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Monthly Trade Statistics Added to the Census API

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Today, the U.S. Census Bureau is announcing the addition of monthly international trade data to the Census Application Programming Interface (API). We’re releasing four years of historical data, covering 2013 to the present, and new data will be added every month.

As the nation’s premiere source of data about America’s economy, businesses and people, the Census Bureau is committed to making our data more accessible than ever before through new tools and data sets. We’re always listening to you for ways to improve access to our statistics, and we’re adding monthly trade data to our API in direct response to customer feedback.

Developers and researchers use the Census API to access our data within their programs and applications, free of charge. Now, users may find novel ways to use trade data by providing a direct link between Census data and their applications. As of today, these types of data on international trade of goods are available through the Census API:

  • Exports (domestic and foreign).
  • Imports (general and consumption).
  • Harmonized System, North American Industry Classification System, End-use, and Standard International Trade Classification commodity totals.
  • Data at the district, port and state level.
  • Countries and country groupings (Europe, Pacific Rim countries, Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development, etc.).
  • Trade agreements (North American Free Trade Agreement, Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, etc.).
  • Quantity and value totals by mode of transportation (air, vessel, containerized vessel).

These statistics are key to helping support economic policy development.  Government agencies, financial analysts and businesses nationwide also rely on them for planning and key economic reports. Additionally, the Census Bureau is planning to make trade data even more useful by creating a new application to help users find potential export markets for their products and services.

This is just the latest in the Census Bureau’s digital transformation effort to help our almost 50 million annual visitors easily find the information they want and expose our audience to new data sets. We’re developing new tools using the latest technologies, like our API, which recently surpassed 3 billion unique hits from developers. For example, we created USA Trade Online, an interactive data tool for international trade data. We also offer three mobile apps and several interactive data tools, and we’ve made major upgrades to Census.gov.

We’re constantly looking for ways to make our tools more useful, and we get a lot of ideas for new data and features from data users like you. We hope you’ll check out this new international trade data set in our API, and we encourage you to continue to tell us about your data needs on our developers’ forum.

To request an API key to access this data (and more). For more information about these data sets for developers. For our comprehensive user guide [PDF] to the trade datasets in the Census API.

NOTE: The Census Bureau decommissioned our mobile applications on September 22, 2017.

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