Visually explore Delaware's latest Census data

While Ryan Harrington guided the Open Data Delaware group through an introduction to R, I worked on a Python based project — a graphical Census explorer. I started it the previous week, when the 2016 American Community Survey results were posted. I loaded the ACS data starting in 2012.

There are two views, both offering the same Census measurements. One displays Delaware by county, and the other breaks New Castle County up into four areas. (Note: Those areas are set by Census, and are called PUMAs, or Public Use Microdata Areas. Basically areas with enough of a population to be statistically meaningful. Minimum population is 100,000.)

Here are some interesting things I found. You can easily recreate the screenshots below, or create your own views.

You can definitely see the influx of retirees to Sussex county. Our southern-most county accounted for almost half of the population increase in Delaware since 2012, drawing in 16,861 new residents out of 34,973 for the entire state. In that same timespan, Sussex’s median age rose by two years to 48.7, and is ten years greater than the average age in New Castle County. Lastly, the median year a home in Sussex was constructed rose from 1991 to 1998, and is 14 years greater than Delaware’s average of 1984.

Delaware change in population

Overall, New Castle County population went up, but the Wilmington area and south NCCo went down.

Delaware's New Castle County change in population

Per-capita income dipped in northern NCCo, but they’re still by far the highest, almost $9,000 higher than the county average. Per-capita income rose the most in southern NCCo, by 16%, or almost $5,000.

Delaware change in income

I’m going to open sourcing the project, but need to clean some things up first. For example the median home construction year is treated like a number, so the year 1973 is printed as 1,973. There’s also work to be done with connecting the population with various metrics, for example linking population to the number living in poverty to get the poverty rate. Updates will be announced on this blog.

Written on September 28, 2017 by Chris A. Williams