Median household income and household income distribution within Connecticut Census tracts

This updated dashboard contains the latest income data from the American Community Survey 2010-14 5-Year Estimates for Connecticut Census tracts, with links to original data in the Census Bureau’s American FactFinder data engine.

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Connecticut Census Tract Data Browser for American Community Survey Data

Census Tracts, statistical areas of roughly three to seven thousand individuals, are the smallest practical geography for analysis using American Community Survey estimate data. In Connecticut many smaller towns have a single Census Tract, while larger cities can have more than a dozen.The Census Bureau’s American FactFinder data tool provides more than 3,500 different tables of data from the American Community Survey for Census Tracts on a wide range of topics. While the organization, documentation, downloading capabilities of American FactFinder are extremely sophisticated, it can be difficult to identify and select particular Census Tract for analysis – say, those in the northern portion of Hartford – without already being familiar with the boundaries of the tracts. (While this can be done using the Reference Map interface in American FactFinder, it is a fairly cumbersome process).

The shaded map of Census Tracts below allows the user to select single or multiple tracts for analysis, and takes advantage of the deep linking capabilities of American FactFinder.  By holding down the Control key, multiple tracts can be selected with the mouse. The links to demographic, economic, and other data which then appear in the mouseover ‘Tooltip’ menu can be a starting point for exploring additional data for the selected tracts, because the geographies chosen remain selected in the resulting American FactFinder session. Upon following the link in the Tooltip to a table in American FactFinder, click the Advanced Search tab above the table to return to the American FactFinder search screen, to browse among the thousands of tables of data for the tract(s), using a keyword search or the Topics menu.

[xyz-ihs snippet=”Census-Tract-Data-Browser”]

“Lost” New England landscape found using LiDAR


At top left, leaf-on 2012 aerial imagery from Connecticut (CTECO); top right is 2010 hillshaded DEM derived from LiDAR data showing stone walls, old road and building foundation; bottom is 1934 aerial photography (available from MAGIC and CT State Library)



New research by Geography graduate student Katharine Johnson and faculty William Ouimet was covered yesterday by National Geographic in their article “Lost” New England Revealed by High-Tech Archaeology. The article features a Q & A with Katharine Johnson, a PhD student in Geography and employee here at MAGIC and the Connecticut State Data Center.

You can read it (and see some cool graphics) here:

The article references a paper by Johnson and Ouimet that was recently accepted and published by the Journal of Archaeological Science about using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) to identify and analyze the historic agricultural landscape of New England that is now hidden by the forest canopy in aerial photography but is visible using LiDAR. Check it out, here:

Coastal imagery for Connecticut

Recently, imagery available at the Map and Geographic Information Center (MAGIC) here at UConn has been used to map and understand shoreline change in Connecticut. Many different series of historical aerial photographs are available on the MAGIC website, in addition to infrared coastal photography which allows for an easier visual comparison between water and land. View our various indexes here: and an introduction to the imagery by Michael Howser here.


1934 aerial photograph – Bluff Point State Park, Groton


1995 aerial photograph – Bluff Point State Park, Groton











Back in May, WFSB, a local news station, ran a story on Joel Stocker at UConn’s CLEAR (Center for Land Use Education and Research). Stocker & CLEAR are using some of MAGIC’s imagery as well as historic maps to look at shoreline change in Connecticut from as recently as hurricane Sandy all the way back to the 1800s.

Last week, “A MAGICal look at the shore,” an article written by Suzanne Zack in Wrack Lines, the official magazine of the Connecticut Sea Grant program, discussed how using MAGIC’s imagery can inform planning and management decisions by tracking changes in the past.

Another excellent resource in looking at coastline change is NOAA’s Digital Coast, which offers free LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data that can be downloaded and processed. Pre- and post-Sandy LiDAR datasets are available in LAZ format, the zipped standard for LAS files. LAZ files can be unzipped using LASzip. The LASzip website also allows you to batch download LiDAR files available via Digital Coast, as well as other states like Alaska, Minnesota, Virginia, and others. If you’re interested, here are some basics about LiDAR from ESRI.


