Census posts economic data online

Tuesday - 10/4/2011, 9:35am EDT

Stephen Buckner and Mark Wallace, U.S. Census Bureau

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For decades, the Census Bureau has been a primary source of information about the country's population, demographics and the economy.

Now the bureau is opening up its storehouses of data, making them more easily accessible online. In particular, Census will allow people to search databases based on 12 different "economic indicators," such as monthly retail sales or new home construction.

Stephen Buckner, the director of the Census Bureau's Center for New Media and Promotions and Mark Wallace, the chief of the bureau's Service Sector Statistics Division, joined the Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Amy Morris to discuss where all the data come from and why the bureau decided to put the data online now.