Understanding who lives in our region, and how the region’s populations are geographically distributed, is central to our analysis of regional equity. The Demographics Map Series examines the region’s overall population distribution, as well as the distribution of specific communities that are particularly relevant to an examination of regional equity conditions. These populations include communities of color, low-income communities, youth, seniors, immigrants, and different household types. The Demographic Map Series also explores how the distribution of populations has changed over time and what that might mean from a regional equity perspective.
Much of the Atlas’ demographic data relies on the U.S. Census and the related American Community Survey (ACS). These data sources are the only comprehensive data available that enable us to map the locations of specific populations at a sufficient level of granularity, but they also have limitations that must be kept in mind. Most notably, the Census and ACS tend to undercount certain populations, particularly low-income populations, communities of color, and culturally specific communities. The Coalition of Communities of Color has extensively analyzed this undercount and its implications.
Despite these limitations, the Demographic Map Series maps provide valuable insights into the geographic distribution of key populations that are central to our analysis of regional equity.
Photo credits, from top to bottom: Home Forward, stockvault, http://www.freedigitalphotos.net