Tools to help with your demographic research or teaching

CensusBureauThe US Census Bureau offers a myriad of tools to help with your demographic research. One of the most common ways to obtain tables with the raw data, or shapefiles, is to use American FactFinder. The search on this website will allow you to type in the types of tables you are looking for (Education, Population, Median Household Income, etc.) and the geography for which you are looking (Census tracts in Connecticut, Counties, or state level). You can search for Census, American Community Survey, or other datasets. You can then download the table, or create a map and download the tables and associate shapefiles (.shp – for use in ArcGIS or other GIS software). The CT State Data Center also has some how-to videos for help with searching American FactFinder.

The Census Bureau also offers a variety of visualizations and other online maps to assist users with understanding various types of statistics. In November, a new interactive suite of visualization tools for jobs, business and other economic statistics was released.  The tool allows users to change the type of data they are interested in, and visualize the results in graph form.

There is also the Data Visualization Gallery, which provides interesting data visualizations with census data, that are published weekly. For example, see “Population Bracketology,” a game based on the NCAA March Madness bracket that allows users to compare city and state population numbers.

The Census Explorer allows the user to interactively look at datasets as a map. Some of the datasets currently included are both Census and ACS:

  • Total population
  • Percent 65 and older
  • Foreign-born population percentage
  • Percent of the population with a high school degree or higher
  • Percent with a bachelor’s degree or higher
  • Percent with a master’s degree or higher
  • Labor force participation rate
  • Percent of labor force employed in Professional, Scientific and Tech Industry
  • Home ownership rate
  • Median household income
  • Percent of households with incomes of $150,000 or higher
  • Total wage employees (excludes contractors, self-employed)
  • Tech wage employees
  • Average yearly employee wage
  • Average yearly tech employee wage
  • Total number of business establishment
  • Percent of establishments in the technology sector

Additionally, TIGER data can now be viewed in “TIGERweb4.0” a new release that according to the Census Bureau is: “TIGERweb is a web-based application that allows users to visualize the Census Bureau’s TIGER data. The applications allow users to select features and view their attributes, to search for features by name or geocode, and to identify features by selecting them from a map. The application provides a simple way to view TIGER data without having to download the data.”

Educational Attainment, and Earnings by Educational Attainment & Gender, in Connecticut Towns

The map and graphs below provide information on levels of educational attainment among Connecticut towns, along with data on median earnings by town for men and women having various levels of education. The data on education and income are tabulated only for those age 25 and over. The American Community Survey defines educational attainment as “the highest level of education completed in terms of the highest degree or the highest level of schooling completed.”

The data below are taken from Table S1501 the 2008-12 5-Year Estimates data release of the American Community Survey. The complete data for the state and all towns can be downloaded here.

For help with locating data on Connecticut from the American Community Survey or other Census Bureau program, please contact the Connecticut State Data Center.

Webinars from the US Census Bureau

The US Census Bureau has provided information about upcoming free webinars. Users can

CensusBureauview more details about each webinar, including passcodes and links to the webinars, at this website:

Nov 07    Foreign Trade Regulations Town Hall Webinar

Description: These in-depth webinars provide the information necessary to understand the changes to the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR). Come learn about what has changed and how that change will affect you. Best of all, the webinars are free. These webinars will focus on changes in reporting requirements, new fields added to the Automated Export System (License Value and Ultimate Consignee Type), changes in definitions, such as port of export and household goods and much more.

Format: Webinar
Time: 2pm – 3pm ET

Nov 13    How to Navigate American FactFinder

Description: Gain experience in using the American FactFinder data access tool. Learn how to use the search and navigation features to access some of the Census Bureau’s programs, datasets and topics.

Format: Webinar
Time: 1pm – 3pm ET

Nov 19    Accessing Employment Statistics Using “OnTheMap”

Description: Uncover a wealth of information available on U.S. workers in an overview of this online mapping and reporting application. See where they are employed and where they live with companion reports on worker characteristics and optional filtering by age, earnings, or industry groups.

Format: Webinar
Time: 1pm -3pm ET

Dec 10    Accessing Block Group Data with the American Community Survey Summary File

Description: The American Community Survey (ACS) is an ongoing survey that generates estimates on social, economic, housing, and demographic topics. Data users can access these estimates down to the block group level of geography through the ACS Summary File. This presentation will cover background information about the ACS, an explanation of the ACS Summary File, and a demonstration of accessing block group data using the ACS Summary File.

Format: Webinar
Time: 1:00-2:30pm ET

Dec 12    Foreign Trade Regulations Town Hall Webinar

Description: These in-depth webinars provide the information necessary to understand the changes to the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR). Come learn about what has changed and how that change will affect you. Best of all, the webinars are free. These webinars will focus on changes in reporting requirements, new fields added to the Automated Export System (License Value and Ultimate Consignee Type), changes in definitions, such as port of export and household goods and much more.

