Where Do You Want to Dwell?

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New Census Mobile App Showcases Local Statistics for People on the Go

Written by: Stephen Buckner

dwellr, a new mobile app from the U.S. Census BureauAmerica has always been a nation on the move. Whether you are looking for a career change or a new neighborhood to call home, life decisions affect each of us every day.  With roughly half of Americans now owning smartphones, everyone should be able to access the wealth of statistics the Census Bureau collects to make informed decisions on the go, whether at home or on the road.  What good are data if nobody but the experts can easily access them? The Census Bureau uses 21st century technology to meet its centuries-old mission, making the statistics that define our growing, changing nation more accessible to the public than ever before.

The Census Bureau’s new mobile app, dwellr, provides those on the go with immediate, personalized access to the latest demographic, socio-economic and housing statistics from the American Community Survey for neighborhoods across the nation. Using the level of importance you place on a location’s characteristics, the app generates a list of top 25 towns or cities most suitable for you. Once you have used the app, it saves your selections on your phone so you can see how they match up against each new place you visit.

With more than 30 million Americans moving last year, dwellr allows for quick and easy access to information to help make the decision, including the ages of residents, how many families have children, median income and housing costs. Dwellr allows Apple and Android smartphone users to explore a range of questions making it a powerful tool for homebuyers, members of the military being deployed domestically, real estate agents, new businesses and teachers helping students learn about their communities.

The statistics in dwellr are only the beginning of a powerful story you can tell with Census Bureau data. Imagine if an app matched your preferences with restaurant reviews, places with museums or most visited parks. With the Census Bureau’s application programming interface, developers can take the same statistics found in dwellr and apply them to any app they can imagine. We are eager to see new applications of these American Community Survey statistics that help people learn more about their communities using the same information businesses use to plan investments and services. These statistics, along with the Census Bureau’s other economic information, provide timely, critical information on the health of the U.S. economy.

The app is just the latest product from the Census Bureau’s digital transformation and provides statistics to more Americans in a new and user-friendly way. It follows the successful release of our hugely popular America’s Economy mobile app, which now has more than 100,000 downloads. Coming soon, you will see an upgraded census.gov website with enhanced search and navigation features that are based on several years of customer feedback. We continue to open up more of our data to developers as part of our API, including 30 years of decennial statistics, in addition to the American Community Survey statistics that power dwellr.

As we continue to align ourselves with the Digital Government Strategy, our free mobile apps are just one way we are making our statistics available anytime, anywhere, and on nearly any device.

Download dwellr from the Google Play or Apple store today and begin learning more about where you are and where you could go in the future.

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6 Responses to Where Do You Want to Dwell?

  1. Elaine Murakami says:

    I was thinking about downloading the app, but I did not think that the app needed to have permission to have my GPS location, so I chose not to accept it, and therefore did not install.

  2. Jennifer@Census_Staff says:

    The app requests permission to use your location but you can install it without choosing to accept it. Declining will only remove features that personalize the experience to a location. You will not see the top 25 results ordered by proximity to location. In addition, the app will not be able to display mapping features or information on the your current location. However, you will still be able to search for locations, get the list of top 25 most compatible locations and have access to statistics. We’ll pass along your feedback to our app team.

  3. David Avila says:

    When will you have it for Window Phones?

  4. Someone says:

    So, what about all the REST of the people that do not live on their mobile devices? Should they be deprived of this function? “Jest askin’ “

  5. Jennifer@Census_staff says:

    All of the statistics are also available online at census.gov.

  6. Tom Jones says:

    The app is nice but gives only one choice in the I.T. industry for a dream job? And that is a computer programmer? What about entrepreneur, software developer, internet technology etc. Somehow entertainment clerk/usher is a more common and dream job.

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