Historical boundaries

Have you ever wondered what your county or Congressional district boundaries looked like in 1845? Before 1845?  Then this is the blog post for you.

At UCLA, Jeffrey Lewis, Brandon DeVine and Lincoln Pritcher have developed and made freely available Congressional district boundaries for the entire lower 48 states – all the way back to 1789. Their project draws on research previously done by Kenneth Martis, who also provided advice and source materials for the authors. The boundaries are available as an ESRI shapefile and GeoJSON at a slightly lower resolution. Please visit their website for more information and documentation, as well as to download the shapefiles. The three maps below use their data to show the district boundaries at different points in time.











The project used data from the National Historic GIS, as well as the Newberry Library in Chicago. The Newberry Library provides GIS and KML files for historical county boundaries at the state and national levels. Take, for example, this page for Connecticut which explains the data and directs you to an interactive viewer that allows you to compare modern and historical county boundaries from various dates (see below).



Demographic bits and bytes II

The Census Bureau regularly releases various types of information and statistics. This post contains some of the statistics that have been released over the past few months.

“Unmarried moms”

UnmarriedWomenEdThe Bureau reports that about 6 in 10 recent moms in their early 20s are unmarried. The data, from the 2011 ACS, suggests that 62% of women age 20 to 24 who gave birth in the previous 12 months were unmarried. Compare this with 17% for women age 35 to 39. These numbers were also compared to education levels, which show that as education levels rise, the percent of births to unmarried women decline. The states with the highest percentages of unmarried mothers were Washington DC (51%), Louisiana (49%), Mississippi (48%) and New Mexico (48%). The states with the lowest percentages were Utah (15%) and New Hampshire (20%).  The writers of the report for the Census Bureau note that “..the increased share of unmarried recent mothers is one measure of the nation’s changing family structure…Nonmarital fertility has been climbing steadily since the 1940s and has risen even more markedly in recent years.”

 Per student education spending decreases

For the first time in nearly four decades, the amount of money spent per student in the US has decreased. The Census Bureau reports that this is the first time spending has decreased since it began collecting annual data in 1977. The 50 states and Washington DC spent $10,560 per student in 2011, which was down 0.4% from 2010.

Top state spenders: Spending

  • New York ($19,076)
  • District of Columbia ($18,475)
  • Alaska ($16,674)
  • New Jersey ($15,968)
  • Vermont ($15,925)

Lowest state spenders:

  • Mississippi ($7,928)
  • Arizona ($7,666)
  • Oklahoma ($7,587)
  • Idaho ($6,824)
  • Utah ($6,212)

Connecticut public schools received $796,156 in revenue from Federal sources during the 2011 Fiscal year – however the state with the highest revenue from federal sources was California at $9,990,221 with Texas in second at $7,818,075. Revenue from state sources for Connecticut in 2011 was $3,171,891 in total, while for California it was $37,690,834 with New York in second at $23,188,002. See this news release for more information about expenditures and revenue for public schools.

arab households in the us 2006-2010

Another news brief issued by the Census Bureau gives a “national-level portrait” of US household, and specifically those with Arab ancestries. The brief uses American Community Survey data to determine Arab ancestry. For example, the survey asks for “ancestry or ethnic origin.” From responses collected, the Census Bureau considers anyone who reported being “Algerian, Bahraini, Egyptian, Emirati, Iraqi, Jordanian, Kuwaiti, Lebanese, Libyan, Moroccan, Omani, Palestinian, Qatari, Saudi Arabian, Syrian, Tunisian and Yemeni to be of Arab ancestry.”

The data itself shows that in the US, the population with Arab ancestry increased from 850,000 in 1990 to 1.2 million in 2000. The ACS data from 2006-2010 shows that an estimated 1.5 million people (0.5 percent of total population) with Arab ancestry now live in the US – a 76% increase since 1990. The number of households has also increased – from 268,000 in 1990 to 511,000 in 2010.


 economic characteristics of households in the US – 2011 (4th quarter)

And for all households in the US, the Census Bureau has released a set of tables that detail their economic characteristics for the 4th quarter of 2011. The available data ranges from median monthly household cash income to labor-force status, and receipt of benefits from selected means-tested noncash benefit programs.

