We had a really nice training session a little over a week ago to learn
about using the University of Minnesota IPUMS. This system provides a
user-friendly way for you to run tabulations, regressions using the
Public Use Microdata Samples (PUMS) from the decennial Censuses, and the
American Community Survey.
The training provided an excellent start to filtering (limited the
sample based on values of different variable), recoding values, and
creating new variables. You can do a lot without having a statistical
software package on your own computer.
Of course, the PUMS have very limited geography, but the benefit is that
you can use many different variables in your table definition. You are
not limited to the tables pre-defined by the Census Bureau.
I had only a limited number of slots for the April 16 session, but Gary
Thomas at TTI recorded the session for us: here is the link.
FHWA Office of Planning