Demographic Anomalies: US Edition
It’s been a while since we looked at American Community Survey data in Wolfram|Alpha. Our first efforts included surveying ACS data related to education, income, and diversity, only touching the tip of the iceberg.
Recently, we took a deeper look at the data to unearth some of the least “average” communities in the US.
As you might guess, at the national level, female and male populations are split almost evenly (50.8% and 49.2%, respectively). But there are metropolitan communities in the US where the split doesn’t hew to the national average, and the ACS data in Wolfram|Alpha lets us find them.
Take Susanville, CA, for example. At just 34.5%, this community in Northern California has the smallest percentage of female residents in the US.
Or consider the number of married couples living in the United States. The data shows us that 51.4% of the national population ages 15 and older are currently married, but there are individual communities with standout numbers. Utah, at 58%, is the state with the largest married fraction. Dig deeper and you’ll discover that nearly 66% of the population is married in the Brigham City, UT metro area.
When it comes to education, there are more than 2.6 million people in the United States with no formal schooling. That’s about 1.3% of the total population.
Among the 50 states and Washington, D.C., California tops the list with the highest percentage of citizens having no formal education.
On the flip side, the number of people with advanced degrees exceeds 10% of the nation’s total population. That means roughly 21.7 million people have a master’s degree or higher. Of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., the District of Columbia has the highest population percentage with advanced degrees at 28.7%.
We can access poverty data, too. In the following query, we can see what fraction of US senior citizens–individuals over the age of 65–are living below the poverty line. The national average is close to 9%, but the numbers vary significantly by state. Mississippi has the highest percentage, and Alaska has the lowest.
We can also get numbers for more complicated queries. For example, Wolfram|Alpha can compute the percentage of people in Washington State metro areas speaking Tagalog at home.
Perhaps the best thing about being able to identify demographic outliers is that it helps us make more informed decisions about the places where we prefer to live and work. Which states have the highest educated populations? Where are the most diverse communities to raise a family? What communities are home to people who speak my native language? What cities would benefit the most from a non-profit organization helping seniors in need?