Tag Archives: Census Tracts

Analyzing Block Group Demographics

.. tools & data to analyze sub-census tract households, education, income, housing, more … Block Groups, subdivisions of census tracts, are the smallest geographic areas for which “richer demographics” are developed by the Census Bureau. Block group demographic-economic estimates, based on Census 2010 geography, are annually updated beginning with American Community Survey (ACS) 2010. The latest ACS estimates for these 217,740 areas covering U.S. wall-to-wall are from ACS 2015. The ACS 2016 update will be released in December 2017.  See the related Web section for more detail about accessing and using block group geography and demographic-economic data.

Patterns of Economic Prosperity by Block Group
The following graphic shows patterns of median household income by block group in the Houston, TX area. Markers show block groups with 10 or more housing units having value of $2 million or more. Markers are labeled with the number of housing units having value of $2 million or more in that block group. Click graphic for larger view, more detail and legend color/data intervals. This map illustrates the geographic level of detail available using block group demographics and the relative ease to gain insights using geospatial data analytics tools.

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

Block Group Demographic-Economic Data & Shapefiles
… selection of key demographic-economic attributes; annual update
… subject matter categories include:
  • Total population>
  • Population by gender iterated by age
  • Population by race/origin
  • Households by type of household
  • Educational attainment by detailed category
  • Household Income by detailed category
  • Housing units by owner/renter occupancy
  • Housing units by units in structure
  • Housing units by detailed value intervals

See the related Web section for a detailed list of items.

Use these Data on Your Computer
Use the above U.S. national scope dataset with your own software or in ready-to-use GIS projects with the CV XE GIS software.

Join me in a Data Analytics Lab session to discuss more details about accessing and using wide-ranging demographic-economic data and data analytics. Learn more about using these data for areas and applications of interest.

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.

Creating Maps & GIS Projects

.. follow these steps to create custom maps & GIS projects .. while maps are “everywhere,” there is a continuing need to make new maps. Reasons for this include changing underlying geography, new features (like stores or customers to be viewed), visually examining geographic relationships not available elsewhere (e.g., census tracts and ZIP codes), different geographic depictions for an area (smoothed versus precise vertices) and other reasons. A map can provide view(s) that relate to geospatial analysis; map visualization can be indispensable (showing road features adjacent to selected properties).

View of Initial Map Objective — University Park, TX; Dallas Metro area
Census tracts (black boundary) shown with census tract code as label.

— view developed using CV XE GIS software

Follow steps in this section to make a map like above for any area in the U.S. This section provides an overview of how to use the CVGIS software to quickly build a map. It is actually more than a map, it is the process of building a GIS project. A map is one rendering that can be displayed, and optionally published, using a GIS project. Map/GIS project development steps reviewed here can be performed using the no fee CVGIS software and no fee data resources, CVGIS Levels 1 and higher can save the GIS project and have additional geography available. With geographic extension, the process illustrated here can work for any place in the world. A GIS project is a file itself that contains references to map files (shapefiles) located on your computer. Once a GIS project has been created and saved, it can be immediately opened with CVGIS using the File>Open operation. After turning your computer off, and restarting it, the GIS project can be re-opened to display the same view as saved in an earlier session.

No Previous GIS/Mapping Experience Required
This section is designed for use by anyone including those with no previous GIS/mapping experience. Requirements are a Windows computer and Internet access. This section is a part of a module used in the Certificate in Data Analytics and the CVGIS Certification Programs. Developers can also benefit from this and related tutorials to learn more about how GIS can be integrated with other data analytics tools and methods.

Making Maps Steps
The objective of this session is to develop a map (and GIS project) to view characteristics of census tract “48113019301”. The first step in making a map (GIS project) is to have a clear objective. This 11 character geocode uniquely identifies this Census 2010 census tract among all other 73,057 tracts in the U.S. See more about census tract geography and geocodes. While this application shows a process for adding only two layers, it could be extended by adding more. Similarly, while this application uses a census tract boundary files (shapefile), alternatives are census blocks, block groups, ZIP code areas, among others.

These steps should take an inexperienced user 10-15 minutes to develop a new CVGIS project view. If anything becomes confused, close the program and start over.
Step 1. Install CVGIS (1/1/2017 or later version)
Step 2. Open Base Project
Step 3. Get Census Tract Shapefile
Step 4. Get Roads Shapefile
Step 5. Modify Map View
Step 6. Optionally Save GIS Project

The view should now be similar to the view at the top of this section.

