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EDUC 887: Neighborhood Geography and Education Policy

A course guide to support students to create community demographic mapping for education policy making

Begin Your Research

Welcome to the Neighborhood, Community & Education Policy Infoguide

Use this guide to locate useful census data and mapping resources to help you create a community (i.e. a neighborhood) demographic mapping. First, you have to find your community or neighborhood that you are interested in research. A neighborhood or community is a socially defined term that does not have an official geographic boundary. You have to find which zip code, census tracts, or major streets that you can use to define your neighborhood. Next, you need the smallest census geographies such as census block or census tracts to add up your own community or a neighborhood. 

To get started: Go to the following sites to look up demographic profiles of your neighborhood area and tools for mapping.  


Identify Your Neighborhood Geographic Boundary

A Zip Code boundary and its selected Census TractsFirst, Identify a Zip code of your neighborhood using the following resources:

1) United States' Zip Code Site: type your address, place or neighborhood name to find your neighborhood zip code including essential demographic profile of that zip code.

2) Go to the library databases such as Social Explorer, Simply Analytics, Policy Map  or data, to display the area of a zip code boundary to see which census tracts belong to that zip code (Note: Zip code demographic data from the above sites are only available after 2000)

3) Collect demographic information using the selected census tracts of your neighborhood using Tables or Map functions provided by the above resources.

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