More “must see” sites for NYC research

September 20th, 2008 by Jack Styczynski

In addition to the sites already posted, here are some more to check out as you start working your beat…

The number one source for demographics and population statistics will always be the Census Bureau, but as we know, government sites are rarely easy to navigate.  Although typically complicated, the Bureau’s annual American Community Survey page is the place to get the most up-to-date estimates for geographic areas with populations of 65,000 or more.  The area designation most akin to a Community District would be something the Bureau refers to as a Public Use Microdata Area (PUMA), but as you can see by this map, the two are not completely coterminous.  Some are closer than others.  If you don’t feel comfortable using the more difficult ACS page to get the latest PUMA stats, the Department of City Planning has posted some recent reports.  Or if your CD is really not close to being coterminous with a PUMA, you can use the old 2000 Census figures available here or in the district profiles.  However, if you only need ACS or decennial Census data for a city, county, zip code or state, the Bureau’s American FactFinder site is pretty simple to use.

Social Explorer has historical Census data back to 1790, but even more useful are the reports on the religious population dating back to 1980.  Get decennial numbers by county, state and the entire nation.

Another great source for demographics and statistics, including immigration and crime, is Infoshare Online.  Find information for numerous geographic designations, such as Community Districts, zip codes, school districts and police precincts.  We have access to this database via CUNY, but individuals can also apply for free accounts at Infoshare.org.

Also available to us via CUNY is RAND New York, which features more than 60 databases, including crime statistics by county.

Baruch College’s NYCdata is a terrific site for all sorts of NYC stats and info.

Need street maps?  The CUNY Graduate Center’s OASIS site rivals the NYC.gov CityMap for quality and features, plus it can be set to display CD boundaries.

Speaking of maps, Neighborhood Link will generate them by zip code and list various other information about the neighborhood, although you should verify anything you find here.  Don’t use it as a primary research source.

Lastly, the annual New York State Statistical Yearbook has some good local information, such as the voter registration and political party enrollment numbers by county listed in the elections section (update: more recent voter registration and party enrollment numbers by county are here).

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