General Question

choreplay's avatar

Can you help me with a source for demographic information?

Asked by choreplay (6290 points ) December 5th, 2012

The census publishes for free the demographic information they collect in area blocks. There are some services that allow you to specify a specific location and then gives you the demographics in distance rings you specify, like 1 mile, 5 mile and 10 mile. Most of the services that provide this are annual subscriptions for a high price tag. Can anyone suggest an online service or method for getting this information one property/report at a time?

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8 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

Factfinder2

Click on Geographies. Click on the Address tab. Type in your address. Select the geographic unit of analysis you want.

Then use topics to select the variables you are interested in, or select one of the variables from the list in the main window.

Factfinder2 is very confusing, so please mess around with it. Don’t give up. They will be changing it next August, I’m told, to make it look more like the original Factfinder, which most of us loved.

But as a general rule, always start with geography, then move on to topics. What you are doing is setting up filters, and it works dynamically, reducing the number of variables you can get access to as you narrow things down. The problem is that you don’t always notice the changes as they are happening in the windows behind the window on top. It’s very annoying.

Good luck.

wundayatta's avatar

Another way to go, is to use quickfacts. Quickfacts is a little way down on the left. Select a state and a new window opens. You can then select a county or city to focus in on.

choreplay's avatar

@wundayatta thank you for the help, that provides some resources I wasn’t aware of and I’m sure will be very helpful in my research.
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Some real estate developers use distance rings. See below. I know a few sources for getting information in those types of clusters, but they require expensive subscriptions. Was hoping to find a source for single report purchases for a reasonable price.

Population
Radius:..................1 mile….3 miles ..5 miles
2010 Census….......18,742…136,424…331,332
2000 Census….......12,485…130,401…297,973
1990 Census….........9,592…100,363…242,911
Growth 2000–2010….50.12%.....4.62%...11.2%
Growth 1990–2000….30.16%...29.93%...22.67%

wundayatta's avatar

If you do a bit of legwork, it’s fairly easy to do this yourself, I think. Although I’m not sure how they do it, because population doesn’t come with density bands. They must do some kind of algorithm where they average things. Probably using ArcGIS, which allows you to take points of data and smooth them out a bit.

How much do these reports cost? How much are you willing to pay? How many reports do you need?

Ok. Never mind. Let me ask the basic question: what is your research question. I’m going about this backwards because it’s fluther. Answering a data question before ascertaining why you want the data. Big mistake.

Response moderated (Spam)
choreplay's avatar

Something was moderated as spam, I didn’t see it, if it’s a source for these reports, please private message me with the link. Thank you.
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Thank you all for your help those are all excellent links I’ll likely use in the future.

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