Monthly Archives: December 2015

Importance of Census Tracts in Data Analytics

census tracts are important for many reasons. It is easy to misidentify or misunderstand patterns and characteristics within cities, counties and metros which become obfuscated using these higher level, more aggregate, geographies. Many cities and counties that might be experiencing demographic-economic decline will often have bright spots that are groups of a few or many census tracts.

Patterns of Percent Population with Bachelor’s Degree
— by Census Tract; Los Angeles Metro
The following graphic shows percent population age 25 years and over with bachelor’s degree by census tract based on ACS 2014 5 year estimates for a portion of the Los Angeles metro. Accommodating different demographic-economic thresholds/patterns, different legend color/data intervals are used. The pattern layer is set to 80% transparency enabling a view of earth features. Click graphic for larger view, more detail and legend color/data intervals. This map illustrates the geographic level of detail available using census tract demographics and the relative ease to gain insights using geospatial data analytics tools.

– View developed using CV XE GIS and related GIS project.

Get a Custom Map for Your Area of Interest
Use this form to request a no fee map graphic similar to the one shown above for a county of interest. Enter the request with county name and state in the text section; e.g., “Requesting social characteristics tract map for Cook County, IL.”

This section reviews reasons for the importance of census tracts in data analyyics. See related Web sections on tools, resources and methods that you can use to access, integrate and analyze U.S. by census tract general demographics data. The U.S. national scope Census Tracts Demographic-Economic Dataset contains approximately 600 subject matter items tabulated for each census tract organized into four subject matter groups:
General Demographics
Social Characteristics
Economic Characteristics
Housing Characteristics

Importance of Census Tracts for Data Analytics
Census tracts are important for many reasons.  A partial list of reasons is provided below.
• Covering the U.S. wall-to-wall, census tracts are the preferred “small area” geography for superior data analytics.
• The Census Bureau now produces annual tract demographic-economic data from the American Community Survey;  there is an evolving time-series at the tract level creating new analytical opportunities.
• Originally developed to equivalence neighborhoods, many still do.
• Defined by the Census Bureau in collaboration with local groups, tracts typically reflect boundaries meaningful for local area analysis.
• Defined generally for use with each new decennial census, most tract boundaries are stable and non-changing for ten years and many much longer.
• Designed to average 4,000 population, there are more than twice as many census tracts (73,056) than ZIP code areas (33,129).
• Tract boundaries are well-defined; unlike ZIP code areas which are subject to multi-sourced geographic definitions.
• Many data developers (e.g., epidemiologists) use census tract geography to tabulate their own small area data enabling more effective use of those data with Census Bureau census tract data.
• As a statistical geographic area (in contrast to politically defined areas, census tracts are coterminous with counties; data at the census tract level can be aggregated to the county level.
• Small area estimates for tracts are typically more reliable than for block groups.
.. census tracts are comprised on one or more coterminous block groups.
.. on average, a census tract is comprised of three block groups.
• Census tracts are used by many Federal, state and local governments for compliance and program management.

The annually updated American Community Survey provides “richer” demographic-economic characteristics for national scope census tracts. While Census 2010 provides data similar to those items in the General Demographics section, only ACS sourced data provide details on topics such as income and poverty, labor force and employment, housing value and costs, educational participation and attainment, language spoken at home, among many related items. The approximate 600 items accessible via the tract dataset are supplemented by a wide range of additional subject matter. ACS census tract data are updated annually in December of each year.

Weekly Data Analytics Lab Sessions
Join me in a Data Analytics Lab session to discuss more details about using census tract geography and demographic-economic data.  Learn more about integrating these data with other geography, your data and use of data analytics that apply to your situation.

About the Author
— Warren Glimpse is former senior Census Bureau statistician responsible for innovative data access and use operations. He is also the former associate director of the U.S. Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards for data access and use. He has more than 20 years of experience in the private sector developing data resources and tools for integration and analysis of geographic, demographic, economic and business data. Contact Warren. Join Warren on LinkedIn.

