The Boston Fed has created a powerful, time-saving, easy-to-use tool for people interested in the New England region. The tool uses census data to compare the demographic characteristics of lower-income and higher-income areas within a city. It also provides aggregate information for New England states and for the region as a whole.
The City Summary provides a snapshot of the city’s key variables for easy viewing, downloading in PDF format, and printing. Find summary tables and charts of selected indicators for 2000 and 2012 for LMI and MUI areas in the city and state that interest you.
The City Tables allow you to easily view the data on screen and download Microsoft® Excel® format for several cities at a time and for individual New England states and the region as a whole for LMI and MUI areas.
The Raw Data is also available in Microsoft® Excel® format only. In addition to providing data for LMI and MUI areas, the raw data includes information by four different area income categories (low, moderate, middle, and upper).
This New England City Data update contains information on low- and moderate- income (LMI) areas and middle- and upper- income (MUI) areas within New England cities and towns with populations equal to or greater than 4,000, as well as aggregate data for New England states and the New England division as a whole. The 2000 data is based on Summary File 3 and Summary File 1 from Census 2000. The 2012 data is based on the 2008–2012 American Community Survey (ACS) five-year estimates.
Each LMI or MUI "area" is a collection of census tracts with identical LMI or MUI classification within each town or city. This income classification is constructed by comparing the median family income (MFI) of the census tract to the MFI of the metropolitan statistical area/metropolitan division (MSA/MD) in which the census tract sits. LMI census tracts are those that have a MFI 80 percent below the MSA's MFI. MUI census tracts are those that have a MFI 80 percent above the MSA's MFI.
We used the census tract's income classification as calculated by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC). The 2000 data and the 2012 data were merged with their respective FFIEC files (http://www.ffiec.gov/census/default.aspx). There were two cities in the ACS 2012 data for which the MFI was missing; in these cases, we used the MFI from the ACS 2011 5-year estimate and adjusted for inflation.
The FFIEC 2014 Census file uses the Office of Management and Budget's post-2010 MSA/MD delineations. For observations in which a boundary change occurred, the FFIEC undertook specific methodologies to calculate the MFI of each MSA/MD, and these methodologies may be found on their website. Conversely, the 2008-2012 ACS data generally reflect the OMB's pre-2010 MSA/MD delineations. When we compared pre-2010 MSA/census tract boundary delineations and post-2010 MSA/census tract boundary delineations, we found that the changes were inconsequential for the purposes of this update.
Calculations were done at the census tract level then grouped by city or town, as defined by the U.S. Bureau of the Census' county subdivision classification. To assign census tracts to county subdivisions, we used the relationship files available through the MABLE/Geocorr2K geographic correspondence engine with census 2010 geography. In some cases, particularly when the town's population is under 4,000, less than 100 percent of the census tract falls within the city/town boundaries. For that reason, the New England City Data includes information only for cities and towns with more than 4,000 residents (the average census tract size). There were six cases in which less than 100 percent of the census tract fell within a county subdivision with a population greater than 4000; in these cases, the census tracts were eliminated. Congressional district designation was done using the most recent (2012) congressional district designations for each county subdivision.
For each area income category and each indicator (other than population), we calculated the average across census tracts. The population figure is the sum of the populations of all the tracts. For that reason, figures for LMI and MUI areas and data for the city as a whole are not strictly comparable. We also provide indicator averages in LMI and MUI areas at the state level and for New England as a whole. For example, in Hartford, CT, there were 37 LMI tracts and 2 MUI tracts in 2008–2012. The average poverty rate was 37 percent across LMI tracts and 16 percent across MUI tracts.
All statistics are percentages unless specified otherwise.
Last updated: August 11, 2014
Age 65 and older: This is the percentage of the total population of people aged 65 years and older.
Age 15 and younger: This is the percentage of the total population of people aged 15 years and younger.
American Community Survey (ACS): The ACS is a nationwide survey designed to provide communities with reliable and timely demographic, social, economic, and housing data every year. The U.S. Census Bureau releases data from the ACS in the form of both single-year and multiyear estimates. In 2010, the ACS did away with the decennial census long form, choosing instead to collect long-form-type information throughout the decade rather than only once every 10 years. The annual ACS sample is smaller than the long-form sample from the 2000 Census, which included about 18 million housing units. As a result, the ACS needs to combine population or housing data from multiple years to produce reliable numbers for small counties and other local areas. The ACS provides communities with one-, three-, and five-year estimates. The five-year estimates are available for areas as small as census tracts and block groups. Single-year, three-year, and five-year estimates from the ACS are all "period" estimates, that is, they represent data collected over a period of time (as opposed to "point-in-time" estimates, such as the decennial census, that approximate the characteristics of an area on a specific date). To perform comparison analysis over time Census Bureau suggests comparing periods that do not overlap—comparing 2005–2007 estimates with 2008–2010 estimates, for example.
