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Researching San Luis Obispo County History

Resources for researching San Luis Obispo County and the Central Coast

Demographic Data

Demographic maps and datasets

  • Social Explorer interactive maps for current and historical census data (full version available for Cal Poly affiliates)
  • National Historical GIS (NHGIS) provides easy access to summary tables and time series of population, housing, agriculture, and economic data, along with GIS-compatible boundary files, for years from 1790 through the present.
  • With the Racial Dot Map you can explore current SLO demographic data
  • Data USA includes current numbers for SLO County and City

The Decennial U.S. Census is a valuable resource for local history research, including genealogy and history of sites and buildings. Learn more about the census.

Up through the 1940 census is available online for research. 

Aggregated population data at the county-level can be found here:  

Visualizing Census demographic data for San Luis Obispo


Data accessed from: IPUMS NHGIS, University of Minnesota,

An introduction to Critical Race Theory in the context of public health:

Ford, C. L., & Airhihenbuwa, C. O. (2010). Critical Race Theory, Race Equity, and Public Health: Toward Antiracism Praxis. American Journal of Public Health, 100(Suppl 1), S30–S35.