Census Data

The Brian Lehrer Show

A Map Of New York's Changing Income

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What do you see when you map income changes from 2007 to 2012 in New York City by neighborhood? Gentrification in Brooklyn and Harlem -- and the effect of the financial crash on the middle class. Andrew Beveridge, professor of sociology at Queens College, and the man behind Social Explorer, discusses the data and the story it tells us.


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Transportation Nation

Commuter Nation: How America Gets to Work (INTERACTIVE MAP)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Click the map. 

(Matt Berger and Katie Long -- Marketplace) America is a nation of drivers, particularly when it comes to how we get to work.

Across the country, the vast majority of us commute by car, and most of the time we’re alone, according to the latest data from the Census Bureau. But in some pockets of the U.S. there's a growing population of commuters taking public transportation, carpooling, walking, and even riding a bike.

To get a better look at how Americans get to work, TN partner Marketplace sifted through data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Surveys to create an interactive map.

Here's what they wrote about the findings:

Using data from the 2010 survey (view data), we identified the number of people in each state who drive alone, carpool, and take public transportation. From the 2008 survey (view data), we identified the number of people in each state who walk or ride a bike.

Then we added up the total number of people represented in both surveys to determine the "total commuter population" for each state; There is a margin of error we didn't account for, maybe some people who still commute by horse-and-buggy, and the surveys are from different years, but you get the idea. A quick calculation gave us the share of commuters in each category by state.

I drive alone
In 43 states, more than three-quarters of the commuter population drive alone to work. Only New York was significantly lower -- with almost half of Empire State commuters saying they get work in other ways. The least carpool-friendly states by percent are Alabama, Tennessee, and South Carolina.

Share the road
Hawaii and Alaska lead the nation in carpool commuting. About 14 percent of their commuter populations share a ride to work. Most states reported somewhere between 8 percent and 11 percent in this commuter category.

More of us take the bus
Not surprisingly, states with major metropolitan populations and large public transit systems have the highest use of public transit: New York leads by a wide margin with about 28 percent of its commuter population taking a train, subway or bus. Massachusetts and Illinois came in at a distant second and third with about 9 percent of their respective commuter populations taking public transportation.

Meanwhile Alabama, Arkansas, Maine, and Mississippi are among 17 states with less than 1 percent of their commuter population on public transit.

Foot-powered commuters are few
In our data set, bicycling and walking remain the least-popular methods for commuting to work. No state reported more than 5 percent of their commuter population on bikes. Thanks to its bike-friendly city of Portland, the state of Oregon topped the list - but still its bike population is only about 4.63 percent of the total. The majority of states didn’t break 1 percent in this category (Full disclosure, this is how I get to work).

Those who walk to work, meanwhile, are more common than bike-to-work commuters in almost every state, but still represent only a small slice of each state's commuter population. New York had the second-highest number of walking commuters, along with the other top states – Alaska (#1), Vermont (#3) and Montana (#4).

Explore the complete data in our interactive map, and tell us how you get to work. Post a comment or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

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Transportation Nation

Study: Only 28 Percent of Neighborhoods Affordable

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

In the typical definition of housing affordability, your rent or mortgage would be a third, or less, of your income.   And by that standard, some 76 percent of neighborhoods are affordable.  But when you add in transportation costs, the results are jarring:  fewer than a third of American neighborhoods -- just 28 percent -- are affordable.

Those results come by way of a new analysis by the Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago -- and they're significantly worse than results CNT published a year ago -- which looked at older data, and a smaller sample size.  In the older study, 69 percent of homes were affordable, based on 2000 census data under the narrower definition, while 39 percent were affordable adding in transportation costs.

"It's very stark," said the CNT's Scott Bernstein, who spoke of traveling through the country and seeing "entire subdivisions that got built and were never occupied, or are empty because people moved out."

For the last five years, on average, Bernstein says 200,000 families moved in with another family.

And these figures don't take into account recent spikes in gas prices.

The data also show what a profound difference good transit makes to transportation costs.   In the New York-New Jersey region, the average transportation costs is $10,158 a year.  But in areas with good transit, that number plummets to $1985.  Areas with the least access to transit cost $19,003 a year.

In Houston, the range is $7958 on the low end, and $19181 on the high end.  In Orlando, it's $9203 and $17705.

And in San Francisco/Oakland, it's $5368 and $19709.

You can see a ranking of metro areas, by transportation costs, here.

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Affluent New York Parents Born Abroad Prefer Public Schools

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Times reports on Wednesday that, of the roughly 15,500 households in the city with school-age children where the total income is at least $150,000 and both parents were born abroad, some 10,500, or 68 percent, use only the public schools. That is about twice the rate of parents who were born in America and are in the same income bracket.

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Transportation Nation

California's High-Speed Rail: Census Shows the 'Train To Nowhere' May Actually Be The Train to the Boom Towns

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

(San Francisco -- Casey Miner, KALW News) The new census numbers mean big changes for California politics. Huge population growth in the Central Valley, compared to relatively anemic growth in the coastal cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco, seems likely to shift a good deal of the state's political clout inland to cities like Bakersfield and Fresno. That's also where the first high-speed rail tracks will be laid. What some have called a "train to nowhere" is now a train to the fastest-growing part of the state.

"We're particularly interested to see the growth in these Central Valley cities," said Rachel Wall, a spokeswoman for the California High-Speed Rail Authority. "In Fresno and Bakersfield the populations are increasing, but they're still very isolated as far as accessibility and mobility." Wall added that these cities would be among those who saw the first jobs come from the project.

But Central Valley politicians aren't necessarily buying it.

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Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: New Yorkers Face Long Commutes, More DC Residents Are Taking Public Transit, And How To Modernize Air Traffic Control

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Census data, commuter edition: More DC residents are using abandoning their cars and taking public transit to work. "Only New Yorkers take the subway to work more than Washingtonians do." (Washington Post)

Meanwhile, four of New York City's five boroughs logged the nation's longest average commute times to work (New York Post).  The country's worst commute continues to belong to Staten Island, where residents spend 42.5 minutes each way traveling to work (Staten Island Live).  But remember, New Yorkers --commutes cost less in NYC.

The blog Ride The City published data about more than 600,000 NYC bike rides planned on their site since April 2009. Median ride length: a little over 4 miles. And: 85% of all rides started or ended in just 7% of census blocks.

In other news:  The tax cut -- with its attendant transit benefit -- passes the Senate. Next stop: the House. (New York Times)

New York City has launched a new pilot program that will allow some disabled Access-A-Ride customers to take taxis instead. (WNYC)

Amtrak passengers can now bring unloaded guns on some trains. All aboard! (NPR)

A federal task force has some ideas about how to modernize air traffic control -- and ensure transparency in pricing. (Wall Street Journal)

Richard Florida digs into neighborhood walkability--which he writes is "a magnet for attracting and retaining the highly innovative businesses and highly skilled people that drive economic growth, raising housing values and generating higher incomes."  (The Atlantic)

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