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Using American FactFinder (AFF): Advanced options

instructions and tips on using AFF to find and map Census Tract data

How to get more data

chartAs you gain experience with American FactFinder, you might find some of their advanced options useful.

  • Starting with Advanced Search.
    • With Advanced Search your results will automatically include all of the tables that match your criteria, instead of just the top ten.
    • Additional Topic choices are also available; for example, you can select the specific program (Decennial Census, American Community Survey, etc.) or dataset to search.
    • There is also the additional option of entering a text search term instead of choosing from a dropdown menu.
    • Under Search Results, you can select more than one table.
    • The Your Selections box, and the displaying and mapping of search results, work the same as in the Guided Search.
  • Moving over to Advanced Search.
    • When you first see a list of the top ten data tables under Search Results in Guided Search, AFF makes it easy to move over to Advanced Search to see all the data matching your selections. Just click on the link below the list of tables.
    • Choose a table or tables. NOTE that Advanced Search allows you to choose as many tables as you like. They will display separately. See the graphic below.
  • Using Address Search
    • When you select a Tract using Address Search, and click on it, you'll be put into Advanced Search and all the tables available will be listed. You can filter the tables by using the Topics or Race/Ethnic Group navigation tabs on the left.
  • Getting specific tables or datasets from Guided Search.
    • If you like the Guided Search interface, but know exactly which table you want, or if you want your search limited to a particular dataset, these options are available from the first Guided Search screen.

Advanced Search examples

Here's a screen shot of a set of tables in the Search Results section of Advanced Search:

Advanced search resultsYou can select just one table by clicking on the title.

Select more than one by checking the boxes next to the titles.

You can download your tables right from this screen, or choose View to see them both and have more options for saving and printing.

See the graphic below for information about viewing multiple tables.


If you select more than one table, they will display separately. See the red box below for the location of buttons that will lead to your other tables. The green box highlights the option to view all of your tables in one PDF file.

Advanced table viewer

Table modification tools, and bookmark, save, print, and download options are the same as detailed in Guided Search Step 3.

Getting even more data

American FactFinder and Census.gov have even more tools for more experienced users, that allow downloading of mass quantities of data, or zeroing in on a particular dataset or table.