30. January 2013 01:46
Our Microsoft Excel add-in, CDXZipStream, contains demographic data feeds based on data from the American Community Survey. The ACS is a survey performed by the U.S. Census Bureau which has replaced the old “long form” of the 10-year census. Please see our article ZIP Code Census Demographic Data in Microsoft Excel about our newest data feed, CDXACSZCTA, which provides for the first time comprehensive ACS data based on ZIP code.
Since the American Community Survey is performed annually, all the ACS data feeds in CDXZipStream are updated annually too. However, the smaller the geography, the longer the span of data required. For small geographies like census tract and ZCTA, the data must be aggregated over a five-year period to get statistically significant results; as of this writing the most recent set of five year data spans the years 2007 to 2011. Therefore, in these cases every annual update does need to incorporate some older data as well.
For some geographies, such as places (or cities), deciding what span of data to use is a balance between including as many geographies as possible versus using the most recent data. For CDXZipStream feeds, here are the data spans we use, along with the number of geographies for each feed:
State: 1-year data, 52 geographies (all states, including Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico)
CBSA’s*: 5-year data, 955 geographies (all CBSA’s)
Counties: 5-year data, 3,221 geographies (all counties)
Places (Cities): 3-year data, 3,128 geographies (only places with populations greater than 20,000)
ZCTA’s**: 5-year data, 33,120 geographies (all ZCTA’s)
All geographies were not included for places (cities), excluding those with populations of less than 20,000. In this case, it is generally a better choice to use ZCTA’s, which do cover a smaller population (averaging about 8,000) and is generally an easier index to use due to the availability of zip codes.
*CBSA’s (Core Based Statistical Areas) are the U.S. Census Bureau term for an urban area of at least 10,000 people.
**ZCTA’s (ZIP Code Tabulation Areas) are the U.S. Census Bureau version of a ZIP Code area. For more information please see our article What’s a ZCTA?
30. January 2013 01:35
Our Microsoft Excel add-in for zip code analysis, CDXZipStream, now includes a new feed that provides extensive demographic data based on ZIP Code Tabulation Areas. (ZCTA's are the U.S. Census Bureau version of ZIP codes.) This is the first time ZIP code-based data has been released from the American Community Survey. The ACS is an annual survey of about 3 million households performed by the U.S. Census Bureau. It has replaced the old "long form" version of the census, and includes many social, economic, and housing questions that were not part of the 2010 Census. The over 200 data fields in this feed cover:
- Individual Earnings
- Educational Attainment
- Household Size
- Household Income
- Housing Value and Rent
- Marital Status
- Mortgage Status
- School Enrollment
Click here if you would like to download a complete listing of the data feeds and fields provided in CDXZipStream, including the new feed listed under the name "CDXACSZCTA".
CDXZipStream includes a patented user interface that makes importing demographic data into Excel both fast and easy. For a short tutorial on how to use our newest data feed, please refer to the YouTube video ZIP Code Census Demographic Data in Microsoft Excel.
The new feed is available with the Premium ACS version of CDXZipStream, which includes all demographic data feeds and data analysis functions. Pricing for all versions of CDXZipStream is available on our pricing page. If you already have this version, the new feed is included in the most recent Premium ZIP Code data update. Other current users of CDXZipStream can upgrade to this version by logging into their CDXTech.com account and selecting “Upgrade Licenses”. In both cases, be sure to also get the newest 11.2.2 (free) update of CDXZipStream, available by clicking on the "License Information and Software Updates" button on the toolbar, then selecting "Software Updates".
30. November 2011 01:21
In a previous post, Zip Code Demographics from the 2010 Census, we talked about how there are now new several updated fields in CDXZipStream that incorporate data from the last census. These fields cover basic areas such as population counts, median age, household size, and race. We’ve also now just introduced a more extensive, dedicated data feed that covers 115 fields from the 2010 Census. This feed is listed as “CDXCensus2010” under the “Select Data Feed” dropdown list, available in the Premium and Premium ACS version 11 of CDXZipStream. You can review a listing of all CDXZipstream data feeds and their fields, including CDXCensus 2010, from the file CDXZipStream Data Fields and Definitions, or refer to the list at the bottom of this post.