Quarterly summary of state & local government tax revenue – 2013 (1st quarter)

The Census Bureau has released statistics for the first quarter of 2013 that detail the quarterly tax revenue statistics on property, sales, license, income and other taxes. Statistics are available for individual state governments as well as at the national level. Some of the categories broken down by state include various licenses, such as alcoholic beverages, hunting and fishing, and motor vehicles. Property, sales and gross receipts and income taxes are also included in the table.

Click here for an interactive visualizations of taxes collected by state

Click here for an interactive visualization of taxes collected by state

Computer and internet use in the US

The Census Bureau has also released information about internet use within households, as well as the impact of smart phones. The report was written using data collected in a supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS) in July 2011. The supplement includes questions “about computer ownership, internet use both inside and outside the home, and the additional devices that people use to go online.” According to the report, the Census Bureau has asked questions related to computer use since 1984, and internet ComputerUseuse since 1997.

As you may have guessed, computer use has changed drastically in Americans’ homes since 1984. In 2011, 75.6% of households reported having a computer – compared to 8.2% in 1984 and even 61.8% in 2003 (this surprised me). In 2011, 71.7% of households reported accessing the internet, while only 18% did so in 1997 – via that now nostalgic dial-up modem. Only 54.7% had access in 2003.

The report also discusses the disparities in internet use amongst different racial, ethnic, and even age groups in the United States. For example, in 2011, internet use was most common in households where the householder was between 35-44 years old (81.9%). Households that had householders over the age of 55 had much lower rates. Additionally, the report found that householders with higher levels of education also report higher rates of internet usage. For more detailed information, click the link above to access a PDF of the report.


Facts for Features – 4th of July

On this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. As always, this most American of holidays will be marked by parades, fireworks and backyard barbecues across the country.


2.5 million
In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation.
Source: Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970

316.2 million
The nation’s estimated population on this July Fourth.
Source: U.S. and World Population Clock

The Signers

Numbers of signers to the Declaration of Independence.
Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Roger Sherman and Robert R. Livingston comprised the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration. Jefferson, regarded as the strongest and most eloquent writer, wrote most of the document.
It’s also worth noting that:

  • John Hancock, President of the Second Continental Congress, was the first signer. This merchant by trade did so in an entirely blank space making it the largest and most famous signature – hence the term John Hancock, which is still used today as a synonym for signature. There are 7,354,043 businesses with paid employees in the U.S., according to the 2011 County Business Patterns.
  • Benjamin Franklin (age 70), who represented Pennsylvania, was the oldest of the signers.
  • Franklin County, Pa., had an estimated population of 151,275 as of July 1, 2012. Edward Rutledge (age 26), of South Carolina, was the youngest.
  • Two future presidents signed, John Adams (second President) and Thomas Jefferson (third President). Both died on the 50th anniversary of signing the Declaration (July 4, 1826). There are 12 counties nationwide named Adams and 26 named Jefferson.
  • Robert Livingston, who represented New York, was on the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence but was recalled by his state before he could sign it. Livingston County, N.Y., was home to an estimated 64,810 people as of July 1, 2012.

    Map of CT/RI in 1776, from MAGIC's map collection. Visit online by clicking the image.

    Map of CT/RI in 1776, from MAGIC’s map collection. Visit online by clicking the image.

