF file by clicking on the print icon at the top of the page.
  9. Can I go back and examine old search results?
    Yes. If a user is still within a single session (ie, the user has not closed out of the program and opened it up again), then old searches may be opened again by clicking on the “Searched Locations” section of the left console.
  10. Where can I get information on New York City Community Districts (CDs)?
    Although the Community District geography is no longer supported by the New York City FactFinder application, population data for CDs can still be obtained via City Planning’s Population Division website. At this website, one can obtain the most recent demographic data from the 2010 Census webpage or the most recent socioeconomic data from the ACS page. However, users should note that ACS data are only available as PUMAs, rather than CDs, and while PUMA subareas approximate Community Districts, they are not coterminous (view PUMA/CD map). Users interested in getting older population data by CD should visit City Planning’s 2000 Census page.
  11. How do I create my own study area and what is the maximum number of Census Tracts that I can select?
    To create your own study area, multiple census tracts can be selected using the radius tool, which highlights a radius (.1 to .5 of a mile) around your selected location, or by using the select tool and the control key together.

    You can aggregate a maximum of 50 census tracts to view the census profile. For more information, view the User Guide.

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