Dallas, TX Metro Situation & Outlook

… examining characteristics, patterns and change for the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX metropolitan area … the total population of the metro changed from 6,452,725 in 2010 to 6,954,330 in 2014, a change of 501,605 (7.77%). Among all 917 metros, this metro was ranked number 4 in 2010 and 4 in 2014, based on total population …
• How will the market for single family homes change over the next 5 years?
• How does economic prosperity in this metro compare to others?
• What are the patterns in metro rental income and rental vacancy rates?
• How do patterns vary within the metro by county/neighborhood?
• How are demographic-economic characteristics trending?

We examine these types of topics in this section. Stakeholders can replicate applications reviewed here for this and other metros. Select any metro.

.. this section now continuously updated … see Dallas Metro Situation & Outlook; see related Texas Demographic-Economic Characteristics.

Metropolitan areas include approximately 94 percent of the U.S. population — 85 percent in metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) and 9 percent in micropolitan statistical areas (MISAs). Of 3,143 counties in the United States, 1,167 are in the 381 MSAs in the U.S. and 641 counties are in the 536 MISAs (1,335 counties are in non-metro areas).

Focus on Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX MSA
This section is focused on the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX MSA; Core-Based Statistical Area (CBSA) 19100. It is not intended to be a study of the metro but rather review recent and trending decision-making data that can be brought together to examine patterns and change and develop insights. The data, tools and methods can be applied to any metro.
– See a more detailed version of this document focused on this metro.

The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX MSA is shown in the graphic below. The 7-county metropolitan statistical area is shown with bold boundary; counties appear with black boundaries and county name/geographic code labels.

Click graphic for larger view and details. Map developed using CV XE GIS.

Patterns of Economic Prosperity by Neighborhood
Median household income by census tract

Click graphic for larger view and map legend. Map developed using CV XE GIS.

Develop variations of this map view using the Mapping Texas Neighborhood Patterns GIS resources.

Fortune 1000 Companies
This metro is home to 40 Fortune 1000 companies including AT&T, American Airlines, Comerica, Dean Foods, Exxon Mobil, Fluor Corporation, J.C. Penney, Kimberly-Clark, Lennox International, Michaels Stores, Neiman Marcus, RadioShack, Southwest Airlines, Tenet Healthcare and many others.

Principal Cities
Metro principal cities (about principal cities) … click the link to view city profile   Arlington .. Dallas .. Denton .. Fort Worth .. Irving .. Plano .. Richardson

Overview of Selected Demographic-Economic Characteristics
The total population of the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX metro changed from 6,452,725 in 2010 to 6,954,330 in 2014, a change of 501,605 (7.77%). Among all 917 metros, this metro was ranked number 4 in 2010 and 4 in 2014, based on total population. Annual net migration was 62,320 (2011), 77,089 (2012), 57,645 (2013), 74,176 (2014). View annual population estimates and components of change table.

This metro is projected to have a total population in 2020 of 7,418,541. The projected population change from 2010 to 2020 is 965,816 (15.0%). The population ages 65 years and over is projected to change from 592,695 (2010) to 1,031,937 (2020), a change of 439,242 (74.1%). See more about population projections.

Based on per capita personal income (PCPI), this metro was ranked number 61 in 2008 and 76 in 2014. among the 917 metros for which personal income was estimated.The PCPI changed from $44,697 in 2008 to $49,506 in 2014, a change of $4,809 (10.8%). Per capita personal income (PCPI) is a comprehensive measure of individual economic well-being. Use the interactive table to compare PCPI in this metro to other metros.

282 metropolitan statistical areas, of the total 381, experienced an increase in real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) between 2009 and 2014. This metro ranked number 5 among the 381 metros based on 2014 GDP. The GDP (millions of current dollars) changed from $355,756 in 2009 to $504,358 in 2014 a change of $148,602 (41.77%). Real GDP (millions of real, inflation adjusted, dollars) changed from $355,756 in 2009 to $460,154 in 2014, a change of $104,398 (29.35%). GDP is the most comprehensive measure of metro economic activity. GDP is the sum of the GDP originating in all industries in the metro.