  • Representing Georgia in 1776 were Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall and GeorgeWalton. Gwinnett County, Ga. (842,046), Hall County, Ga. (185,416) and Walton County, Ga. (84,575) were named for these signers.
  • Charles Carroll, who represented Maryland, was the last surviving member of the signers of the Declaration. He died in 1832 at the age of 95. Carroll County, Md., named for him, had an estimated population of 167,217 as of July 1, 2012.
  • Roger Sherman, who worked as a land surveyor and lawyer, represented Connecticut. Today, there are an estimated 30,445 surveyors, cartographers and photogrammetrists employed full time, year-round, and 840,813 lawyers employed full time, year-round nationwide, according to the 2011 American Community Survey.
  • Nelson County, Va. (14,827) and Wythe County, Va. (29,251) were named for two of the six signers who represented the state of Virginia – Thomas Nelson Jr. and George Wythe.

Sources: Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012, 2011 American Community Survey and 2011 County Business Patterns (NAICS)


$218.2 million
The value of fireworks imported from China in 2012, representing the bulk of all U.S. fireworks imported ($227.3 million). U.S. exports of fireworks, by comparison, came to just $11.7 million in 2012, with Israel purchasing more than any other country ($2.5 million).

$231.8 million
The value of U.S. manufacturers’ shipments of fireworks and pyrotechnics (including flares, igniters, etc.) in 2007.
Source: 2007 Economic Census, Series EC0731SP1, Products and Services Code 325998J108


$3.8 million
In 2012, the dollar value of U.S. imports of American flags. The vast majority of this amount ($3.6 million) was for U.S. flags made in China.
Source: Foreign Trade Statistics

Dollar value of U.S. flags exported in 2012. Mexico was the leading customer, purchasing $188,824 worth.
Source: Foreign Trade Statistics

$302.7 million
Dollar value of shipments of fabricated flags, banners and similar emblems by the nation’s manufacturers in 2007, according to the latest published economic census statistics.
Source: 2007 Economic Census, Series EC0731SP1, Products and Services Code 3149998231

Patriotic-Sounding Place Names

Fifty-nine places contain the word “liberty” in the name. Pennsylvania, with 11, has more of these places than any other state. Of the 59 places nationwide containing “liberty” in the name, four are counties: Liberty County, Ga. (65,471), Liberty County, Fla. (8,276), Liberty County, Mont. (2,392) and Liberty County, Texas (76,571).
One place has “patriot” in its name. Patriot, Ind., has an estimated population of 209.

The most common patriotic-sounding word used within place names is “union” with 136. Pennsylvania, with 33, has more of these places than any other state. Other words most commonly used in place names are Washington (127), Franklin (118), Jackson (96) and Lincoln (95).

Sources: TIGER Shapefiles, the Census Bureau’s geographic database (Place/MCD/County combined “used within name” count), Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2011

The British are Coming!

$109.8 billion
Dollar value of trade last year between the United States and the United Kingdom, making the British, our adversary in 1776, our sixth-leading trading partner today.
Source: Foreign Trade Statistics

Fourth of July Cookouts

65.9 million
Number of all hogs and pigs on March 1, 2013. Chances are that the pork hot dogs and sausages consumed on the Fourth of July originated in Iowa. The Hawkeye State was home to 20.3 million hogs and pigs. North Carolina (8.9 million) and Minnesota (7.8 million) were also homes to large numbers of pigs.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

6.3 billion pounds
Total estimated production of cattle and calves in Texas in 2012. Chances are good that the beef hot dogs, steaks and burgers on your backyard grill came from the Lone Star State, which accounted for nearly one-sixth of the nation’s total production. And if the beef did not come from Texas, it very well may have come from Nebraska (estimated at5.1 billion pounds) or Kansas (estimated at 3.8 billion pounds).
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

Number of states in which the value of broiler chicken production was estimated at $1 billion or greater between December 2011 and November 2012. There is a good chance that one of these states — Georgia, Arkansas, North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi or Texas — is the source of your barbecued chicken.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

345 million
Acreage planted of potatoes in Idaho in 2012, the most in the nation. Washington followed with 165 million acres. The total 2012 potato crop is forecast to exceed 467 million hundredweight (cwt), the highest level since 2000 when 523 million cwt was produced. Potato salad is a popular food item at Fourth of July barbecues.
Source: USDA, National Agriculture Statistics Service, Economic Research Service

How Do We Know?

