Tool: Census Flows Mapper

migration2A few weeks ago I shared a Story Maps data visualization tool that the Census Bureau recently released. Those particular story maps covered migration data and allowed viewers to see, at a glance, the type of county-level population change taking place between different time periods. Now I have a new tool to share that allows individuals to dig into county level migration data. This is where the Census Flows Mapper demonstrates its value.


The Census Flows Mapper allows a person to search for, or simply select, a county on the map. Results will then be generated for the selected county based on the settings chosen in the left-hand selection pane. This is where it gets interesting. The characteristics available by each dataset are outlined below:

2007-2011 Dataset

  • Education Level
  • Household Income
  • Individual Income

2006-2010 Dataset

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Race

Ideally I can select any county in South Dakota (or in the U.S.) and start exploring these various characteristics according to outbound and inbound migration. How handy would it be to identify the number of people with bachelor’s or advanced degrees moving into a region or their respective income levels? Knowing these details along with the region migrants are moving from could potentially help workforce recruitment efforts.

Alternately, knowing those same details about people exiting the region could help workforce retention efforts.

I do want to point out one challenge of using this tool. Because of confidentiality issues the Census must suppress a lot of information. Much of the data will display as unavailable in sparsely populated areas due to this confidentiality issue.

Categories: Data Tools, Resources

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