View additional selected details about the metro …
Population Characteristics & Trends
–  Component City Characteristics
–  Component County Characteristics
– General Demographic Characteristics
Housing Characteristics & Trends
Total Housing Units
General Housing Characteristics
Residential Construction; Housing Units Authorized & Value
Housing Price Index
Economic Characteristics & Trends
Economic Profile
– Gross Domestic Product
Establishments, Employment & Earnings by Type of Business
Labor Market Characteristics & Trends
Education Infrastructure
Component School District Characteristics
Component Higher Education Institution Characteristics

Weekly Data Analytics Lab Sessions
Join me in a Data Analytics Lab session to discuss more details about this metro, comparing this metro to peer group metros and use of data analytics to develop further detail related to your situation.

About the Author
— Warren Glimpse is former senior Census Bureau statistician responsible for innovative data access and use operations. He is also the former associate director of the U.S. Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards for data access and use. He has more than 20 years of experience in the private sector developing data resources and tools for integration and analysis of geographic, demographic, economic and business data. Contact Warren. Join Warren on LinkedIn.

Mapping Statistical Data

.. GIS tools & data resources that you can use for statistical mapping & visual data analysis … Geographic Information Systems (GIS) provide flexible and powerful capabilities to combine maps with data. In our increasingly data rich environment, we often experience “drowning in data.” GIS tools can help harness disparate and voluminous data and assist with data linkage. This section provides links to other sections that provide information on no cost GIS software and “production” GIS projects and datasets that you can use.

Patterns of Per Capita Personal Income Change 2008-14 by County
— relative to U.S. PCPI 2008-14 change
To illustrate, the following graphic shows patterns of per capita personal income change 2008 to 2014 by county relative to the U.S. See more information. Click graphic for larger view with legend and additional details. Make variations of this map view using resources described in this section. Optionally integrate your own data.

— view created using CV XE GIS and associated REIS GIS Project

GIS provides us with a way to improve collaboration; we can more easily comprehend and understand geographic relationships and patterns among “variables” and statistical data. As we reduce tabular data to visual representations, we are better able to communicate “what the data are telling us” among stakeholders and teams/committees. This second dimension, learning what the data are telling us, provides the power of creating insights for more effective decision-making.

Mapping Statistical Data Topics
Most applications presented in this section involve use of Windows-based desktop GIS software. The software and GIS project files and datasets are installed on your computer. These resources are available for use by members of the User Group at no fee.  Click a link below to view additional details about a topic of interest.  There you find a description of the scope and use of the data/geography, steps to access and use the GIS projects/datasets and getting started tutorials.
World by Country
U.S. by State
U.S. by Congressional District
U.S. by Metropolitan Area
U.S. by County
U.S. by City/Place
U.S. by ZIP Code Area
State by Census Tract (each/all states)
State by Block Group
State by Census Block
K-12 Schools & School District Data Analytics

Applications make use of a range of statistical data from the Federal Statistical System, and other sources, integrated with shapefiles from the Census Bureau TIGER/Line shapefiles, OpenStreetMaps, and other sources.

Join me in a Data Analytics Lab session to discuss accessing, integrating and using these resources … and linking these data/geography with other data that relate to your situation.

About the Author
— Warren Glimpse is former senior Census Bureau statistician responsible for innovative data access and use operations. He is also the former associate director of the U.S. Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards for data access and use. He has more than 20 years of experience in the private sector developing data resources and tools for integration and analysis of geographic, demographic, economic and business data. Contact Warren. Join Warren on LinkedIn.

