Cover: Demographic, Social, Economic, and Housing Characteristics

Demographic, Social, Economic, and Housing Characteristics

Development of a U.S. Contextual Database of 1990–2010 Measures

Published Jan 3, 2017

by Christine E. Peterson, Margaret M. Weden, Regina A. Shih

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Research Question

  1. What are the components and contents of the database?

Research on neighborhoods' and communities' roles in shaping people's experiences has expanded rapidly in the past two decades. As part of a research project on the effect that neighborhoods have on cognitive aging in the older U.S. population, RAND Corporation researchers developed a neighborhood contextual database containing a specific set of measures for use in that research. They generated these demographic, social, economic, housing, cultural, and urbanization measures from decennial census and American Community Survey data at the census tract level, plus a smaller subset of similar measures at the county and metropolitan statistical area (MSA) levels. The data cover 1990–2010, with values for intercensal year measures not available in American Community Survey summary files having been created using the method of linear interpolation. Census tract–level measures and county measures represent the 2000 census boundaries. The MSA-level measures mainly use the 2000 MSA coding. The authors provide this set of contextual data measures as a courtesy, and this document describes the construction and contents of this neighborhood contextual database.

Key Findings

The Database Contains Data from Three Levels

  • The database contains data from the census tract, county, and metropolitan statistical area levels.
  • It consists of four files.
  • It uses four types of variables: demographic, socioeconomic, cultural, and housing.

The research described in this report was conducted by RAND Labor and Population.

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