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easy source for US census data?

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#1
Dennis McClendon

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This seems like it should be a really easy thing to find, but I always get tangled in a maze of frustrating database work and JOIN failures in Arc.

 

Is there a good place to find demographic data (particularly Median Household Income) by census tract that's already in shapefile form?


Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#2
jlmurack

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The Census has some TIGER files pre-joined with demographic data:

http://www.census.go...tiger-data.html

 

I'm not sure if Median Household Income is included, but there are a lot of variables. Another trick is to create a map in Factfinder from one of the variables you plan to download. Then in the map view you can download a .shp file. This only includes that one variable, but it puts the GeoID in the same format as the GeoID from all the data tables, so you don't have to worry about converting from text to numeric, adding leading 0's etc. when you join.

 

Jennie Murack

Geospatial Data Librarian

MIT


Edited by jlmurack, 20 May 2013 - 09:56 AM.


#3
mfarmer

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Jennie, do those attributes come with meaningful field names, or do you need a translator for those?



#4
amtait

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Having worked with lots of Census data over the years, I know your frustration. I often use the Census data that comes bundled with ArcGIS, it is already joined to shapefiles. It isn't always the most currect but if you have ArcMAP and the data has what you need, it's easy to use.


Alex Tait
VP, International Mapping, Ellicott City, MD, USA

#5
Dennis McClendon

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My ArcGIS license is not current (I only have 10.0).  Is this data that comes on DVDs, or is it on the ESRI website someplace?


Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#6
mfarmer

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Try: http://www.census.go...tiger-data.html. It has geography down to the Census Tract. Two statements to be aware of:

 

"These national level shapefiles join the geometry and selected attributes from the 2010 Census TIGER/Line Shapefiles and the 2010 Census Summary File 1 Demographic Profile (DP1) for the United States and Puerto Rico. They contain data items such as total population, total housing units, median age, population 16 years and over, population 65 years and over, race, relationship, average household size, and many others. All files are zipped."

 

"These files lack metadata.  Metadata for the shapefiles can be found in the 2010 Census TIGER/Line Shapefiles.  There is an MS Excel file in each zip file that relates the short data table name of the demographic profile data element to its full name. For example, "DP0010001" is the short name for the data table containing total population. The attribute table for each shapefile contains the short names for each data element."



#7
katzmoye

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Does it have to be in shapefile form? If you are using ArcMap you could add a service from ArcGIS Online. USA Media Household Income in 2012 is available if I type in "census" into the search box.



#8
Dennis McClendon

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Yes, I'll need to export it to Illustrator and then pretty it up.  ArcGIS Online services produce those weird strips when exported.


Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com




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