I love the Census Bureau. While many parts of the government seem to take pride in making information as complicated and hard to find as possible, the Census Bureau has created online tools which make it relatively easy for a citizen to access information about their community. Not only that, but the rollout of the American Community Survey starting in the late 1990s means that Census Data is more current and complete than it has ever been.
Here are three ways to find out about your home at various geographic levels.
One way to rapidly get information about your locality is the Census Interactive Map. With this map you can zoom in on your community at whatever level you like, from statewide to the smallest census units (the tract, block group, and block), and select from among various types of information about the area.
Here is a video from the Census Bureau which gives a quick run-through of the tool.
Another tool for the rapid gathering of information about your area is the Census Explorer. The Census Explorer has a number of predefined categories, including "Retail", "People Education and Income", and "Commuting". I wrote a post about how to use census explorer to get bicycle commuting data, but the same steps I outlined can be used for retrieving other types of information.
Finally, if you want to dig into the census figures for your area in greater detail, the American Factfinder provides a window into the complete range of datasets compiled by the Census. It's not nearly as user-friendly as the other two tools, but there are a number of good instructional videos on youtube, including the following from Texas A&M: