Revamped NYC Census FactFinder includes map interface, better data

Revamped NYC Census FactFinder includes map interface, better data

The New York City Department of City Planning (DCP) upgraded its online Census FactFinder tool to enable city planners, researchers and non-profits to create profiles for specific New York City geographies using the latest available socioeconomic and housing data from the American Community Survey (ACS). 

Previously, the web-based tool queried information only from the federal government's short-form decennial Census that included sex, race, ethnicity and housing units. The ACS data provides Census FactFinder with far more in-depth looks at demographic, social, economic and housing characteristics, and it offers more frequent (annual) releases. This version of the DCP application enables users to research household income, places of birth, English language proficiency, commuting patterns, health insurance coverage, vehicle availability, educational attainment, housing values, rent and much more when creating their customized geographies.

DCP worked with the city's Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications to develop the interactive mapping application that associates the ACS data to its respective geographies and provides query, selection and visualization capabilities.

The City’s Census FactFinder application is unique, according to DCP officials, in that no other entity provides free access to complete ACS profiles for custom geographies, including information on data reliability.

Users can choose a census tract or Neighborhood Tabulation Area to profile, or they can search by address, intersection, place of interest, census tract, subway station, or neighborhood. Multiple census tracts can also be selected. This new version also includes more comprehensive information and an additional utility that flags that indicates whether a search returns statistically meaningful data.

“If information is power, NYC’s Census FactFinder will help create a new generation of urban superheroes, who harness data to analyze and understand population trends, characteristics and needs of neighborhoods,” said City Planning Director Carl Weisbrod. “This application helps users ensure that their search results are reliable for the geographies they select, thus strengthening their analysis and making their work more meaningful and more useful.”

About the Author

Derek Major is a former reporter for GCN.

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