Data Tool: Census Explorer

censusexplorerHow well do you know your community? Are you friendly with your neighbors? Do you know the dirt on the retired gentleman down the block with the meticulously manicured lawn? [Side note: it’s okay, you can admit you envy the lawn striping your distant neighbor has perfected in between his morning coffee klatch and afternoon siesta].

Even though you may not know all the dirt on the lawn guru, or even be that friendly with your neighbors, now you can learn more about your community thanks to a new tool that the Census Bureau recently released.

I present to you the Census Explorer, a new tool that allows you to get to know your community – at least from the demographic perspective (neighborhood gossip not included… sorry).

censusexplorer2Census Explorer is a mapping tool that allows you to zoom in as far as the census tract level and investigate different social, household, and economic data in your area (or any area, really). Learn about:

  • Total population
  • Percent 65 and older
  • Foreign-born population percentage
  • Percent of the population with a high school degree or higher
  • Percent with a bachelor’s degree or higher
  • Labor force participation rate
  • Home ownership rate
  • Median household income

You can view how certain characteristics in your neighborhood have changed over the years by viewing historical data from the last two decennial censuses (1990 & 2000). And you can also see data represented in different ways, through dot-density (bubbles) or color-shading (choropleth).

So what did I learn about my community?

  • While income has definitely risen, it has not kept pace,
  • My community is better-educated, and
  • I know where that retired lawn guru is most likely to live.

It should be noted that this is a pilot program from the Census Bureau. With enough interest they will continue to add data and features to Census Explorer.

Categories: Data Tools, Demographics, Resources

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