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Census Product Catalog

Contact the Customer Services Center @ 1-800-923-8282


Placing an Order

Question: May I place my order by calling 1-800-923-8282 or 301-763-INFO (4636)?

Answer:Yes, but first check to see if the product is available online. Orders for maps, print-on-demand, and certifications are available from the Customer Services Center for a fee. Our standard disc products are available for free though most are in ASCII format and require specials for extraction and use. Specialized subscription and disc products are available from the division listed at the product level. When you talk to Census Bureau representatives they will help you place your order via credit/debit card or will provide you with a Proforma Invoice by USPS mail, fax, or email message to you. You may include this invoice with your check to order the product(s).

Question: May I fax my order to you?

Answer: Yes. If you are placing an order for a map or print-on-demand product, you may fax the product name, product ID, quantity, and total price to (888) 249-7295 or 301-763-3842. Please make certain to include your name, street address, telephone number, and email address (if available), along with your credit/debit card information or your census deposit account number. Orders for certification products are handled through our Certification Services link. If your product is sold by another center, please call that center for details on faxing your order to them.

Methods of Payment and Shipment

Question: Why must I pay for some of the Census Bureau data products?

Answer: Almost all of the information available from the Census Bureau can be accessed online for free. However, customers prefer some information in a format other than available online. For example, census maps are available on the Census Bureau's web site in PDF format. Yet, some data users need paper maps, so we sell them in print. Users can get the Census 2000 Summary Files online in the American FactFinder. Librarians and archivists often need data in printed form and as a result may prefer to purchase a print-on-demand report over the free online PDF. In the examples listed above, the Census Bureau offers these alternate formats at a modest cost.

Question: How may I pay for my product?

Answer: Each product description will include pricing information. Products available from the Census Bureau will designate whether payment should be in the form of check, credit/debit card, or Census Deposit Account. For products available for purchase from the Government Printing Office (GPO), National Technical Information Service (NTIS), or National Archives, you will need to refer to the purchasing information provided by these sellers.

Question: To pay by check, what do I do?

Answer: Mail your check to the Census Bureau's "lockbox" financial depositary service provider and agent (Treasury's General Lockbox Network) listed below. Delivery for mailed-in purchases by check generally takes 6 to 8 weeks.

When mailing in your check, please select the product you want from the catalog. Print the product detail page (this is the one that gives the Product Line, Media Type, etc.) and indicate the quantity you wish to purchase. You may also print off and complete a generic order form. Send this, along with your check payable to "Commerce-Census." Send your order to the following address:

US Department of Commerce
US Census Bureau (MS 0801)
PO Box 277943
Atlanta, GA 30384-7943

Notice to customers sending checks directly to the Census Bureau in Suitland, Maryland:

Conversion of Checks: Any checks mailed directly to the Census Bureau in Suitland, MD will be handled in the following manner:

If you are presenting a check directly to the Census Bureau, your check will be converted into an electronic fund transfer. When you submit your signed check in the amount of your purchase to the Census Bureau, the Census Bureau will transmit your account and clearinghouse information to its bank using a secure electronic funds transfer process.

Insufficient Funds: Please note that transfers of funds occur directly from your bank to the Census Bureau's bank in real time through the electronic fund transfer (EFT) process. If the EFT process fails due to insufficient funds, we may attempt the EFT process up to three times. Therefore, you may incur associated costs from your bank.

Authorization: By presenting your check directly to the Census Bureau you authorize the conversion of your check into an electronic fund transfer. If the electronic fund transfer cannot be processed for technical reasons, you may authorize us to process the copy of your original check. If you have any questions regarding the electronic fund transfer process, please contact the Census Bureau's Customer Services Center at 1-800-923-8282 or 301-763-INFO (4636), Monday - Thursday, 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM ET; Friday, 8:30 AM -4:30 PM ET, excluding Holidays.

If your product is sold by another center within the Census Bureau, please contact that center for the easiest way to pay by check.

Please allow an additional 5 to 10 days for delivery of any Census Bureau product ordered by check.

Question: What credit cards do you accept?

Answer: American Express, Discover, Diners Club, Master Card, and Visa.

Question: What is a Census Deposit Account?

Answer: A census deposit account (CDA) is an option for organizations that wish to place money in an account managed by the Census Bureau's Finance Division. This is offered to those customers whose organizations do not allow them to use credit/debit cards or electronic checks for purchases. You will be given a deposit number and the amount of your product purchases will be deducted from this account. You may use a CDA for the purchase of any products available for sale from the Census Bureau. You may contact the Census Bureau's Finance Division at (301) 763-1287.

