If you need data about the American populace, there's no source more canonical than the US Census Bureau. The bureau publishes a wide range of public sets, and not just from the main Census conducted every 10 years: there are more than 100 additional surveys and programs published as well. To help R users access this rich source of data, Ari Lamstein and Logan Powell have published A Guide to Working with US Census Data in R, a publication of the R Consortium Census Working Group.
The guide provides an overview of the data available from the US census bureau and various tools available in R to access and analyze it. The guide notes that there are 22 R packages for working with census data, and cites as being particularly useful:
- tigris, for working with shape files of census regions (census data is may be aggregated to any of a number of levels as shown int the diagram below)
- acs, for downloading and managing data from the decennial census and the American Community Survey
- choroplethr and choroplethrMaps, for mapping data (including census data) by region
- tidycensus, to extract census data as tidy data frames
- censusapi, for extracting data using the Census API
- ipumsr, to extract US census data in a form that can be compared with data from other countries
You can find the complete guide at the link below.
R Consortium: A Guide to Working with US Census Data in R