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Sociology 304 - Statistical Data Hunt: Housing

Spring 2011, Erin Murphy

Get Data Using American Community Survey

To get data...

  1. Go to the legacy American FactFinder.
  2. Choose American Community Survey / Get data.
  3. Use 2005-2009 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates.
  4. Two useful options to the right under Select from the following:
    1. Prof. Murphy prefers that you not use this option. Use the second option instead. Subject Tables (the easier option). Accept the defaults under Select Geography (i.e. Nation, United States). If needed, you can change the table by clicking on the left on Change... table. Consider using the following table: S2502 Demographic Characteristics for Occupied Housing Units.
    2. Detailed Tables. Accept the defaults under Select Geography (i.e. Nation, United States).  Consider tables B25003 through B25003I, having to do with Tenure. You can easily find these tables by searching for tenure on the by keyword tab.

You may need to know what tenure means in the context of the Census Bureau. Use the American FactFinder Glossary to find out.

Do Mapping Using Census 2000

To do mapping, it is best to use Census 2000 data using the legacy American FactFinder.

  1. Go to the legacy American FactFinder.
  2. Choose Census 2000 Summary File 1 (SF 1) 100-Percent Data / Thematic Maps.
  3. Under Select a geographic type, choose County.
    Wait for the interface to redraw.
  4. Choose your state and county of interest. Click on Show result.
  5. By default, the theme displayed on the map is TM-P004A. Percent of Persons Who Are White Alone: 2000.
    To choose another theme, click on Themes at the top next to You are here.
    Choose a theme which includes percent, x per y, median, average, or rate. Avoid choosing e.g. Total Persons or Persons Who are White Alone.
  6. From the drop-down box just above the map labeled Display map by, choose Block Group.
    This will change the geographic areas displayed on your map to Block Groups (instead of County Subdivisions, i.e. townships and the like).
  7. To display the boundary of the city or town (i.e. Place) that you are interested in, click on Boundaries and features at the top left under Change...
  8. On the default Boundaries tab, check Boundary only for: State, 2000 County, 2000 Census Tract, and 2000 Block Group and check both Boundary and Label for: 2000 Place.
    Click Update.
  9. Zoom in to the Place that you are interested in.
  10. If your map is too cluttered, return to Boundaries and features.
    On the Features tab, consider checking Feature only for Major Road and Stream, Waterbody. Click Update.
  11. Using Change... Data Classes, you can change the number of classes and the colors.
  12. Use the i tool above the map to get the data for a particular geographical area on the map.
  13. Using the bread crumbs at the top next to You are here, you can change your geography by clicking on Geography or change the data represented on the map by clicking on Themes.