Written by: Michael Ratcliffe
Our customers often want to explore neighborhood-level statistics and see how their communities have changed over time. Our new Census Explorer interactive mapping tool makes this easier than ever. It provides statistics on a variety of topics, such as percent of people who are foreign-born, educational attainment and homeownership rate. Statistics from the 2008 to 2012 American Community Survey power Census Explorer.
While you may be familiar with other ways to find neighborhood-level statistics, Census Explorer provides an interactive map for states, counties and census tracts. You can even look at how these neighborhoods have changed over time because the tool includes information from the 1990 and 2000 censuses in addition to the latest American Community Survey statistics. Seeing these changes is possible because the annual American Community Survey replaced the decennial census long form, giving communities throughout the nation more timely information than just once every 10 years.
How do you use Census Explorer?
You can choose from eight topics, such as median household income, and then display the topic by states, counties or census tracts. The colors on the map you create represent higher and lower values and if you scroll over a location, you can see the selected statistic for that area. To see change over time, just select either 1990 Census or 2000 Census data.
You can also look up tract-level information for a specific address by typing it into the search bar. The census tract may not perfectly match how you would define your neighborhood because we work with city and county governments to define tracts. However, they often are good representations. You can also use this feature to find a census tract number, allowing you to look up statistics not available in Census Explorer from one of our other data tools.
Census Explorer is available thanks to the richness of information about our neighborhoods from the American Community Survey, which gives decision-makers the information they need to plan investments and services. The tool is just the latest way we are making it easier for you to access these statistics.
Census Explorer pulls from the Census Bureau’s application programming interface, which allows developers to use data sets to create online and mobile apps. It is another aspect of our digital transformation, along with our two mobile apps, dwellr and America’s Economy. Tools such as these ensure we are meeting our 200-year-old mission of delivering quality statistics about America’s people, places and economy using 21st century technology.
Topics currently available in Census Explorer:
- Total population
- Percent 65 and older
- Foreign-born population percentage
- Percent of the population with a high school degree or higher
- Percent with a bachelor’s degree or higher
- Labor force participation rate
- Home ownership rate
- Median household income