Census Economic and Demographic Data

This data is currently for the 2000 Census.  You must factor the age of the data into any analyses you undertake.  This data is not available for the 2010 Census; instead you must use the American Community Data.

  1. Download Geometry files for Block Groups or Tracts.  Determine which level of generalization you want to use. Tracts have fewer polygons but each is larger.  Only limited data is available for blocks, for reasons of both privacy and statistical accuracy.
  2. Download Demographic data files.  Two Census Summary Files will be most useful, SF1 and SF3:
  3. Open a  map.
  4. Link/join the SF1 or SF3 data base to the shapefile with outlines of the regions.  You must correctly match the geometry with the correct demographics (you cannot match block groups with tracts, for instance).
  5. Plot maps of parameters  from the "Plot" button menu on the database table display window,
  6. Computations you might want
  7. You can adjust the color in the underlying map to de-emphasize the background and let this data dominate, but the background helps the viewer locate the points of interest.
Plot maps showing parameters using Color code by DB field from the "Plot" button menu on the database table display window, picking a "Numeric" field.

This map shows a number of counties that have been merged together, and the number of Male PhDs from the SF3 data.  The largest numbers are in Montgomery county northwest of the District of Columbia (the missing square).  Federal institutions like NIH  there employ large numbers of researchers.

 

Number of males earning over $100K in each Census Block Group from SF3 data for Anne Arundel County.
  1. Rather than absolute numbers, maybe the percentage of high income earners will be more informative.
  2. Check the Edit checkbox on the database table display window.
  3. Pick Edit, Field Arithmetic, Quotient two fields.

     

    We will divide the Males over 16 earning more than $100K by the total number of makes over 16 with earnings.  These field names were selected when we modified the Excel spreadsheet downloaded from the Census Bureau.

    The "LINK-" in front of the field names indicates that the values come from the linked table, and are not included in the shapefile's DBF.

     

  4. Select a name for the new field, remembering the Rules for field names.
  5. The new field will be added to the shapefile; you can plot it on the map.

     

    Fraction of males earning over $100K in each Census Block Group  from SF3 data.
    Fraction of a white females over 25 with a graduate or professional degree in each Census Block Group  from SF3 data.

    White areas within the county have no matches for this demographic (one such large region is BWI airport).

     

  6. You can plot in other ways as well.

     

    Proportional symbols plotting.

    (Left) Fraction of males earning over $100K in each Census Block  from SF3 data, with both the size and color reflecting the values.  This map might be more effective over another base map, such as a shaded relief DEM.

     

    (Right) True type symbol, with both the size and color reflecting the same values in the map to the left.  This map is plotted on a grayed and subdued Tiger line map.

    Male-female and female-male ratios for those over 16 with earnings from SF3 data. 

    Note that values > 1 are more clearly shown than those < 1.

    On the male-female ratio, the small yellow block group is a college that was formerly all male and still has a large imbalance in the male-female ratio.  The purple tract on the NW edge of the county is another institution with too many men, but its inhabitants have less choice about their monastic lifestyle. 

    Male-female ratio for those over 16 with earnings from SF3 data.

    Map overlaid on DEM shaded reflectance, and TIGER roads and streams overlaid. 

    Fraction of population 22-29 years old from SF1 data. 
    Population Density, which shows the high and low population densities.

    This required computation of the area of each block group.

    1. Check the Edit checkbox on the database table display window.
    2. Pick Edit, Field Arithmetic, Area in KM.
    3. Then Pick Edit, Field Arithmetic, Quotient two fields, using the POP2000 from the SF1 data and the area, to get the population density.

     

          

You can combine this analysis with other data:

European NUTS data:


Last revised37/6/2016