Cambridge Statistics Elsewhere on the Web

Census Bureau and American Factfinder

The American Factfinder website, maintained by the United States Census Bureau, is the primary source for distributing to the public various population, housing, economic, and geographic data sources. Data from the 2010 U. S. Census and all iterations of the American Community Survey is available through American Factfinder. Other data sets available include results from the 1990 Census, 2000 Census, 2007 Economic Census, and current population estimates among others. Data is available at the city, zip code and census tract level, depending on the data set you chose to review.

There are three Census Bureau data products that provide population related data:

Decennial Census 

Often referred to as simply "The Census", the decennial census is mandated by the U. S. constitution to occur every ten years and serves as the basis for apportionment of legislative seats.  Every resident of the United States is required to respond to basic questions about sex, age, race, Hispanic origin, family and household relationship, and housing tenure. Data from the decennial census is sometimes referred to as 100% data, since it includes responses from the entire population.

American Community Survey

In response to concerns about currency of data and cost, the Census Bureau replaced the socioeconomic information from the decennial census long form questionnaire with the results of the American Community Survey (ACS). The ACS is a sample based survey that determines the distribution of characteristics in a population. The ACS is not designed as a measure of population size. ACS results are reported both as quantities and percentages. Quantities are based on the Census Bureau's current population estimate program.

To learn more about the ACS use the Census Bureau's ACS E-Tutorial.

The Washington State Office of Financial Management has put together a good introduction on how to use the ACS and the technical issues surrounding the data.

Population Estimates Program

The Population Estimates program of the Census Bureau fulfills the need for population counts between the decennial censuses. These estimates are used in federal funding allocations, as survey controls, as denominators for vital rates and per capita time series, and as indicators of recent demographic changes. With each new release of annual estimates, the entire time series of estimates is revised for all years back to the last census. All previously published estimates are superseded and archived.

Other Useful Data Sources

A wide variety of data about Cambridge is available through the internet.  The following are several of the more useful and reliable public data sources

Consumer and Producer Price Indexes

Figures for the eastern Massachusetts area are available through the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Region 1 Data Series page: http://146.142.4.24/cgi-bin/surveymost?r1

Current Population Survey

This federal survey provides information on national employment trends. The U. S. Census Bureau conducts the survey for the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data available at a national level only: http://www.bls.gov/cps/

Economic Census

The Economic Census, conducted by the U. S. Census Bureau, profiles the US economy every 5 years, from the national to the local level. The survey presents employment and income information for businesses by industry sector and geographic area:
http://www.census.gov/econ/census/

Education

Find school district profiles on the Massachusetts Department of Education web site: http://profiles.doe.mass.edu/.

Employment and Wages

Find current figures for the City of Cambridge, including employment by industry category. Provided by the Massachusetts Department of Workforce Development Economic Programs office: http://lmi2.detma.org/lmi/lmi_es_a.asp.

Per Capita Income

Available from the U. S. Bureau of Economic Analysis for counties and standard metropolitan statistical areas, but not cities or towns. For information relevant to Cambridge, see the figures for the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH Metropolitan Statistical Area and Middlesex County: http://www.bea.gov/bea/regional/data.htm.

Property Sales

The Warren Group, publisher of Banker and Tradesman, provides some real estate sales statistics for free to the general public:
http://www.twgstats.com/tssub/start.asp.

Public Health Statistics

The Massachusetts Public Health Department makes a wide variety of health related statistics available through its MassCHIP data viewer: http://masschip.state.ma.us/.

Transportation Statistics

While limited journey to work information is available through American Factfinder, detailed data sets, including all flow data, are found elsewhere.  To download 1990 and 2000 data see the Federal Highway Administration Census Transportation Planning Products (CTPP) web page.  For access to 2006 - 2008 and 2006 - 2010 data see the AASHTO CTPP web page.

Tax Statistics

Information on federal taxes provided by the Internal Revenue Service: http://www.irs.gov/taxstats/index.html

Unemployment Rate

Latest local area unemployment figures provided by the Massachusetts Department of Workforce Development Economic Programs office. This page also provides information on resident employment and, unemployment: http://lmi2.detma.org/Lmi/Unemployment.asp.

Academic Data Centers

Many universities maintain extensive on line collections of demographic and socioeconomic data. The following are among the more useful such sources:

  • Minnesota Population Center IPUMS Online Data Analysis System:
    Allows users to create custom tables using the Public Use Microsample (PUMS) data available from the Census Bureau.  The City of Cambridge comprises its own PUMS geographical unit.  To analyze only Cambridge data set the Filter to equal "statefip(25),puma(3200)".
    http://usa.ipums.org/usa/sda/
  • Missouri Census Data Center
    Maintains a wide variety of data sets from all recent Census Bureau product lines.  A good source of information to help with understanding the American Community Survey.
    http://mcdc.missouri.edu/
  • University of Virginia Scholar's Lab Digital Resources:
    http://www.lib.virginia.edu/scholarslab/resources/index.html

For More Information

For more information about socioeconomic and demographic statistics about Cambridge, please contact Cliff Cook, ccook@cambridgema.gov, Planning Information Manager, at 617/349-4656.