It started with an itch. Then I just kept going.


The first United States Census was a count in 1790. The first map produced for the census was in 1850. It wasn’t until the 1870 census when Francis Walker, the superintendent at the time, produced the first Statistical Atlas of the United States, and it was published in 1874.

The Census Bureau made atlases for 1880 and 1890 as well.

However, there was a decline after that, and the government-produced atlas faded away. That is, until a brief revival with the production of the Census Atlas of the United States for the 2000 census. It was published in 2007.

There’s nothing in the works using more recent data.

Challenge Accepted

This is my attempt to fill that void, because it would suck if the atlas faded away into oblivion again for another eight decades.

All the maps and charts are made in the free statistical computing environment R, with the exception of the occasional text and layout tweaks in Adobe Illustrator. I’ve gone beyond just census data, but all data comes from a government organization and is publicly available.

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(and learn to make your own graphics in the process)