14 November 2013

Explore the demographics of your ZIP code

A Washington Post article examines the demographics of ZIP codes:
The Washington Post analyzed census data to find Zip codes where people rank highest on a combination of income and education. They are Super Zips.

The ranks, ranging from 0 to 99, represent the average of each Zip’s percentile rankings for median household income and for the share of adults with college degrees. Super Zips rank 95 or higher...

The map... shows the nation’s 650 Super Zips. Among them, the typical household income is $120,272, and 68 percent of adults hold college degrees. That compares with $53,962 and 27 percent for the remaining 23,925 Zips shown. Only Zips with at least 500 adults are displayed.
I don't live in a "Super ZIP" (in  yellow).  I'm in the bile-green category one step down.  The image I've embedded is a screencap but the map at WaPo is interactive; you can click on your ZIP code to reveal specific data.


  1. The most striking thing about this for me is how the ZIP-codes, even though they're pretty high resolution, don't quite capture it. I used to live in the 60626 zip code, in Chicago. It's dark blue on the map, but when I lived there, there was a high concentration of graduate students from Northwestern University in the apartment buildings along the El tracks, and near the lake. We all had college degrees of course, and modest incomes at the time, but culturally were firmly in the "elite", and generally socially segregated from our neighbors.

    I don't know how you'd capture something like that -- it seems that there's a kind of sociological uncertainty principle that says if you have enough resolution, you don't have enough statistical relevance.

  2. I couldn't get the map to embiggen.

    1. It works for me when I click the +/- buttons at the top right. If that doesn't work, try typing in your ZIP code. If that stiill doesn't work, maybe try a different browser (I'm using Firefox).

  3. Replies
    1. Close. Stoughton is blue because it's more rural.

  4. About zipcodes, I believe Cape Canaveral has 321. Not sure if it's a known funfact...

  5. Cape Canaveral Telephone Area Code, 321
    That is a Fun Fact

  6. Their road maps are off... Quite a few of the major roads in my city are given different names than they actually possess. I wonder where they got that information?

  7. I live close by, but I'm way down in the green. It's interesting, to be sure!

  8. My town has an average household income of $31,565 and a 13% college graduation rate. But the community just outside the city limits, a half mile away, has an average household income of $18,345 a year and a 6% college rate. Suddenly I feel so... middle class.


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