Bachelor's degree or higher: This is the percentage of individuals aged 25 years and older, whose highest degree was at least a Bachelor's degree.
Census tract: Census tracts are small, relatively permanent statistical subdivisions of a county that usually have between 2,500 and 8,000 persons. Census tract boundaries are delineated with the intention of being maintained over a long time so that statistical comparisons can be made from census to census.
Children's poverty rate: The children's poverty rate is the percentage of individuals aged 18 and younger for whom poverty status is determined and who were living below the poverty level in the last 12 months.
Educational attainment: Educational attainment, which is measured only for people who are 25 years and older, is the highest level of education that an individual has completed. Educational attainment does not include the level of schooling that an individual is currently attending.
Employment rate: This is the percentage of all civilians, 16 years old and older, who either (1) were "at work," that is, those who did any work at all during the reference week as paid employees, worked in their own business or profession, worked on their own farm, or worked 15 hours or more as unpaid workers on a family farm or in a family business; or (2) were "with a job but not at work," that is, those who did not work during the reference week but had jobs or businesses from which they were temporarily absent due to illness, bad weather, industrial dispute, vacation, or other personal reasons. Excluded from the employed are people whose only activity consisted of work around the house or unpaid volunteer work for religious, charitable, and similar organizations; also excluded are all institutionalized people and people on active duty in the United States Armed Forces.
Foreign born: The foreign-born population includes anyone who was not a U.S. citizen or a U.S. national at birth. This includes respondents who indicated they were a U.S. citizen by naturalization or not a U.S. citizen.
High school graduate or higher: This category includes individuals aged 25 and over, whose highest degree was a high school diploma or its equivalent. This includes individuals who attended college but did not receive a degree, and people who received an associate's, bachelor's, master's, or professional or doctorate degree. People who reported completing the 12th grade but not receiving a diploma are not included.
Hispanic or Latino: This is the percentage of individuals who identify with the terms "Hispanic," "Latino," and "Spanish," which the Census uses interchangeably. Some respondents identify with all three terms while others may identify with only one of these three specific terms. Hispanics or Latinos who identify with the terms "Hispanic," "Latino," or "Spanish" are those who classify themselves in one of the specific Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish categories listed on the questionnaire ("Mexican," "Puerto Rican," or "Cuban") as well as those who indicate that they are "another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin." People who do not identify with one of the specific origins listed on the questionnaire but indicate that they are "another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin" are those whose origins are from Spain, the Spanish-speaking countries of Central or South America, or the Dominican Republic. Up to two write-in responses to the "another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin" category are coded. Origin can be viewed as the heritage, nationality group, lineage, or country of birth of the person or the person's parents or ancestors before their arrival in the United States. People who identify their origin as Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish may be of any race.
Housing cost-burdened homeowner households: This is the percentage of households whose selected monthly housing costs exceed 30% of the household income. For homeowners, selected monthly housing costs are the sum of payments for mortgages, deeds of trust, contracts to purchase, or similar debts on the property (including payments for the first mortgage, second mortgages, home equity loans, and other junior mortgages); real estate taxes; fire, hazard, and flood insurance on the property; utilities (electricity, gas, and water and sewer); and fuels (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.). It also includes, where appropriate, the monthly condominium fee for condominiums and mobile home costs (installment loan payments, personal property taxes, site rent, registration fees, and license fees). Selected monthly owner costs were tabulated for all owner-occupied units, regardless of mortgage status.
Housing cost-burdened renter households: This is the percentage of households whose gross rent exceeds 30% of the household income. Gross rent is the contract rent plus the estimated average monthly cost of utilities (electricity, gas, and water and sewer) and fuels (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.) if these are paid by the renter (or paid for the renter by someone else).
Labor force participation rate: The labor force participation rate represents the proportion of the population age 16 and older that is in the labor force. The labor force is classified as all people in the civilian labor force plus members of the U.S. Armed Forces. Excluded from the labor force are all institutionalized people.
Language spoken at home: The language used by respondents at home is either English only, English and one or more non-English languages, or a non-English language or languages used in place of English.
Living in same residence as one year ago: This is the percentage of all individuals who lived in the same residence at the time of survey completion as they did 1 year ago. This variable is only available for 2012 census data.
Mean travel time to work: Travel time to work is the total time in minutes that it usually takes a person to get from home to work each day during the reference week. This includes time spent waiting for public transportation, picking up passengers in car pools, and time spent in other activities related to getting to work.
Median age: The median age is the age that divides the population into two equal-size groups. Half of the population is older than the median age and half is younger. Median age is based on a standard distribution of the population by single years of age.
Median family income: Median family income is calculated from income earned by families over the past 12 months. The median divides the income distribution into two equal parts: one-half of the cases falling below the median income and one-half above the median. Therefore, median family income is based on the distribution of the total number of families including those with no income.
Metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs): MSAs are geographic entities defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for use by Federal statistical agencies in collecting, tabulating, and publishing Federal statistics. A metro area contains a core urban area with a population of 50,000 or more. Each metro area consists of one or more counties and includes the counties containing the core urban area as well as any adjacent counties that have a high degree of social and economic integration (as measured by commuting to work) with the urban core.
Native born: The native population includes anyone who was a U.S. citizen or a U.S. national at birth. This includes respondents who indicated they were born in the United States, Puerto Rico, a U.S. Island Area (such as Guam), or abroad of American (U.S. citizen) parent or parents.
Non-Hispanic Asian: This category comprises individuals who responded "No, not Spanish/Hispanic/Latino" and who reported "Asian" as their sole racial identifier.
Non-Hispanic Black: This category comprises individuals who responded "No, not Spanish/Hispanic/Latino" and who reported "Black" as their sole racial identifier.
Non-Hispanic Other: This category comprises individuals who responded "No, not Spanish/Hispanic/Latino" and who chose "Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander," "American Indian or Alaska Native," or "Some Other Race" or "Two or More Races" for their racial identification.
Non-Hispanic White: This category comprises individuals who responded "No, not Spanish/Hispanic/Latino" and who reported "White" as their sole racial identifier.
Owner-occupied: This is the percentage of all housing units that are owner-occupied. A housing unit is owner-occupied if the owner or co-owner lives in the unit, even if it is mortgaged or not fully paid for.
Poverty rate: The poverty rate is the percentage of individuals for whom poverty status is determined and who were living below the poverty level in the last 12 months. To determine a person's poverty status, one compares the person's total family income in the last 12 months with the poverty threshold appropriate for that person's family size and composition (see example below). If the total income of that person's family is less than the threshold appropriate for that family, then the person is considered "below the poverty level," together with every member of his or her family. If a person is not living with anyone related by birth, marriage, or adoption, then the person's own income is compared with his or her poverty threshold. For example, consider a family of three with one child under 18 years of age, interviewed in July 2012 and reporting a total family income of $14,000 for the last 12 months (July 2011 to June 2012). The base year (1982) threshold for such a family is $7,765, while the average of the 12 inflation factors is 2.35795. Multiplying $7,765 by 2.35795 determines the appropriate poverty threshold for this family type, which is $18,309. Comparing the family's income of $14,000 with the poverty threshold shows that the family and all people in the family are considered to have been in poverty. The only difference for determining poverty status for unrelated individuals is that the person's individual total income is compared with the threshold rather than the family's income.
Race: Race is a self-identification data item in which respondents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify.
Real median family income: The real median family income divides the income distribution into two equal parts: one-half of the cases falling below the median income and one-half above the median. The median family income is based on the distribution of the total number of families including those with no income. To calculate 2000 median family income in 2012 dollars, the median family income is multiplied by the consumer price index (CPI-U_RS) adjustment factor of 1.378.
Renter-occupied: This is the percentage of all housing units that are renter-occupied. A housing unit is classified as renter-occupied if it is not owner-occupied, whether they are rented or occupied without payment of rent. "No rent paid" units are separately identified in the rent tabulations. Such units are generally provided free by friends or relatives or in exchange for services such as resident manager, caretaker, minister, or tenant farmer. Housing units on military bases also are classified in the "No rent paid" category. "Rented" includes units in continuing care, sometimes called life care arrangements. These arrangements usually involve a contract between one or more individuals and a health services provider guaranteeing the individual shelter, usually a house or apartment, and services, such as meals or transportation to shopping or recreation.
Single female householder with related children under 18 years: This is the percentage of all families with related children present that are headed by a single female householder, with no husband present.
Speak English less than "very well": This is the percentage of the population five years old and older who reported speaking a language other than English at home and indicated that their English-speaking ability was "Well," "Not Well," or "Not at all."
Speak English only: This is the percentage of the population five years old and older who reported only speaking English at home.
Unemployment rate: This is the percentage of all civilians 16 years old and over who are classified as unemployed. Individuals are classified as unemployed if they (1) were neither "at work" nor "with a job but not at work" during the reference week, and (2) were actively looking for work during the last 4 weeks, and (3) were available to start a job. Also included as unemployed are civilians who did not work at all during the reference week were waiting to be called back to a job from which they had been laid off, and were available for work except for temporary illness.
Last updated: August 11, 2014
The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston's City Profiles Data is a public effort of our Regional Outreach and Communications Group. Although this dataset has been constructed with great care, neither the Regional Outreach and Communications Group nor the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston's accepts responsibility or liability whatsoever with regards to the information contained in this document. Any decisions or application based on information provided through this document are the sole responsibility of the user.
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Last updated: August 11, 2014
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