Next Steps
Try the process yourself with geography of interest to you. View/use other “Creating Maps & GIS Projects” tutorials to learn about:
• integrating subject matter
• developing and using thematic maps
• creating site profiles

Join me in a Data Analytics Lab session to discuss more details about accessing and using wide-ranging demographic-economic data and data analytics. Learn more about using these data for areas and applications of interest.

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.

State and Regional Decision-Making Information

Organized on a state-by-state basis, use tools and geographic, demographic and economic data resources in these sections to facilitate planning and analysis. Updated frequently, these sections provide a unique means to access to multi-sourced data to develop insights into patterns, characteristics and trends on wide-ranging issues. Bookmark the related main Web page; keep up-to-date.

Using these Resources
Knowing “where we are” and “how things have changed” are key factors in knowing about the where, when and how of future change — and how that change might impact you. There are many sources of this knowledge. Often the required data do not knit together in an ideal manner. Key data are available for different types of geography, become available at different points in time and are often not the perfect subject matter. These sections provide access to relevant data and a means to consume the data more effectively than might otherwise be possible. Use these data, tools and resources in combination with other data to perform wide-ranging data analytics. See examples.

Select a State/Area

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
D.C.
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

Topics for each State — with drill-down to census block
Visual pattern analysis tools … using GIS resources
Digital Map Database
Situation & Outlook
Metropolitan Areas
Congressional Districts
Counties
Cities/Places
Census Tracts
ZIP Code Areas
K-12 Education, Schools & School Districts
Block Groups
Census Blocks

Join me in a Data Analytics Lab session to discuss more details about accessing and using wide-ranging demographic-economic data and data analytics. Learn more about using these data for areas and applications of interest.

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.

Tip of the Day — Census Tract Data Analytics

.. tip of the day .. a continuing weekly or more frequent tip on developing, integrating, accessing and using geographic, demographic, economic and statistical data. Join in .. tip of the day posts are added to the Data Analytics Blog on an irregular basis, normally weekly. Follow the blog to receive updates as they occur.

This section is focused on tools and methods to access and use census tract demographic-economic measures. Median household income ($MHI), median housing value ($MHV) and other selected items are used to illustrate operations and options.

This section illustrates use of census tract data from the 2014 American Community Survey (ACS1014) 5-year estimates. These are the most comprehensive demographic-economic data from the Census Bureau at the census tract level. These “5-year estimates” are centric to mid-2012. See more about 2010-2021 annual estimates and projections.

Methods described here apply to many other geographies; see related tip sections. See related section on ZIP code applications.

Five data access and use options are reviewed. Each method illustrates how $$MHI, $MHV and other data can be analyzed/used in different contexts.

Option 1 – View the data as a thematic pattern map.
Option 2 – View, compare, rank query data in interactive tables.
Option 3 – Access data using API Tools; create datasets.
Option 4 – View $MHI in structured profile in context of related data.
Option 5 – Site analysis – view circular area profile from a location.

Related sections:
Census tracts main section
Evolution of Census Tracts: 1970-2010
Demographic-Economic Estimates & Projections
Census tract and ZIP code equivalencing
Using census tracts versus ZIP code areas
Single year of age demographics

Option 1. View the data as a thematic pattern map; use the GIS tools:
Patterns of Economic Prosperity ($MHI) by Census Tract … the following graphic shows $MHI 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; expand browser window for best quality view.

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

See details about each option in the related Web page.

Join me in a Data Analytics Lab session to discuss more details about accessing and using wide-ranging demographic-economic data and data analytics. Learn more about using these data for areas and applications of interest.

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.

American Community Survey 2014 Interactive Tables

.. examining demographic-economic patterns .. use the interactive tables described in this section to examine, view, compare, rank and assess demographic-economic patterns and characteristics of interest for wide-ranging geography based on ACS 2014 data.

It is very important to understand the demographic-economic make-up and patterns for wide-ranging geographies. Community and neighborhood challenges and opportunities are shaped by demographic-economic dynamics. Knowing more about “where we are now” is essential to understanding needs for policy and program management. The quality and precision of business marketing and operational plans and decisions can be improved using these data. School districts can better understand their school district community using these data. Elected officials and policymakers can better understand the needs and characteristics of constituents who they represent. Students can benefit by using these data in studies and research by attaching real world data to support, document and analyze topics of interest.