If you already own CDXZipStream Premium or Premium ACS, click on the "License Information and Software Updates" button on the main CDXZipStream toolbar (third button from the left) and select "Date Updates" to purchase the new feed through your account. Data updates for premium versions are $29.95. If you own a version of CDXZipStream that does not include this feed and would like to upgrade, please see our pricing list for more information; you can then upgrade if desired through your online account. (Please contact email@example.com if you need your account user name or password information.) Of course, if you are buying CDXZipStream for the first time, please see our "Buy Now" webpage to purchase CDXZipStream Premium or Premium ACS. New purchases already include this feed.
- Age median
- Age median male
- Age median female
- Age under 5
- Age male under 5
- Age female under 5
- Age 5 - 9
- Age male 5 - 9
- Age female 5 - 9
- Age 10 - 14
- Age male 10 - 14
- Age female 10 - 14
- Age 15 - 19
- Age male 15 - 19
- Age female 15 - 19
- Age 20 - 24
- Age male 20 - 24
- Age female 20 - 24
- Age 25 - 29
- Age male 25 - 29
- Age female 25 - 29
- Age 30 - 34
- Age male 30 - 34
- Age female 30 - 34
- Age 35 - 39
- Age male 35 - 39
- Age female 35 - 39
- Age 40 - 44
- Age male 40 - 44
- Age female 40 - 44
- Age 45 - 49
- Age male 45 - 49
- Age female 45 - 49
- Age 50 - 54
- Age male 50 - 54
- Age female 50 - 54
- Age 55 - 59
- Age male 55 - 59
- Age female 55 - 59
- Age 60 - 64
- Age male 60 - 64
- Age female 60 - 64
- Age 65 - 69
- Age male 65 - 69
- Age female 65 - 69
- Age 70 - 74
- Age male 70 - 74
- Age female 70 - 74
- Age 75 - 79
- Age male 75 - 79
- Age female 75 - 79
- Age 80 - 84
- Age male 80 - 84
- Age female 80 - 84
- Age 85 - 89
- Age male 85 - 89
- Age female 85 - 89
- Age 90+
- Age male 90+
- Age female 90+
- Households total
- Households family
- Households nonfamily
- Households average size
- Households 1-person
- Households 2-person
- Households 3-person
- Households 4-person
- Households 5-person
- Households 6-person
- Households 7+ person
- Housing units
- Housing units owned with mortage
- House units owned free and clear
- Housing units renter-occupied
- Housing units owner-occupied
- Housing units owner-occupied 1-person
- Housing units owner-occupied 2-person
- Housing units owner-occupied 3-person
- Housing units owner-occupied 4-person
- Housing units owner-occupied 5-person
- Housing units owner-occupied 6-person
- Housing units owner-occupied 7+ person
- Housing units renter-occupied 1-person
- Housing units renter-occupied 2-person
- Housing units renter-occupied 3-person
- Housing units renter-occupied 4-person
- Housing units renter-occupied 5-person
- Housing units renter-occupied 6-person
- Housing units renter-occupied 7+ person
- Housing units owner-occupied 15 - 24 years
- Housing units owner-occupied 25 - 34 years
- Housing units owner-occupied 35 - 44 years
- Housing units owner-occupied 45 - 54 years
- Housing units owner-occupied 55 - 64 years
- Housing units owner-occupied 65+ years
- Housing units renter-occupied 15 - 24 years
- Housing units renter-occupied 25 - 34 years
- Housing units renter-occupied 35 - 44 years
- Housing units renter-occupied 45 - 54 years
- Housing units renter-occupied 55 - 64 years
- Housing units renter-occupied 65+ years
- Population male
- Population female
- Population Hispanic
- Population not Hispanic
- Race White
- Race Black or African American
- Race American Indian and Alaska Native
- Race Asian
- Race Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander
- Race some other race
- Race two or more races
11. January 2011 03:03
In a previous post we talked about how the results of the 5-year (2005-2009) American Community Survey, released in December 2010, would provide demographics down to the zip code level for the first time. Unfortunately, the Census Bureau did not provide zip code data with the current data release, and won't be including it for some time, at least until 2012-2013.
Zip codes, as defined by the U.S. Postal Service, are not actually a "geography" included in Census Bureau surveys. Realizing there is significant interest in zip code demographics, the Census Bureau did provide Census 2000 data by "ZCTA" (Zip Code Tabulation Area), which required grouping data from small census "blocks" in order to approximate an actual zip code. You can see how ZCTA's and zip codes compare in these example maps of Washington state. (Also see our previous blog post with a more detailed ZCTA description.)
Since zip codes frequently change in definition and area, the Census Bureau must now update ten-year old ZCTA definitions. This is a complex task that was not completed in time for this first 5-year data release. In the meantime, we at CDX Technologies are evaluating other options for providing ACS data in smaller geographies. (We currently provide state, county, CBSA (Core-Based Statistical Area) and city data in our CDXZipStream ACS data feed.) We'll keep you posted as our work proceeds.
15. December 2010 23:53
Much of the demographic data of interest to businesses, including the data provided by our Excel add-in CDXZipStream, is based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Census demographic data by zip code is especially useful, since just about everyone has a zip code associated either with their home or business address. However, if you go to the Census Bureau's American Factfinder tool and input a zip, you'll see that the data returned is for something called a "Zip Code Tabulation Area" or ZCTA. Is this really a zip code?
The short answer is – it's an approximation of a zip code. Zip codes are ever-changing geographic entities determined by the Postal Service that can cross city, state, and county lines. They are also not defined by straight-line boundaries (like a polygon) and as a result are very difficult to digitally map. To help overcome these problems, ZCTA's were developed by the Census Bureau for tabulating Census 2000 data. ZCTA's approximate zip codes by aggregating small census-defined areas called blocks, based on the majority of addresses in the area. So for most instances the ZCTA code equals the zip code for an area, but since it is an approximation, a small number of addresses may have a ZCTA code different from their zip code. And for zip codes with very low populations, there may not be a corresponding ZCTA at all.
When the results of the 2010 census are rolled out, ZCTA areas will be redefined to reflect changes in zip codes that have occurred over the past 10 years. Stay tuned as we keep you updated on the status of pending census data.
29. September 2010 06:49
We've had a number of questions from our clients as to why the CDXZipStream demographic feed from the American Community Survey doesn't include data down to the zip code level. It does include data for larger geographies like state, county, and "places" (the Census Bureau's version of city, town, borough, etc.) but zip code data seems to be a glaring omission.
To understand this, we need to talk a little bit about how the American Community Survey (ACS) works. The ACS is a survey that has been performed by the U.S. Census Bureau every year since 2005; it has replaced the old "long form" that used to be part of the decennial (10-year) census. Starting in 2010, the decennial census now only consists of the "short form" that covers basic questions about age, gender, race, and household size. The more interesting demographic data such as income, educational attainment, and other socioeconomic factors are now being obtained exclusively through the ACS.
Each year the ACS surveys about 3 million U.S. households, and in order to get statistically valid demographics for smaller geographies like zip codes, the data must be combined over a five year period – there just isn't enough data for a single year to get an accurate picture for a zip code. In fact, one year data is applicable only to geographies with a population of 65,000 or more, and the three year combined data included in CDXZipStream is applicable to geographies of 20,000 or more. Since the ACS formally started in 2005, five year data (covering the period 2005 through 2009) will be released for the first time in early December 2010; it will be available in CDXZipStream within two weeks after its release.
So what's the big deal? The real advantage of the annual American Community Survey is that it will show a true moving picture of American demographics that could never be provided by the 10 year "snapshot" of the decennial census. Zip code demographics from here on out will be updated annually using data from the last five surveys, and trends can be measured using real data instead of relying on error-prone models based on extrapolations of old data. So stay tuned ... we expect demographics by zip code will be available in CDXZipStream by the end of 2010.