For a more comprehensive guide to data in journalism, see:
Data & Statistics for Journalists
Need to find data on a specific topic, like health or education? Look in this Columbia Library guide to find a variety of data sources.
In Decennial & ACS datasets:
In ACS datasets:
Having trouble finding data on your ethnic community through the census? Here are some additional sources you might try.
This directory lists international and United States national, regional, state, and local nonprofit membership organizations. Once you've identified an organization associated with an ethnic group (for instance, the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York), check their website for related data.
Pew Research Center
This nonpartisan think tank regularly produces reports on a variety of topics, including those that touch on ethnic communities. You can search theirlist of topics (including a section on ethnic media); there is also a separate section on the Hispanic Trends Project.
The major source for demographic data in the United States is the U.S. Census Bureau. This government agency produces a several surveys; the two major ones are:
Decennial Census: What is generally called "the census" (or sometimes "Census of Population & Housing"). Survey of the entire U.S. population, performed once every 10 years (2010, 2000, 1990, etc. back to 1790).
ACS (American Community Survey): A more detailed survey, performed more frequently than the Decennial Census (different areas on a rolling basis). If the decennial census data is too outdated or not detailed enough, you may use the ACS instead. See: Subjects included in the ACS
Other surveys produced by the Census Bureau include:
Once you know which survey data you need, you must then choose which source from which to get that data.
The NYC Department for the Aging has a couple of reports on the elderly population:
Counting Unauthorized Immigrants
Here's a great article on this topic from Pew Research, who has a respected estimate on the undocumented population:
Unauthorized Immigrants: How Pew Research Counts Them and What We Know About Them
Counting the Homeless
HOPE (Homeless Outreach Population Estimate) NYC
Each year, this volunteers from this group count unsheltered people in parks, subways, and other public spaces. This is a helpful parallel to the shelter population statistics (above).