Census 1980

Overview of Products
  • Summary Files
  • Microdata
  • Maps-Spatial Data
       Data Sources
  • Online Extraction
  • GIS/Spatial Data Products
  • DVD/CDs
  • File for FTP
     General Information
  • Complete CU Library Holdings
  • Congressional District Data
  • Historical Census Data
  • Comparing 1980 with other years
  •  Reference Material

Overview of Products

  • Summary Files

  Short form, 100% count- exact counts

STF1 - all persons by race, Hispanic Origin
       A - States - Block Groups/EDs 
       B - States-Blocks plus MSAs 
       C- Nation-States-places 10,000+
       D - Congressional District (98th)

STF2 - 26 race and Hispanic Origin groups
       AStates -counties-places-tracts
       B - States, SMSA, areas 1,000 or more
       C- Nation to areas of 10,000 or more 

  Long form, Sample count- estimates

STF3 - all persons by race, Hispanic Origin
      A- States - tract/BNAs
      B - States-Zip Codes 
      C- Nation-States-places 10,000+
      D - Congressional District (98th)

STF4 -up to 39 race - Hispanic Origin groups
       A -States - counties-places-tracts
       B - States, SMSA, areas 2,500 or more
       C- Nation to areas of 10,000 or more

Summary level and other technical concepts pertaining to summary files are briefly described in our guide, Census Summary Files: Technical Issues.

  • Public Law (P.L.) 94-171
    Also called the Redistricting file, it was the first file published from the 1980 Census and was used for congressional reapportionment. Data is based on the short form and focuses on age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin.
  • Public Use Microdata
    Public Use Microdata are records drawn from the responses to the long-form questionnaire. There are two files: one a sample of 1% of households and the other a 5% sample. For general description of microdata refer to Census Microdata Overview. Although it references 2000 Census, the concepts, though not the links to sources, are the same. The sources for all 1980 data are listed on this page. The 1980 samples are split in to the following groupings:
    • A Sample
      5% or 1% with states, counties, groups of counties, and large cities
    • B Sample
      1% only with some states, SMSAs, selected counties, and selected places
    • C Sample
      1% only with divisions, some States, selected places of 100,000 or more population, selected urban areas, and an urban/rural breakdown
    • D Sample
      1% only using a unique geography that groups counties based on the labor market
  • Maps and Spatial Data
    • Spatial Data
      Spatial Files were developed for 1980 boundaries sometime after the release of the 1980 Census.
    • Maps
      Columbia's holdings for 1980 maps are described on the Government Documents 1980 Decennial Census Information web page.

Data Sources

  • Online Extraction Data
    • Social Explorer
      Use Data & Tools then choose Browse Reports.
      Selected tables down to tracts for years including SF1 and SF3 for 1980.
    • InfoShare Online  (for data on New York City)
      Access to STF1A, STF3A, and Public Use Microdata is available. For STF files, a single data table for a multiple locations can be downloaded.
    • National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS)
      Use the use the "NHGIS Data Finder" link.
      Provides an online extraction tool for selected summary file variables at the national, state, county, tract/block numbering area, metropolitan area, and primary metropolitan area levels.
    • Longitudinal Tract Data Base (LTDB)
      Preselected 1980 population characteristics in Excel spreadsheets reported for tracts as defined in 1980 or as defined in 2010. LTDB also has a feature that allows you to adjust any data based on 1980 tracts to estimates based on 2010 tracts.
    • Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS)
      At this site custom extractions of public use microdata can be done. Coverage is for all census years since 1850 except 1930.
  • Spatial Data
  • Files for FTP
    If using the ASCII versions of the summary files, users should acquaint themselves with how certain Technical Issues are handled. Suppression and allocation are issues of particular interest to those dealing with tract level or smaller geographies.
    • ICPSR
      Provides the most complete archive of 1980 files. A subset of these, usually those dealing with local areas, are available in the CU Data Catalog which also contains sample programs for reading SF3 and SF1.
    • CU Data Catalog
      Selected files (especially for New York City counties) converted to SAS and/or SPSS format are available. Search the data catalog for study number 1980 to see what is available.

General Information

  • 1980 Census CU Libraries Holdings
    This is a detailed list of Columbia's print and CD-ROM holdings plus links to useful websites and reference sources.
  • Obtaining Data by Congressional District
  • Historical Census Data Tables
    The Census Bureau has published a number of tables covering all census years. In addition to basic counts of people and housing, there are selected special topics included.
  • National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
    Together with listing of their electronic holdings (which are available at cost), the NARA provides descriptive information about each file.
  • Comparing 1980 with other Census years
  • Related reference material
    • Geographic Areas Reference Manual
      Although focused on the 1990 Census this book provides a history of census geography and including information about areas like, MCDs, CCDs, outlying areas, Indian lands, and blocks. This book is also available in print in the DSSC, room 215 and in CLIO.
    • Measuring America: The Decennial Censuses From 1790 to 2000
      Contains questionnaires and instructions, plus individual histories of each census as well as a chart listing topics covered in each census year. This book is also available in print in CLIO.
    • Decennial Census Information General Census Monographs
      This is a list of other publications on the subject of the Decennial Census.