As we celebrate this Independence Day, we reflect on how our Founding Fathers enshrined the importance of statistics in our Constitution as a vital tool for measuring our people, places and economy. Since 1790, the U.S. Census has been much more than a simple head count; it has charted the growth and composition of our nation. The questions have evolved over time to address our changing needs. Today, the 10-year census, the economic census and the American Community Survey give Congress and community leaders the information they need to make informed decisions that shape our democracy. These statistics are how we know how our country is doing.

Visit to view and to learn more about “How Do We Know?” Follow @uscensusbureau on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and Pinterest (#HowDoWeKnow) for updates.



Summer 2013 Geofocus Newsletter

GF_SummerThe Summer 2013 issue of Geofocus is out!  Please visit the CT User to User website to access the newsletter:

In this issue, we here at MAGIC have announced that there are now 2 new aerial photography centerpoint indexes available in KML format, and .shp format coming soon! The indexes are for the 1934 and 1965 aerial photography collections, which encompass the entire state.

The indexes can be used to preview photos and to download a TIFF or PDF version of the photograph. The indexes serve as a reference point for the photographs, and none of the photographs have been georeferenced or orthorectified.

To access the indexes, please visit our website:

Hurricane season by the numbers

As residents of Connecticut, Hurricane Sandy still remains fresh in our recent memory. As one of the most costly hurricanes in New England and even US history, the storm reminds us how important it is to be prepared. Hurricane season in the US begins on June 1st and lasts through November 30th. Every year, the Census Bureau produces statistics to aid emergency planning, preparedness and recovery efforts.

Historical Storms


Track of Hurricane Bob (1991)

We all have our memories of hurricanes-past as well, especially those that have made landfall in New England. The Great Hurricane of 1938, the 1944 hurricane, Carol (1954), Gloria (1985), Bob (1991), Irene (2011) – we certainly won’t forget those names any time soon. All of these storms were so destructive that each one of those names has been retired from the Atlantic tropical cyclone naming convention. I remember, having grown up in coastal Rhode Island, when Bob made landfall and the eye eerily and silently passed over our house to give us a brief respite from the furious wind that sounded like a freight train.

The National Hurricane Center maintains all of the historical data about these storms – their tracks, various statistics, and GIS data as well. So now, 22 years later, I can look up Bob’s track, intensity, and dates. If you’re interested, click here for more information from the National Hurricane Center data archive.


1938: Flooding from the storm surge in Bushnell Park, Hartford CT

The storm surge of the 1938 hurricane was between 14 and 18 feet in coastal Connecticut, which caused the Connecticut River in Hartford to reach a level of 35.4 feet – 19.4 feet above flood stage. There was widespread destruction in southern New England, and upwards of 500 deaths (Source).

For pre- and post-storm aerial imagery for Hurricane Sandy, check out the USGS Coastal Change Hazards site.





Census Bureau – Facts for Features: Hurricane Season

In the Hurricane’s Path


The number of hurricanes during the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, with only two of them as major hurricanes (Category 3-strength or higher). However, one of the major hurricanes was Hurricane Sandy. It struck southeastern Cuba at Category 3 strength, then made landfall in New Jersey as a post-tropical cyclone. It was the second costliest cyclone on record (not adjusted for inflation) at $50 billion, ranking only behind Hurricane Katrina from 2005. The only other hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. in 2012 was Hurricane Isaac, which hit Louisiana.
Source: National Hurricane Center

82.2 million

Population as of July 1, 2012, of coastal states stretching from North Carolina to Texas — the areas most threatened by Atlantic hurricanes. An estimated 26.2 percent of the nation’s population live in these states.
Source: 2012 Population Estimates

34.1 million

Population in 1960 of the states stretching from North Carolina to Texas. Approximately 19 percent of the nation’s population lived in these areas at that time.
Source: 1960 Census <>


Percentage growth of the population of the states stretching from North Carolina to Texas between 1960 and 2012.
Source: 2012 Population Estimates and 1960 Census