Question: How do I use a Census Deposit Account?

Answer: Simply place your order with the Census Bureau's identified seller. Give the customer representative the ordering information, including the census deposit account number.

Question: How do you ship your products?

Answer: The Census Bureau's Customer Services Center (Seller: CSC) ships all fee-based products using Federal Express next day services. Unless stated otherwise, shipping and handling have been incorporated into the cost of the product. For free products from the CSC, shipment is by USPS. For products sold by other divisions, contact that seller for more details.

Question. Are there other charges?

Answer: Generally, no. You will not need to pay local, state, or federal taxes.

Discount, Replacement, and Refund Policies

Question: What are your product return policies?

Answer: All products sold through the Customer Services Center are custom products. Since these require special production, returns are not accepted and there is no refund of money. For products sold by other Census Bureau sellers, please contact them directly for their procedures for product returns.

Applying for Credits (credit cards) or Refunds (checks)

Authorizations for credits or refunds for Census Bureau services (e.g., a Census Bureau training course).

Requests by participants to cancel registration in Census Bureau training courses will be honored in the following manner.

Registrants must contact the training facilitator and be given an RMA number to authorize the withdrawal and associated credit/refund. Any completed registration will be subject to a minimum 15-percent administrative processing fee. Refunds granted 30 or more days prior to the course will receive an 85-percent refund; requests 14-29 days before course will receive a 50-percent refund, and no refunds will be issued for cancellations less than 14 days before the course.

The Census Bureau reserves the right to cancel any course 30 days prior to the scheduled event if registrations do not meet the stated participant minimums.

Refunds/credits are issued by the Census Bureau's Finance Division.

Question: I bought a custom product (map, certification, print-on-demand) but lost it. May I get a replacement?

Answer: Customers needing replacements of other kinds of products (print-on-demand reports, printed reports, and maps) must pay the full price. Copies of already purchased certifications cost $35.

Product Information Tips

Question: What information is available about each product?

Answer: For each product, you will see the product name, the description, and list price, if appropriate.

Description is, typically, a narrative that describes or provides unique features about the product. Note that some products may be sold by other agencies such as the Government Printing Office (GPO) or the National Technical Information Service (NTIS). The product description will, in such cases, identify the GPO or NTIS stock number. Higher level information about a family of products is available at the top of the page. Levels of geographic coverage often are included in the product description.

Product ID is a unique identification code associated with every Census Bureau data product.

Media Type includes media such as CD-ROM, DVD, Maps, and Publication.

Data Format includes such options as ASCII, Proprietary With Software, and other formats used to display data.

System Requirements includes such options as None, Windows 95, and Windows 98.

Software Provided includes information about any specialized software features that come with the product. Most products will show "None."

Reference Geography lists all or predominant levels of geography presented on the product.

Release Date gives the date for the current release for this product.

Shipped provides information on the number of days needed to ship this product once the Census Bureau's Customer Service Center has received the order. For other sellers, please contact that specific Seller.

Contact gives the phone number in the event you want to talk to a person who understands the product and the data within.

Seller gives the abbreviation for the Census Bureau office that sells this product. The abbreviations for Census Bureau sellers are:

CSC - Customer Services Center/Marketing Service Office
FTD - Foreign Trade Division
GEO - Geography Division
HHES - Housing and Household Economic Statistics
MCD - Manufacturing and Construction Division
POP - Population Division

Examples of Product ID's

  • C1-R03-STAB-15-US1 = 2003 edition of the Statistical Abstract on CD-ROM
  • P1-R03-STAB-00-GPS = 2003 edition of the Statistical Abstract available from GPO in soft cover
  • C1-E88-CBPT-01-US1 = 1988 edition of the County Business Patterns for the US on CD-ROM
  • D1-E94-CBPF-00-AL1 = 1994 edition of the Coun

Help, I need a contact!

Question: Who is the person who knows about this product?

Answer: Contact the Subject Contact.

Question: Who is my customer services representative?

Answer: Contact the Seller.

Question: Does the Census Bureau's Customer Services Center have a webmaster?

Answer: Yes, go to Ask.Census.Gov to submit your question.

Question: Who can help me with my DVD or CD-ROM installation on a PC or network?

Answer: Contact (301) 763-7710 or check out TECH TALK.

Source: US Census Bureau | Customer Liaison & Marketing Services | Customer Services Center