Data from the American Community Survey 2014 (ACS 2014) are key to these uses, users and processes. See more about the importance of these data. The ACS 2014 interactive tables are part of a larger set of tables comprised of multi-sourced data that are updated frequently. Additional ACS 2014 tables will be added. Join the User Group to receive updates as tables are added.

Median Household Income by ZIP Code Area; Los Angeles Area
Illustrating integration of data in tables using GIS tools & geospatial analysis. Larger view illustrates ZIP code area labeling and use of mini-profile feature.

View developed with CV XE GIS software. Click graphic for larger view; expand browser window for best quality view.

Using the Tables
The interactive tables are organized by type of geography (e.g., ZIP codes) using a standardized structure. There are four types of subject matter for each type of geography (general demographic, social, economic and housing). There is a table/web page for each combination of geography by type of subject matter.

Within each table there is a row that corresponds to a geographic area. Also within each table, columns provide geographic names and codes and a set of subject matter data standardized across all geographies. Similarly designed table controls are provided at the below the table. Usage notes are located below the table.

Terms of Use
These data may be used for any purpose, except that the data may not be bulk downloaded nor used to create similar interactive tables. There is no warranty of any type with regard to any aspect of the data, table or Web pages. The user is solely responsible for any use. It is requested that any use of any table reference the source of the data (ACS 2014), ProximityOne and a link to the Web page.

Data Analytics
ProximityOne has developed these interactive tables as part of a broader set of data analytics tools and data resources. Data shown in the tables are available in dataset structure (CSV, DBF, Excel) on a fee basis. These data are also available as data integrated into shapefiles for GIS applications and geospatial analysis. Most geographic table sections also provide access to ready-to-use GIS projects/datasets. These data are integrated with yet other data to develop/update the Situation & Outlook database and information system, ProximityOne Data Service,Situation & Outlook Metro Reports and other products. These data are also used in the ProximityOne Certificate in Data Analytics and custom service/study applications.

Where’s Waldo?
Use this interactive tool to key in an address and determine geographic codes (geocodes) that might be useful. After keying in an address, click Find button. If the address is located, the page refreshes with a set of geocodes presented below the demographic-economic statistical summary.

ACS 2014 Tables & Datasets
ACS summary data are are tabulated and released annually as 1-year and 5-year estimates. These data are all estimates, subject to errors of estimation and other errors, based on household surveys.
ACS 1-year estimates (for areas 65,000 population or more) become available in September; e.g. the ACS 2014 1-year estimates became available in September 2015.
ACS 5-year estimates (all geographies) become available in December; e.g. the ACS 2014 5-year estimates became available in December 2015.
• See this section for more information about 1-year versus 5-year estimates and comparing ACS data over time.
Table listing provided below are separated into two groups as to data source: ACS 1-year and ACS 5-year. All tables are U.S. national scope.

ACS 2014 1-Year Tables


Data in these tables are centric to mid-2014.
U.S., State, CBSA/Metro
General Demographics .. Social .. Economic .. Housing

114th Congressional Districts
General Demographics .. Social .. Economic .. Housing

ACS 2014 5-Year Tables


Data in these tables are centric to mid-2012 (mid-point of survey period 2010-2014).
Census Tracts
General Demographics .. Social .. Economic .. Housing

ZIP Code Areas
General Demographics .. Social .. Economic .. Housing

School Districts
General Demographics .. Social .. Economic .. Housing

State Legislative Districts
General Demographics .. Social .. Economic .. Housing

Weekly Data Analytics Lab Sessions
Join me in a Data Analytics Lab session to discuss more details about using these data in context of data analytics with other geography and other subject matter.  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.

 

MapCompiler: Assembling a GIS Project

.. visual analysis of geographic-demographic-economic patterns is an important part of the data analytics process.  The ability to easily combine and flexibly explore relationships among geographies is equally important.  Use GIS tools to perform these tasks and benefit from collaborative planning and analysis results.