Metro Gross Domestic Product Patterns & Trends

.. 282 metropolitan statistical areas, of the total 381, experienced an increase in real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) between 2009 and 2014. Collectively, real GDP for U.S. metropolitan areas increased 2.3 percent in 2014 after increasing 1.9 percent in 2013. Use the interactive table and GIS project/datasets described here to view/analyze patterns and characteristics in metros of interest. See more details in related Web version of this document.

Percent Change in Real GDP by Metro, 2009-2014
The following graphic shows patterns of percent change in real GDP by metro from 2009 to 2014. The orange fill pattern shows metros experiencing a decrease in real GDP over the period.

— view created using CV XE GIS and associated MetroGDP GIS Project
— click graphic for larger showing legend details.

View Metro GDP Characteristics section in the Metropolitan Area Situation & Outlook Reports, providing the same scope of data as in the table below integrated with other data. See example for the Dallas, TX MSA.

GDP by metropolitan area is the sub-state counterpart of the national gross domestic product, the most comprehensive measure of U.S. economic activity. GDP by metropolitan area is derived as the sum of the GDP originating in all the industries in the metropolitan area. Use the interactive table, tools and resources provided/described in this section to access and analyze current and real metro GDP patterns. See more about metro GDP below in this section.

Use the Metro GDP GIS Project/Datasets
Use the CV XE GIS software and MetroGDP GIS project to create thematic pattern maps and integrate the employment situation data with other data. Add your own data. Apply different queries. Label geographic areas. Create zoom views. Put results into stories and analytical documents. ProximityOne User Group members may install the MetroGDP GIS Project (see details here) and prepare thematic pattern maps like the one shown above.

Use the Metro GDP Interactive Table
The graphic below illustrates use of the Metro GDP Interactive Table to view, rank, query current dollar and real GDP annually over the period 2009-2014. This view shows metros ranked on real GDP change during the period 2009 to 2014. The National Rank column show the rank of the metro among all 381 MSAs as of 2014 based on current dollar GDP. Use the interactive table to examine peer groups and sets of metros of interest. Click graphic for larger view.

Join me in a Data Analytics Lab session to discuss accessing, integrating and using these data with other data that relate to your situation.

About the Author
— Warren Glimpse is former senior Census Bureau statistician responsible for innovative data access and use operations. He is also the former associate director of the U.S. Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards for data access and use. He has more than 20 years of experience in the private sector developing data resources and tools for integration and analysis of geographic, demographic, economic and business data. Contact Warren. Join Warren on LinkedIn.

Tools to Analyze the Local Area Employment Situation

.. December 2015; updated monthly … current, monthly data on the employment situation are essential to assess recent trends. The only historical source of these data for all metropolitan areas, counties and sub-county areas is the Bureau of Labor Statistics (about these data). The civilian labor force, employment, unemployment and unemployment rate are estimated monthly with only a two month lag between the reference date and the data access date (e.g., February 2016 data are available in April 2016). Historical monthly seasonally adjusted and non-adjusted time-series data are available. Use tools and resources provided/described in this section to access and analyze these Local Area Employment Situation (LAES) data. See related Web page with interactive ranking table.

Unemployment Rate by Metro
The following graphic shows the unemployment rate by metro.
— view created using CV XE GIS and associated LAES GIS Project

The LAES data and this section are updated monthly. The LAES data, and their their extension, are part of the ProximityOne Situation & Outlook database and information system. ProximityOne extends the LAES data in several ways including monthly update projections of the employment situation one year ahead.

Use the interactive table in the related Web page to view, sort, compare employment situation characteristics by Core-Based Statistical Area (CBSA) — metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas.

Analyze Labor Market Characteristics in Context of Other Data
The Metropolitan Area Situation & Outlook Reports provide a labor market characteristics monthly time-series table. Select a metro using this interactive table. Examine the labor market data in context with wide-ranging related demographic-economic data.

