GeoLytics Estimates
and Projections

Provider: GeoLytics, Inc.

Estimates and Projections provide current year estimates and 5 year projections down to the county, zip code, tract, and block group. This product is ideally suited for business users who need to know where to market, where to expand, and how to allocate resources. Estimates and Projections lets researchers identify changes that have already occurred in communities in the years since the 2000 Census and forecasts demographic changes that are likely to occur in the future.

For example, if you want to open a grocery store you would use Estimates and Projections to establish what an area looks like demographically, such as the number of families and household composition, as well as age and race breakouts. If you know the latitude and longitude of the location for your grocery store, you can quickly run a radius around the point to get a report of one mile, 2 miles, or on any radius that you want.

Estimates and projections are based on complex modeling systems designed to forecast the current and future composition of the U.S. population based on multiple inputs. Often the data used for the input is only available at larger geographic areas (county or state) and therefore must be modeled to determine how to apply these changes across a smaller geographic landscape. The easiest method would be to assume that all subsets of the county have equal growth rates to that of the county and just spread everything equally. Though this would give us some sense of how a number might change, it is not a very useful approach. Intuitively we know that some neighborhoods are expanding while others are declining. The Estimates and Projections CD models how these changes are occurring so that researchers and business users can make the best possible decisions when allocating resources. There is a detailed discussion of the models used in the Methodology section.

Each of the data sets is available at any of the following 5 levels of geography:

  • States
  • Counties
  • Tracts
  • Block Groups
  • Zip Codes

Zip code definitions come from at least two different federal agencies and they don’t always line up perfectly. The data in this product defines zip codes using the US Postal Service (USPS) definitions. But the geographic boundaries are derived from the Census Bureau’s (USCB) Tiger files and are officially Zip Code Tabulation Areas (ZCTA). Most of the time these two are relatively in accord. But there are some differences. For example the USPS has zip codes for PO Boxes. The USCB does not – no one “lives there” though many people may receive mail there and it is an official mailing address. Also the USCB seeks to cover the entire country so for example it will assign NY City’s Central Park or Yosemite to a zip code. The USPS may not include these areas because in fact they are not official mailing addresses.

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