Collective land area in square miles of the states stretching from North Carolina to Texas.
Source: 2010 Census <>

10 Year Anniversary of Hurricane Isabel


The costliest and deadliest hurricane of 2003, Hurricane Isabel made landfall in the U.S. on the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Sept. 18, destroying many homes on the barrier island. Isabel later moved north through Virginia and Washington, D.C., and ended up causing about $3 billion in damage to the mid-Atlantic region.
Sources: National Hurricane Center

Category 2

The strength of Hurricane Isabel at landfall based on the Saffir-Simpson scale, with maximum sustained winds measured at 105 mph. Isabel reached a peak as a Category 5 storm on Sept. 11 south of Bermuda, but gradually weakened as it approached landfall.
Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration <>


Counties that encompass the land area of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The area includes parts of Currituck, Dare and Hyde counties.
Source: Census Quickfacts <>


Population of Currituck County, Dare County and Hyde County in North Carolina in 2012.
Source: 2012 Census Population Estimates


The number of occupied housing units in Currituck, Dare and Hyde counties combined.
Source: 2007-2011 American Community Survey Estimates

$236,500; 321,200; and 93,600

Median home value of owner-occupied units in Currituck, Dare and Hyde counties, respectively.
Source: 2007-2011 American Community Survey Estimates

32.0, 19.5 and 25.1 minutes

Mean commuting time to work for residents in Currituck, Dare and Hyde counties, respectively.
Source: 2007-2011 American Community Survey Estimates

7.8%, 11.1% and 25.1%

The percent of people who live below poverty level in in Currituck, Dare and Hyde counties, respectively.
Source: 2007-2011 American Community Survey Estimates

History of Hurricane Naming Conventions


The name of the first Atlantic storm of 2013. Hurricane names rotate in a six-year cycle with the 2013 list being a repeat of the 2007 names.
Source: National Hurricane Center <>


The number of hurricane names officially retired by the World Meteorological Organization. Although hurricane names are recycled every six years, for reasons of sensitivity, hurricane names that were so deadly and costly that re-use of the name would be considered inappropriate are retired.
Source: World Meteorological Organization <>


The year the Weather Bureau officially began naming hurricanes.
Source: Atlantic Oceanography and Meteorological Laboratory <>


In one of the busiest Atlantic hurricane seasons on record, 28 named storms formed, forcing use of the alternate Greek alphabet scheme for the first time. When the National Hurricane Center’s list of 21 approved names runs out for the year, hurricanes are named after Greek letters. Of the 28 named storms in 2005, 15 were hurricanes, with four storms reaching Category 5 status (Dennis, Katrina, Rita and Wilma) and three more being considered major.
Source: Atlantic Oceanography and Meteorological Laboratory <>

Preparing for Emergencies Using Census Bureau Statistics

The growth in population of coastal areas illustrates the importance of emergency planning and preparedness for areas that are more susceptible to inclement weather conditions. The U.S. Census Bureau’s official decennial census and population estimates, along with annually updated socio-economic data from the American Community Survey, provide a detailed look at the nation’s growing coastal population. Emergency planners and community leaders can better assess the needs of coastal populations using Census Bureau statistics.

State government tax collections

The Census Bureau reports that state government tax collections reached a record high of nearly $800 billion in fiscal year 2012.

The information comes from the 2012 Annual Survey of State Government Tax Collections, a report containing statistics on the fiscal year tax collections of all 50 state governments. Tax categories include property taxes, license taxes, and income taxes but are broken down further to also include motor fuel taxes, severance taxes, and hunting license taxes as well.

Data is available in American FactFinder as a detailed table that indicates the amount and type of taxes each state government collected. For example, Connecticut collected $15,419,556 in taxes for FY2012, and of those the category that comprised the most was Income Taxes ($7,996,509) and Sales Tax ($6,677,074)

Click image to interact with data

Click image to interact with data

California ranked first on the Total Tax list, while Massachusetts ranked 10th, and Connecticut ranked 18th. New Hampshire was 49th, and South Dakota 50th.