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How to Cite the Census Bureau


The United States Census Bureau is responsible for collecting, compiling and distributing demographic data every ten years. The U.S. Census Bureau publishes much of this information on its website, Census.gov. If you use information obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau website, include bibliographic information about the page in your reference list. Whether you are using MLA (Modern Language Association) or APA (American Psychological Association) citation format, follow the guidelines for citing a non-periodical website.

MLA Style

Begin your citation with the name of the author. In most cases, pages on the Census Bureau website do not credit individual authors. You should cite the name of the bureau as the author. For example:

United States Census Bureau.

If an individual author is credited, list the last name and then the first name. For example:

Doe, Jane.

List the title of the web page in quotation marks. For example:

"Increase in Hispanic Population Figures."

List the name of the website in italics, followed by a period. For example:

census.gov.

List the name of the publisher, followed by the date of publication. For example:

U.S. Census Bureau, 15 Mar. 2011.

If no date of publication is listed, use "n.d." For example:

U.S. Census Bureau, n.d.

List the medium of publication as "web."

List the date on which you accessed the website. For example:

13 Aug. 2011.

The finished citation should appear as follows:

United States Census Bureau. "Increase in Hispanic Population Figures." census.gov. U.S. Census Bureau, 15 Mar. 2011. Web. 13 Aug. 2011.

APA Style

Begin your citation with the name of the author. In most cases, pages on the Census Bureau website do not credit individual authors. You should cite the name of the bureau as the author. For example:

United States Census Bureau.

If an individual author is credited, list the last name and then the first initial. For example:

Doe, J.

List the date of publication in parentheses, followed by a period. For example:

(2011, March 15).

If no date of publication is listed, use "n.d."

List the title of the page, followed by a period. Capitalize only the first letter of the title, as well as any proper nouns. For example:

Increase in Hispanic population figures.

List the URL in the following format:

Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/dem/figures/hispdata

The complete citation should be arranged as follows:

United States Census Bureau. (2011, March 15). Increase in Hispanic population figures. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/dem/figures/hispdata

About the Author

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