Map change over time

Social Explorer’s change over time feature allows you to map patterns in demographic and socioeconomic change over a period of time at varying levels of geography. Explore trends or changes over time by visualizing the difference in values for the same variable between two different years. 

Currently, this feature is available for the ACS 5-Year Estimates from 2010 to 2018 (both Social Explorer tables and original ACS tables). Be on the lookout for more change over time data to be added soon!

Here’s how to use the Change over time feature in Social Explorer maps:

  1. In the Change data menu, click Change year .
  2. Click Change over time from the Time period menu. 
  3. Select the years you’d like to compare.
  4. Click Done.

You can visualize change over time data in two ways

Percent change

Percent change represents the degree of change over time for a particular variable in percentage form. Percent change will display the difference between two numerical quantities as percentage of starting value in the form of a shaded map.

In the Change data menu, click Change visualization type and then select Percent change to visualize change over time in percentage form.

When visualizing data values which trend inward and outward, such as change over time data, we suggest using a diverging color scheme for visualizing the data on a shaded map. In a diverging color scheme, two contrasting colors represent positive and negative change over time for a particular variable.

Actual change

Actual number change represents the difference between numerical quantities or counts. The numerical difference will be displayed on a bubble map.

In the Change data menu, click Change visualization type and then select Difference to visualize change over time in numerical form.

In the bubble map, the size of each circle corresponds to its value such that the higher the value, the larger the circle. The color of the bubble indicates whether change over time has been positive or negative. Head over to this guide to learn more about data visualization types.

Change over time feature helps you map changes at the state, county, county subdivision, and census tract levels for all ACS 5-Year Estimates from 2010 to 2018.

Switch map view between multiple years

Seamlessly switch the map view from one year to another for the same variable by selecting those years from the Single year option in the Time period menu.

  1. In the Change data menu, click Change year.
  2. Click Single year from the Time period menu. 
  3. Select the year to which you'd like to switch your map view. Feel free to explore between different years before making a selection.
  4. Click Done.