A Peek at the Latest Census Data

The United States Census Bureau has just released the results of its American Community Survey (not to be confused with the 2010 Census, the results of which won’t be released until a later date). Needless to say, America’s community news outlets are having a field day pulling relevant information about their region: who has the highest home values? Who has the most diversity? Who has the highest income? Let’s take a looky-loo at the results.

First, why don’t we view some of the Census’s handy maps that illustrate their new data? Immigration has increased in areas where it was previously scarce, including the suburbs and exurbs outside of the major cities where immigrants typically settle (and I don’t really know what to make of the distribution map overall, although it is fascinating). America’s commutes are pretty consistently horrible. The Eastern Seaboard and West Coast have the most ridiculous real estate prices in the country, although their residents have correspondingly higher incomes.

Next, let’s look to our esteemed national news outlets for some wow-factor facts. For example! The New York Times has reported that our nation’s Capitol houses in its leafy suburbs the lucky few with the highest income in the country. The honor goes to the city of Falls Church, which, in one of those weird only-in-the-Commonwealth things, isn’t part of surrounding Fairfax County. (Which was number two.) The DC suburbs are also home to the highest concentration of Bachelor degrees in the US.

The poorest county in the nation is Owsley County, Kentucky, and the other four of the top (bottom?) five were on Native American reservations. On a happier note, racial segregation in city neighborhoods is trending down, with 75% of the largest urban areas seeing low segregation levels not seen for nearly a century. America’s shortest commutes are found in Alaska, which has all but two of the 14 counties whose citizens average fewer than 10 minutes to get to work. And, finally, want to know where you can score the nation’s cheapest housing? Reeves, Texas, where median home values are below $30,000.

If you’re a map nerd like I am, you’ll probably have some fun with these stats and maps. If you want more, the Census website has more maps than you can shake a stick at. I hope I’m not the only one who’s excited for the 2010 data to come out”¦someday.  (I have my disaggregation tools at the ready.  Geeky high five! ~ed)

Leave a Reply