Visual Pattern and GeoSpatial Analysis
Use the CV XE GIS software and LAES GIS project to create thematic pattern maps and integrate the employment situation data with other data. ProximityOne User Group members may install the LAES GIS Project at no fee and prepare thematic pattern maps like the one shown above and below. The map shown below shows the unemployment rate for each CBSA for a year earlier than the above map. Compare the maps and see how patterns have changed.

— view created using CV XE GIS and associated LAES GIS Project

Using the LAES GIS Project
Use the LAES GIS Project to develop maps, such as those shown above, and perform geospatial analysis operations. The LAES GIS Project updates monthly as new data become available. The CBSA layer/shapefile includes monthly civilian labor force, employment, unemployment and unemployment rate estimates for each month from January 2014 through the most recent estimate month (e.g., the December 2015 release includes monthly data from January 2014 through October 2015). Steps to develop custom thematic pattern maps are summarized below (requires Windows computer with Internet connection)
1. Install the ProximityOne CV XE GIS
… run the CV XE GIS installer
… take all defaults during installation
2. Download the LAES GIS project fileset
… requires ProximityOne User Group ID (join now, no fee)
… unzip LAES GIS project files to local folder c:\laes
3. Open the c:\laes\laes1.gis project
… after completing the above steps, click File>Open>Dialog
… open the file named c:\laes\laes1.gis
4. Done. The start-up view is shown at top of this section.

Join me in a Data Analytics Lab session to discuss accessing, integrating and using these data with other data that relate to your situation.

About the Author
— Warren Glimpse is former senior Census Bureau statistician responsible for innovative data access and use operations. He is also the former associate director of the U.S. Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards for data access and use. He has more than 20 years of experience in the private sector developing data resources and tools for integration and analysis of geographic, demographic, economic and business data. Contact Warren. Join Warren on LinkedIn.

Staying Ahead of the Data in 2016

.. effective use of information in anticipation of data releases .. The Federal statistical system uses scheduled release dates for wide-ranging statistical data. Anticipation of the implications of the data by users builds ahead of the actual release date. This section reviews major statistical release dates to help stakeholders “stay ahead of the data” and be prepared to make better use of the data. The continuously updated Statistical Release Dates for 2016 table can be a useful reference throughout the year.

Anticipation of Data Releases & Implications of the Data
Each month, stakeholders around the world watch for news about the Jobs Report, the Employment Situation, data developed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Employment Situation is one of many key economic measures used to assess the strength and direction of the U.S. economy.

For the November 2015 Jobs Report, released December 4, 2015, the New York Times December 2nd story reflected “In the United States, most of the focus will be on the November jobs report, to be released Friday. Expectations are high.”

Many, convinced that the November data would be good news, took action in advance of the actual data release. The New York Times December 4th story “The U.S. economy created 211,000 jobs in November … The numbers did not disappoint … U.S. stocks jumped more than 2 percent … Stocks rallied in a sign investors are taking their cue from economic performance …” The Jobs Report is but one of many with monthly implications for planning and decision-making.

Staying Ahead of the Data
Planning in advance of the statistical release dates can often be as important as taking action based on what the numbers actually say. Upon the actual data release, a CEO might ask, “what do these data mean for our company and what might be the impact on us?” Good opportunities might have passed by that time. And, in the face of less positive news, the opportunity to take action might have passed.

Statistical Release Dates for 2016
See the full 2016 calendar. The graphic below shows a partial view of the 2016 data release dates. Items include selected key Federal and other demographic-economic statistics and related geographic data. The list builds on the list of “Principal Federal Economic Indicators” prepared by OMB. That list was developed in part to prevent early access to information that may affect financial and commodity markets and preserve the distinction between the policy-neutral release of data by statistical agencies and their interpretation by policy officials.


– click graphic to view full table.

Each row in the table shows dates for data releases. The table will update throughout 2016 and knits together with the ProximityOne calendar. The “Staying Ahead of the Data” section in the Metropolitan Area Situation & Outlook Reportsreviews upcoming data releases and anticipates the possible effects on that metropolitan area.

