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School of Theology and Christian Ministries: Community Profile Research

Census.Gov

People-focused and helping professions often include community-based programs. It helps to know the demographics of people living in a given neighborhood, city, county, or other geographic boundary.

  • What is the population of the county?
  • What percentage of the residents are in each age group?
  • What are the educational levels of adults in the area?
  • What percentage of households live below the poverty line?

Answering these questions, and more, can help you focus your new program to meet the needs of your potential patrons or parishioners. The federal government Census Bureau has a public website that includes data from many different surveys. Check out https://data.census.gov/ .

 

The simplest way to get some fast facts about your state, county, or city is with Data Profiles.

See this example of a profile of the city of Anderson, Indiana.

https://data.census.gov/cedsci/profile?g=1600000US1801468

You'll notice that several common numbers and percentages (population, median household income, etc.) are immediately available.

A few things to note: these profiles are not available for every city and county. Unless it is a larger city, it is a little hit or miss. Second, if you want to delve deeper into the data, contrasting neighborhoods and several other demographic factors, you'll have to do a more sophisticated data search.

A more Advanced Data search:

Start with https://data.census.gov/

  • Choose "Advanced Search" option.
  • Select your level of geographic area. County, City, Census Tract.
  • Select Topic of desired data. Income & Poverty, Populations, Race, Education.
  • Click Search, then choose the Data table to examine further.

Data Visualization:

  • When viewing your data table, choose the MAPS option at top left.
  • You can modify Geographies selection at top ribbon, and Data Table at Left.

 

For more Tips, check out video tutorials from the US Census Bureau:

https://www.youtube.com/user/uscensusbureau

Two helpful videos are posted below, on Accessing Data on Neighborhoods, and How to Visualize your Data