Format: Webinar
Time: 2pm – 3pm ET

Digital Public Library of America [DPLA]

On Thursday, the Digital Public Library of America website was launched. The website brings together digitized cultural heritage from libraries, archives, and museums which it makes freely available to users. Currently the DPLA provides access to over 2 million items. The website also serves as a platform by providing its own API which developers can use to create apps. Users can search by keyword, but also use features such as Timeline, or Map to find digital objects.

The website is accessible at and their blog can be accessed here:



Community Indicators Consortium (CIC) Impact Summit

The Community Indicators Consortium (CIC) Impact Summit International Conference will be held November 15-16, 2012 at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD. This conference will showcase leading monitoring and measuring methods, impact and communication strategies, and innovative approaches in community health, sustainability, education, economic development and more topics. This conference will feature multiple presentations from national and internationally recognized scholars, organizations, and agencies including Dr. Robert Groves (former head of the US Census Bureau), HUD, US Department of Health and Human Services, Community Action Network, Boston Indicators Project just to name a few!

When: November 15-16, 2012
Where: Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center – University of Maryland College Park, Maryland
Cost: See Website for full listing of rates.

For additional information and to register visit:

Treworgy Planetarium Summer Evening Series

A3P Spitz Star Projector

The Treworgy Planetarium of Mystic Seaport is pleased to announce its five part summer series for 2012.  Programs will begin with updates on current events in the evening sky followed by an extended presentation of the topic for that evening.  Afterward, if weather permits, the indoor program will be followed by an outdoor observation session using the planetarium telescopes.  This is a great opportunity to explore geography from a different perspective (not to mention scale!)  Of particular interest to geographers are the July 20th and August 3rd lectures.
Schedule: All Programs begin at 8:30 PM (entrance at the administrative gate)
June 22, 2012       The Summer Evening Sky
July 6, 2012          The Zodiac
July 20, 2012        The Milankovitch Cycle and the Earth’s Climate
August 3, 2012     The Moon and Tides
August 17, 2012   Extrasolar Planets 

View Administrative Entrance in a larger map

Visitors $7.50 per person
Members $6.00 per person
Children (15 and under): $3.00
Event Details can be found on our Facebook and Events Page
Follow Us on Twitter: @MS_Planetarium
Follow Us on Facebook: /MS_Planetarium

Contact Jeff Dunn at for more details.

A Look at Educational Attainment in the United States, Live on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” – February 24, 2012

On Friday, Feb. 24th, 2012 from 9:15 to 10:00 a.m., Kurt Bauman, chief of the U.S. Census Education and Social Stratification Branch, will appear live on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” to discuss today’s release of several educational attainment reports. His presentation will include a rich mix of statistical visualizations and discussion, including a public call-in segment. This is part of a weekly Friday series called “America by the Numbers” that features the federal statistical agencies.

You are invited to tune in and watch the program. C-SPAN is available live through the Internet at .
For more information and to view the presentation graphs, please visit the following link, which will be live Friday morning (Feb. 24, 2012):

Media Advisory — Census Bureau Webinar to Highlight Education Data February 23, 2012

The U.S. Census Bureau will hold a webinar news conference to release five education-related statistical products based on the Current Population Survey, American Community Survey and Survey of Income and Program Participation.

The webinar will highlight the latest findings on adult educational attainment, attainment levels and the likelihood of being unemployed, the geographic distribution of people who hold degrees in science and engineering and how earnings are tied to degree level, field of study and mode of high school completion.
The data sets being released are as follows:

  • Educational Attainment in the United States: 2011 (Source: Current Population Survey)
  • What It’s Worth: Field of Training and Economic Status in 2009 (Source: Survey of Income and Program Participation)
  • Educational Attainment in the United States: 2009 (Source: American Community Survey and Current Population Survey)
  • Field of Bachelor’s Degree in the United States: 2009 (Source: American Community Survey)
  • Characteristics of GED Program Participants (Source: American Community Survey, Current Population Survey and Survey of Income and Program Participation)

The news conference will consist of a simultaneous audio conference and online presentation. Information on accessing the online presentation is provided below. Reporters will be able to ask questions once the presentation is complete. We suggest reporters log in and call in early.

When: Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012; 2 p.m. (EST)

Nancy Potok, Associate Director for Demographic Programs
Kurt Bauman, chief, Education and Social Stratification Branch — Social,
Economic and Housing Statistics Division

Audio conference — access information
Toll free number: 888-790-3288
Passcode: CENSUS
Note: Stay on the line until operator asks for the passcode. Do not key in passcode.

Online presentation — access information
Please login early, as some setup is required.

URL: <>
Conference/meeting number: PW1440288
Conference/meeting passcode: CENSUS
If closed captioning is required: <>

Free ESRI Presentation – Creating Map Books Using Data Driven Pages

ESRI offers a free online presentation that gives a great overview of the capabilities of using data driven pages to create map books in ArcMap.  The presentation is about 60 minutes long and includes software demonstrations.  At the end of the presentation one will find suggested resources to learn more about creating map books. A great tool to create an organized multi-page PDF document with maps, tables, charts and figures to present to your stakeholders. This presentation is a recorded web presentation so you do not have to schedule time to be available to view it.