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Informing Policy. Advancing Health.

Fast Fact Finder

June 14, 2011

Have you ever wondered how many females live in Colorado (2,135,278) compared to Alaska (302,820) or the percentage of Coloradan’s who are over 65 years of age (9.7%)?  As a research associate at CHI, I am regularly called upon to find all types of information and my sources must be reliable. Knowing where to look is the first step. One of my favorite sites is the U.S. Census Bureau, which provides easy to find datasets and maps on a wide range of topics.

Recently the Census Bureau launched a new search tool called The New American FactFinder. This new search engine allows you to pick a topic, geographic region or population group to search and the data is presented in an easy to understand downloadable table format. A great way to begin to familiarize yourself with this site is to go to the top navigation bar and click on “Using FactFinder” or “What We Provide.” Tutorials walk you through the available data and explain how to search for information on particular topics.  It also helps users understand the tables, as well as how to modify them to make them easier to read. Along with these two sections there is also a help menu and a glossary link on each page.

I did a quick search for a breakdown of Colorado’s population by age, sex and county and found not only a table but an interactive and customizable map.

The New American FactFinder
The New American FactFinder

By clicking on a particular area of a map you will get a drop down menu that lets you know the county, region, statistical area and other information, including a population estimate. You can customize the map by changing the colors and boundaries or adding text.

The New American FactFinder is an interesting and easy to use tool. This, in combination with the extensive array of information and analysis on CHI’s website, provides valuable data for those interested in learning more about Colorado’s population and the state’s health care needs and resources.