Examining School District Demographic-Economic Patterns

.. the importance of understanding the demographic-economic make-up and trends for school districts can hardly be overstated. Community and educational challenges and opportunities are shaped by demographic-economic dynamics. Only by knowing “where we are” can we develop the most effective plans for improvement.

This section reviews tools, resources and methods that you can use to access, integrate and analyze demographic-economic data. The U.S. national scope ACS 2014 (released December 2015) School District Demographic-Economic Dataset contains approximately 600 subject matter items tabulated for each school district organized into four subject matter groups:
  • General Demographics
  • Social Characteristics
  • Economic Characteristics
  • Housing Characteristics
See similar interactive tables for: Census Tracts | ZIP Codes | State, Metro & County.

These data provide information and insights not available by examining data of students and schools alone — or any other data. See more about the importance of these data. Data are based on the American Community Survey (ACS)2014 5-year estimates for school districts defined as of the 2013-14 school year.

Patterns of Educational Attainment by School District
This view shows percent population 25 years and over with bachelor’s degree by school district; Texas and south central U.S. The thematic pattern shows item S067 shown in the interactive table. Click graphic for larger view, more detail and legend color/data intervals. This map illustrates the relative ease to gain insights into school district patterns using geospatial data analytics tools.

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

Using GIS software and project datasets, you can create zoom-in views, label geographic objects, add your own data, select different subject matter, change intervals/colors and perform a wide range of geospatial analyses.

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 state of interest. Enter the request with state name in the text section; e.g., “Requesting school district pattern map for Illinois.”

Using the Interactive Table
Use the interactive table in this related section to view, query, rank, compare social characteristics of the population among a set of school district — or view characteristics of a selected district.

The following graphic illustrates use of the interactive table; click graphic for larger view. This view shows school districts in the Dallas, TX metro ranked in descending order on item S067 (Percent bachelor’s degree or higher). Highland Park ISD has the highest value of 83.1%.

Try it for a metro of interest — get metro 5-character code here. Go to the Social Characteristics table, then:
  • Click ShowAll button below table.
  • Click AvgHHSize… button below table.
  • Paste the 5-character metro code in the edit box to right of CBSA> button.
    … overwriting the value 19100.
  • Click the CBSA> button.
  • Click the S067 column header; click again to sort in other direction.
    … Done!

Weekly Data Analytics Lab Sessions
Join me in a Data Analytics Lab session to discuss more details about using school & school district geography and using 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.

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