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By the time you read this, the flow of new data from the U.S. Census Bureau will have increased from a trickle to a virtual flood. At press time, the only data available from Census 2000 were the total population counts of the 50 states and Washington, D.C. However by April 1 (in compliance with Public Law 94-171), the bureau will have made available the most detailed demographic data yet to be revealed from Census 2000.

Here's what to keep a lookout for: Total population; total population of those aged 18 and older (voting age); cross tabs of the population by 63 race categories (including six single-race categories and 57 multiracial combinations); and 126 combinations of race and Hispanic origin (Hispanic and non-Hispanic for all 63 race options). This will be the most detailed information on America's racial composition in history. What's more, most of these counts will become available at all levels of geography — from the U.S. total to the block level.

The most simple — and recommended — way to access the data is via the bureau's new American FactFinder site (http://fact finder.census.gov). Here, you not only get the latest releases, but also comparisons to the 1990 census. Additionally, FactFinder is a portal that hosts links to other data wells such as the 1997 Economic Census, and the American Community Survey. For help with FactFinder, call the bureau's customer service desk at (301) 451-4100. You can also order CD-ROMs of Census 2000 data for about $50.

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