Join me in a Data Analytics Lab session to discuss accessing, integrating and using these data with other data that relate to your situation.

About the Author
— Warren Glimpse is former senior Census Bureau statistician responsible for innovative data access and use operations. He is also the former associate director of the U.S. Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards for data access and use. He has more than 20 years of experience in the private sector developing data resources and tools for integration and analysis of geographic, demographic, economic and business data. Contact Warren. Join Warren on LinkedIn.

Metros 2015: Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI

… examining Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI metropolitan area:
• How will the market for single family homes change over the next 5 years?
• How does economic prosperity in this metro compare to others?
• What are the patterns in metro rental income and rental vacancy rates?
• How do patterns vary within the metro by county/neighborhood?
• How are demographic-economic characteristics trending?

We examine these types of topics in this section. Stakeholders can replicate applications reviewed here for this and other metros. Select any metro.

Metropolitan areas include approximately 94 percent of the U.S. population — 85 percent in metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) and 9 percent in micropolitan statistical areas (MISAs). Of 3,143 counties in the United States, 1,167 are in the 381 MSAs in the U.S. and 641 counties are in the 536 MISAs (1,335 counties are in non-metro areas).

Focus on Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI MSA
This section is focused on the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI MSA; Core-Based Statistical Area (CBSA) 33460. It is not intended to be a study of the metro but rather illustrate how relevant decision-making information resources can be brought together to examine patterns and change and develop insights. The data, tools and methods can be applied to any metro.
– See a more detailed version of this document focused on this metro.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI MSA is shown in the graphic below. The 20-county metropolitan statistical area is shown with bold boundary; counties appear with black boundaries and county name/geographic code labels.

Click graphic for larger view. Map developed using CV XE GIS.

This metro is home to Fortune 1000 companies including 3M Company, Ameriprise Financial, Best Buy Co., General Mills, Inc., Land O’Lakes, Inc. and many others.

Metro principal cities (about principal cities) … click the link to view city profile   Bloomington .. Eagan ..  Eden Prairie .. Minneapolis .. Plymouth ..  St. Paul

The total population of the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI metro changed from 3,355,105 in 2010 to 3,495,176 in 2014, a change of 140,071 (4.17%). Among all 917 metros, this metro was ranked number 16 in 2010 and 16 in 2014, based on total population. Annual net migration was 10,659 (2011), 10,100 (2012), 13,897 (2013), 10,762 (2014). View annual population estimates and components of change table. See more about population characteristics below.

This metro is projected to have a total population in 2020 of 3,698,877. The projected population change from 2010 to 2020 is 343,772 (10.2%). The population ages 65 years and over is projected to change from 372,335 (2010) to 603,936 (2020), a change of 231,601 (62.2%). See more about population projections.

Based on per capita personal income (PCPI), this metro was ranked number 37 in 2008 and 44 in 2014. The PCPI changed from $47,956 in 2008 to $53,166 in 2014, a change of $5,210 (10.9%). Per capita personal income (PCPI) is a comprehensive measure of individual economic well-being. Use the interactive table to compare PCPI in this metro to other metros.

The following thematic pattern shows a measure of economic prosperity (median household income: MHI) by census tract.

Click graphic for larger view. Map developed using CV XE GIS.
Develop variations of this map view using the Mapping Minnesota Neighborhood Patterns GIS resources.

View additional selected details about the metro …
–  Component City Characteristics
–  Component County Characteristics
–  Economic Profile
–  Component School District Characteristics

Join me in a Data Analytics Lab session to discuss more details about this metro, comparing this metro to peer group metros and use of data analytics to develop further detail related to your situation.

About the Author
— Warren Glimpse is former senior Census Bureau statistician responsible for innovative data access and use operations. He is also the former associate director of the U.S. Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards for data access and use. He has more than 20 years of experience in the private sector developing data resources and tools for integration and analysis of geographic, demographic, economic and business data. Contact Warren. Join Warren on LinkedIn.