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Explore new Social Explorer Datasets

FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2019

Social Explorer is bringing you even more datasets to explore on our platform. These include:

Read on to learn more about these datasets and the types of questions each helps to explore. Be sure to let us know if there is a dataset you would like us to add!

U.S. Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics
(2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009)

We had previously released the 2010-2015 LEHD data. Now you can explore trends in this dataset from 2015 to as far back as 2002.

The LEHD dataset from the U.S. Census Bureau provides critical statistics on employment, job flows and workers’ residential patterns at detailed levels of geography. In particular, it links employer data about the place and nature of employment with demographic data such as age, sex and race.

For example, we might want to explore where jobs in finance and insurance are distributed. The bubble map below demonstrates that New York is the country’s center of finance, and also highlights other key areas where these professions are popular, such as Chicago and Los Angeles.

The location of jobs in the Finance & Insurance sectors according to the LEHD (2015)

Alternatively, we could pose a question such as: how does the share of jobs in manufacturing differ across the country? On the following map, the darker blues in the “Rust Belt” region suggests a greater prevalence of manufacturing jobs in many Midwestern counties than compared to the lighter blues along the coasts.
Explore these questions and more, now as far back as 2002!

The share of jobs in the Manufacturing sector according to the LEHD (2015)

U.S. County Business Patterns (2015, 2016)

U.S. County Business Patterns are now available for 2015 and 2016. This annual series from the U.S. Census Bureau provides key economic data on metrics like the number of establishments, employment and payroll.

Use it to explore questions such as: what is the most typical size of business establishments in New York County? Although we might think of New York as the home of large corporations, this data suggests we should not overlook the prevalence of small businesses. Represented by the green dots, more than half of establishments in New York County have just one to four employees!


Number of establishments in New York County by number of employees for all sectors according to County Business Patterns dataset (2016)

County Subdivisions in the ACS

The American Community Survey (ACS) from the U.S. Census Bureau is the premier source for detailed data on topics such as population, housing, and many other demographic topics.

One of the greatest advantages of the ACS is the granularity of the data it provides. Social Explorer now lets you visualize this granularity at the county subdivision level for many ACS years.

The example below highlights the difference in geographic detail between the 67 Pennsylvania counties on the left and the hundreds of PA county subdivisions on the right.
Take advantage of this finer level of detail for all of your ACS queries!


Pennsylvania’s population at county (left) and county subdivision levels (right) according to the 2017 ACS (5-Year Estimate)

New map layer: Opportunity Zones (ACS 2010-2017 – 1yr 3yr 5yr)

In addition to visualizing datasets, Social Explorer’s platform provides users the ability to enhance maps with different kinds of informative geo layers on top.

By clicking on the “Map layers” option (in the same menu used to create reports, mask map data, and generate annotations), users can already control basic visual elements such as whether to include streets, landmarks, and certain boundaries on the map.

A new layer available is Opportunity Zones. An Opportunity Zone is a new community investment tool established by Congress to encourage long-term investment in low-income communities. By adding this layer to a map, we can highlight and compare the Census Tracts designated as Opportunity Zones against any dataset we wish.

For example, here we mapped households in Denver, CO, earning less than $10,000 according to the 2017 ACS (5-Year Estimate). On top of this map, the Opportunity Zones are outlined in green and designated as low-income communities. In one such Opportunity Zone, Denver County’s Census Tract 8, 56 percent of households earn less than $10,000 per year. In essence, this new layer provides the ability to visually cross-reference low-income households (or any other segment) against opportunity zones.
Adding Opportunity Zones layer to map creates an efficient way to explore new investment opportunities against key economic indicators we might wish to explore.


The share of Denver households earning less than $10,000 according to the 2017 ACS (5-Year Estimate), marked by Opportunity Zones

U.S. Citizen Voting Age Population (ACS 2017 5-Year Estimates)

From local primaries to the 2020 Presidential Election, Social Explorer helps users examine the pool of potential voters (citizens who are 18 years of age or older) from the American Community Survey. While this may not include a count of registered voters, it offers a useful tool to study people and voting power. These numbers are also instrumental in redistricting and reapportionment.

The example below shows Utah, the state with the country’s youngest median age. The map on the right depicts a simple bubble map of Utah’s population by county. On the left, however, these slightly smaller circles represent Utah’s population of only US citizens of voting age. For example, in Salt Lake County, we find that just under 70 percent  of the total population are citizens of voting age.


Utah’s county-level total population (left) and citizen of voting age population (right) according to the 2017 ACS (5-Year Estimate)

Explore these datasets and much more on and be sure to let us know which datasets you want to see added next.

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