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Census data available to IRE members

As journalists gear up for the second release of data from the 2010 Census, members of Investigative Reporters and Editors will be able to download data ready for analysis thanks to USA TODAY.

The upcoming  wave of Census 2010 data, coming state-by-state in February and March, will contain the basic counts of population by race for every state, county and place in America, all the way down to the smallest geographies, called blocks. This data, known as “Redistricting Data (P.L. 94-171) summary files,” will be used to redraw the boundaries of legislative, electoral and other districts in states.

USA TODAY, through IRE members Anthony DeBarros and Paul Overberg, has arranged to share the data that its Census team will make analysis-ready. This arrangement will mean that IRE members will have access to data that has already been extracted and processed to focus on the portions that journalists are most likely to use for analysis. This will include Excel and CSV files breaking down data at several levels, including state, counties, cities, tracts, school districts, legislative and voting districts, and more. Additionally, the USA TODAY team will include basic comparable data from the 2000 Census for selected geographies. For tracts, changes in geographic boundaries between 2000 and 2010 have been accounted for.

“IRE and its members have helped USA TODAY a lot over the years, so we're happy to have a chance to give something back,” DeBarros said.

This arrangement will provide a crucial analysis tool for journalists from news organizations of all sizes, said IRE Executive Director Mark Horvit.

“The work that Anthony, Paul and the team at USA TODAY have done on this data will make it possible for more journalists at more news organizations to work with the new Census data and provide crucial coverage for their communities,” Horvit said. “We are very thankful to USA Today for this generous offer.”

The data will be available to IRE members beginning with the first releases, at Data will be available in zipped files for download directly from the site, or by FTP. The data will be released by the Census Bureau state-by-state over a period of weeks and will be posted as quickly as possible to the site. IRE already has many resources available for reporters working with Census data, at

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