The real estate blog Curbed featured a look late last week at the Department of City Planning’s revamped census data map, a useful new tool for serious researchers looking to crunch census data and a fun and easy-to-use site for those of us just nosy about the demographics of our neighborhood. Here are some helpful tips for navigating this new tool.
The Census Fact-Finder can be found on the Department of City Planning website. You’ll notice the tool offers two ways of showing data: by census tract or by neighborhood tabulation area. For casual users, the neighborhood tabulation area option offers data in a more familiar format. Why is that? Because the federal census does not tabulate its census data based on neighborhood, it collects data based on census tract. A census tract is a “statistical area created by the US Census Bureau to have approximately 4,000 residents. There are over 2,000 tracts within New York City.” A neighborhood tabulation area is a “statistical area created by the NYC Department of City Planning. The City created these 195 areas by aggregating census tracts based on local and city conventions for neighborhood definitions.” These definitions, and other helpful tools for searching census data, were written by Frank Donnelly, Geospatial Data Librarian at Baruch College CUNY. Their fact sheet is very useful for learning about how to use and understand census data.
For a fun search, I thought I would look up GVSHP’s address on the site. By searching under the neighborhood tabulation area for 232 East 11th Street, you can see a map view, demographic view, and demographic change, which compares data from both the 2000 and 2010 census. You can see that in the East Village the number of female residents has increased by 10.4% in ten years.
If you are interested in learning more about research tools across the city, visit GVSHP’s resources page, which lists a number of ways of learning more about the history and architecture of our communities.