This section summarizes use of “mapcompiler” operations to develop reference or analytic map views for small area geography like that shown in the following graphic.  The graphic shows block groups (red boundaries, yellow labels)  and census tracts (blue boundaries, white labels)

Study Area with Block Groups and Census Tracts Layers
This “application” has been developed to examine characteristics in the vicinity of the red marker (1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA). This location and vicinity are used for illustration. It is easy to see what block group and census tract contain the location of interest. Other locations could be added.

— view developed using CV XE GIS software.

The methods described here can be applied to any location in the U.S. While these steps illustrate use of small area geography, the resources and methods apply to geography and shapefiles on a global level. They include geography ranging from all U.S. counties to the world by country.

Assemble the GIS Project
A first step to view a map of small area geography is to acquire and assemble layers/shapefiles into a GIS project.  Visually compare the geographic relationship between block groups or census tracts by using the CV XE GIS GeoGateway feature. The GeoGateway feature can be thought of as a “mapcompiler” — selectively add shapefiles as layers to a GIS project.  These operations are summarized here and presented step-by-step in this related Web section. The GeoGateway feature is available in all versions of the CV XE GIS software.

Cupertino, CA Study Area
The graphic below shows the start-up view of the GIS project used in this application.

— view developed using CV XE GIS software.

The red marker shows the location of 1 Infinite Circle, Cupertino, CA. Census blocks with blue fill pattern are within 1-mile distance from the address/location. Census blocks with green fill pattern are within 3-mile distance from the address/location. Block groups, census tracts and roads will be added to this GIS project through steps described in this section. The resulting views are shown here.

Use these resources and procedures to develop similarly constructed maps for anywhere in the U.S. While the applications shown here illustrate use of map compiler, or GIS project development tool, for block groups and census tracts, the CV XE GeoGateway can be used to select and combine any of the TIGER/Line shapefiles.

GIS Project Start-up & Development
The following steps are required to operationally proceed with mapcompiler steps:
Install the CV XE GIS software (level 1 or higher) if not already installed.
• Unzip the CAPS1 GIS project fileset to the folder c:\cv_caps (new folder).
• Start CV XE GIS; use File>Dialog>Open to open the GIS project c:\cv_caps\caps_06085_zoom1.gis.
.. the view will be similar to the view shown above.

Summary of Steps to Add Layers
1. Start File>GeoGateway; a new form appears.
2. Add the Santa Clara CA census tracts shapefile/layer.
3. Add the Santa Clara CA block groups shapefile/layer.
4. Add the Santa Clara CA edges/roads shapefile/layer.
5. Close GeoGateway form; perform mapping and analytical operations.

Using GeoGateway
This graphic shows the GeoGateway form being used to integrate the Santa Clara County block groups layer into the GIS project.

See the detailed step-by-step operations.

U.S. Urban Areas
Use the GeoGateway feature to develop national scope map views and GIS projects like the one shown below — all urban areas (orange fill pattern). This view can be assembled in a few minutes, starting with the same GIS project used above.

— view developed using CV XE GIS software.

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.

Interactive Location-Based Demographics Tool

.. have you wondered how Web sites determine the demographic-economic attributes for a location/address? Are those data for the corresponding block group, census tract, city or something else? Was it the “ZIP code area”? These areas can be 100,000 population or more making them so large that alternative geographies might be preferred. Often those important particulars — which geography and data sourcing — are vague or unknown. This section reviews use of the interactive Location-Based Demographics Tool to access data for a location based multiple, alternative types of address “container areas”. See more details in this related web section.

Any given address or location is contained with several types of statistical areas (e.g. census tract or block group) and political areas (e.g. city or county). We may want to know the demographic-economic characteristics of a location for any one or several of these geographies. Use the interactive tool on this page to access those data. For example, access/view the median household income of the location/address block group or the median household income the location/address city. Key in the address of interest, select the type of geography and click Find — see graphic below. The results are displayed on the same page.

Click this graphic to view address entry form

Profile for Census Tract
When Tract is selected as Type of Area, this profile is displayed:
(median household income is $118,827)

Profile for Block Group
When Block Group is selected as Type of Area, this profile is displayed:
(median household income is $139,342)

Creating Maps for These Geographies
See this related web section about using the MapCompiler to create map views for these block group and census tract areas in the vicinity of the default address used above (1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA). Use the CV XE MapCompiler (GeoGateway feature) to create similar maps for any area of interest.

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.