Decennial Census Information: 1990 Census CD-ROMs


The Census Bureau released a large portion of the 1990 Census on CD-ROM as well as on computer tape. The Columbia Electronic Data Service (EDS), located in Room 201 of Lehman Library, has all CD-ROM products released by the Census Bureau and tape of other Census materials pertinent to the New York area. The CD-ROMs were created from the original computer tapes and have made access to census data easier than ever before. Data can be browsed using Go, a menu-driven software developed by the Census Bureau, or special subsets of data can be created using Extract, a more complex software.

Volumes which contain tables specifically about New York City and State are highlighted.

The 100% population data include the CP-1 (General Population Characteristics) and the CH-1 (General Housing Characteristics). There are two sets of machine readable formats: the PL 94-171 data summarizing all questions down to the tract level--for the purposes of reapportionment--and the Summary Tape Files 1 and 2, which provide comparative summaries for the 100% population counts.

The sample data include CP-2 (Social and Economic Characteristics) and CH-2 (Detailed Housing Characteristics). There are two sets of machine readable formats: the Summary Tape Files 3 and 4, which provide statistics for the samples of the population, and the Public Use Microdata Series (PUMS) which consist of the actual sample data with most geographical identifiers removed. The 1990 Census has released three PUMS versions--the full 5% (1 in 20) sample (consuming about 25 reels of computer tape or 7 CD/ROM disks), a (1 in 100) 1% sample (about 5 reels of computer tape or 2 CD/ROM disks), and a .1% (1 in 1,000) sample (one tape).

Summary Tape Files

  • Summary Tape File 1 (STF1)
    100% data of population and housing.
    • STF 1A: all geographic areas down to the block-group level.
    • STF 1B: all geographic areas down to the block level.
    • STF 1C: United States, regions, divisions, states, counties, metropolitan areas.
    • STF 1D: Congressional District level data.
    Technical documentation is on reserve in EDS.
  • Summary Tape File 2 (STF2)
    100% data with more subject detail.
    No CD-ROMs were released with these data; EDS has tapes for the New York Metropolitan area, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
  • Summary Tape File 3 (STF3)
    C 3.282/2: CD 90-[nos.] - EDS
    Sample data of population and housing.
    • 3A: all geographic areas down to the block-group level.
    • 3B: data summarized for 5-digit ZIP codes.
    • 3C: data for United States, regions, divisions, and states.
    • 3D: Congressional District data.
    Technical documenation is on reserve in EDS.
  • Summary Tape File 4 (STF4)
    Sample data with more subject detail.
    No CD-ROMs were released with these data; EDS has tapes for the New York Metropolitan area, plus New Jersey and Connecticut.
  • Subject Summary Tape File (SSTF)
    C 3.286:CD 90 SSTF [no.] - EDS
    Sample data of population and housing.
    • SSTF 1: The Foreign-Born Population in the United States
    • SSTF 2: Ancestry of the Population
    • SSTF 3: Persons of Hispanic Origin in the U.S.
    • SSTF 4: Characteristics of Adults with Work Disabilities, Mobility Limitations, or Self-Care Limitations
    • SSTF 5: Characteristics of the Asian and Pacific Islander Population in the U.S.
    • SSTF 6: Education in the United States
    • SSTF 7: Metropolitan Housing Characteristics
    • SSTF 8: Housing of the Elderly
    • SSTF 9: Housing Characteristics of New Units
    • SSTF 10: Housing Characteristics of Mobile Homes
    • SSTF 11: Never issued
    • SSTF 12: Employment Status, Work Experience
    • SSTF 13: Characteristics of American Indians by Tribe and Language
    • SSTF 14: Special Tabulation on Aging
    • SSTF 15: Geographic Mobility in the U.S.
    • SSTF 16: Fertility
    • SSTF 17: Poverty Areas in the U.S.
    • SSTF 18: Housing Characteristics of Condominium Housing
    • SSTF 19: The Older Population of the U.S.
    • SSTF 20: Journey to Work in the U.S.
    • SSTF 21: Characteristics of the Black Population in the U.S.
    • SSTF 22: Earnings by Occupation and Education

Other Data Products

  • Public Law 94-171 Redistricting Data File
    C 3.281: - EDS
    This data file presents the preliminary census counts designed and formatted for use in legislative redistricting. Data for areas down to the block level, tracts/BNAs and voting districts include population, racial composition, Hispanic origin, age, and housing units.
  • Census/Equal Employment Opportunity File
    C 3.283: CD 90-EEO-1,2 - EDS
    This file provides 1990 census sample data with particular relevance to EEO and Affirmative Action uses. Data tabulations include detailed occupation by age and educational attainment by age and are included down to the county level.
  • Public Use Microdata Samples (PUMS)
    C 3.285:CD 90-PUMS [nos.] -EDS
    These files contain raw, sample data from which the STF 3 and STF 4 files were created, but in which geographic identifiers exist only for population groups of 100,000 or more. EDS has CD-ROM and computer tape files of the 5% and 1% data for all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia.
    Technical documentation is on reserve in EDS.
  • Special Tabulation on Aging
    C 3.281/2: CD 90- [nos.] - EDS
    AOA2-1: Federal Region II: NY: Albany-Queens
    AOA2-2: Federal Region II: NY: Rensselaer-Yates

  • TIGER/Line 1992
    C 3.279: [nos.] - EDS
    N 42 Y/992/CD/no. 1 : New York (1), Albany - Warren
    N 42 Y/992/CD/no. 2 : New York (2), Washington - Yates

    These CDs contain digital mapping software that use census produced data files to create County level maps displaying major geographical features, and which can interact with other Census CD products. The map coordinates can also be used with other mapping products to create customized maps.
  • 1990 Census Transportation Planning Package
    TD 1.56/2:BTS-CD- [nos.] - EDS
    BTS-CD-15-05: NY (excl. NYC)
    BTS-CD-15-06: New York City, NY
    Consists of two series: 02 (State level data) and 15 (urban element). Consists of special tabulations of place-of-work and transportation data produced in cooperation with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. The urban packages contain characteristics of persons, workers, and households for traffic analysis zones, census block groups, or census tracts depending on local preferences.