Essential Esri Demographics vocabulary

Essential Esri Demographics vocabulary is defined below. Unless noted, these definitions apply to all demographic data.

Age

[U.S. demographics] Age data is reported for five-year age groups and select summary groups such as 18 years and over. See Median age for related terms.

[Canadian demographics] Age data is reported for five-year age cohorts and select summary groups such as 15 and over, 65 and over, and 85 and over.

Age Dependency Ratio (ADR)

[U.S. demographics] Esri's Age Dependency Ratio (ADR) estimate and five-year forecast is a measure of the nonworking-age population relative to the working-age population that serves as a useful indicator of an area's age structure. Dependent populations are defined as children under 18 years of age and seniors aged 65 and older, and those aged 18 to 64 are defined as the working-age population.

Esri provides three age dependency ratio measures:

  • The Age Dependency Ratio (ADR) is the population under 18 years of age and 65 and older (or dependents) divided by the working-age population aged 18 to 64. An ADR of 65.5 means there are approximately 66 dependents for every 100 working-age adults.
  • The Child Dependency Ratio (CDR) is the population under 18 years of age divided by the working-age population aged 18 to 64. A CDR of 31.7 means there are approximately 32 children for every 100 working-age adults.
  • The Senior Dependency Ratio (SDR) is the population aged 65 and older divided by the working-age population aged 18 to 64. An SDR of 33.8 means there are approximately 34 seniors for every 100 working-age adults.

All ratios are multiplied by 100. Higher ratios denote that a greater burden is carried by working-age people. Lower ratios mean more people are working who can support the dependent population. Learn more with the How to use and interpret Esri's U.S. Age Dependency Ratios lesson.

Aggregated Dissemination Area (ADA)

[Canadian demographics] An Aggregated Dissemination Area (ADA) is a new dissemination geography created for the 2016 Census. ADAs cover the entire country and, where possible, have a population between 5,000 and 15,000 based on the previous census population counts.

American Community Survey (ACS)

[U.S. demographics] In 2010, the Census Bureau changed how it collects decennial census data. The Census Bureau eliminated the traditional long form and now only releases decennial census data collected from the short form. The American Community Survey (ACS) is the replacement for census sample data, or long form. Data regarding income, education, employment, language, migration, citizenship, marital status, and housing characteristics, such as value and rent, is now obtained from the ACS rather than the decennial census sample.

The ACS provides data that is updated more frequently than the decennial census data. It collects and produces population and housing information every year instead of every 10 years. The ACS represents continuous measurement, or a rolling sample design. A small percentage of the population is sampled every month, and monthly samples are combined and averaged to produce one-, three-, or five-year databases. The Census 2000 sample represented approximately 1 in 6 households and one point in time: April 1, 2000. The ACS represents approximately 1 in 40 households. Its much smaller sample sizes affect data reporting and produce larger sampling errors.

Each ACS estimate is reported with a margin of error (MOE). The MOE is a measure of the variability of the estimate due to sampling error. The MOE enables data users to measure the range of uncertainty around each estimate. This range can be calculated with 90 percent confidence by taking the estimate plus or minus the MOE. For example, if the ACS reports an estimate of 100 +/- 20, there is a 90 percent chance that the value for the total population is between 80 and 120. The larger the MOE, the lower the precision of the estimate and the less confidence one should have that the estimate is close to the true population value.

For more information about the ACS, see American Community Survey.

Average household size

[U.S. and Canadian demographics] Average household size is calculated by dividing the number of persons in households by the number of households. See Household.

Block

[U.S. demographics] A census block is a component of a block group identified by a four-digit code. Blocks are generally small in area, especially in cities. However, blocks in rural or remote areas may cover hundreds of square miles. A block code that starts with a zero indicates a water-only block.

Block group (BG)

[U.S. demographics] A block group (BG) is a collection of one or more blocks and a statistical division of a census tract identified by a one-digit code. Block groups do not cross census tract, county, or state boundaries. In general, a BG is composed of 600 to 3,000 residents. A zero BG code indicates a water-only BG.

Census 2010

[U.S. demographics] The U.S. Census takes place every 10 years. It is mandated by the U.S. Constitution and counts every resident in the United States. Census data is used to distribute federal funds to local communities and determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives. It is used by businesses and local and state governments to analyze the underlying demographics of an area.

Data derived from Census 2010 is different than data from previous years. The most significant change is due to the Census Bureau's omission of the long form. The short census questionnaire provides only the complete counts of population, households, and housing units plus the following characteristics: sex, age, race, Hispanic origin, household relationship, occupancy, and tenure. Every other variable was previously collected from the sample long form. Now, data about income, education, employment, language, migration, citizenship, marital status, and housing characteristics, such as value and rent, is obtained from the ACS, which is separate from Census 2010.

A decennial census also includes a change in geography. For more information about the Census 2010 geography, see Understanding Esri Geography.

Census 2020

[U.S. demographics] The U.S. Census takes place every 10 years. It is mandated by the U.S. Constitution and counts every resident in the United States. Census data is used to distribute federal funds to local communities and determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives. It is used by businesses and local and state governments to analyze the underlying demographics of an area.

The 2020 Census is a departure from previous decennial censuses in several ways. First, decennial census operations were severely impacted by COVID-19 and data product releases were delayed. Second, a new disclosure avoidance system (DAS) was deployed this decade called "differential privacy" that introduces noise into the statistics to protect individual privacy. Third, 2020 Census data products have changed. The data previously released in 2010 Census as Summary File 1 and Summary File 2 have been rebranded to the Demographic and Housing and Characteristics file (or DHC) and the Detailed Demographic and Housing and Characteristics file (or DDHC) and the volume of data tables and geographic granularity are subject to constraints set within the DAS.

For more information about these changes, see the 2020 Census Esri Methodology Statement.

Census data

[Canadian demographics] Provided by Environics Analytics, the 2016 Adjusted Census includes all of the popular variables that analysts and marketers rely on from census profiles along with several important additional variables, including age and sex by single year of age, condo ownership, mortgages for houses versus condos, and families by presence of children and age group. This database is enhanced by Environics Analytics' modelers to fill in missing data and correct for the effects of random rounding and suppression while maintaining a close relationship to the original Statistics Canada data. The result is a comprehensive set of demographic variables available for any geographic level—standard census and postal geographies or custom client areas.

Census Divisions (CD)

[Canadian demographics] A group of neighbouring municipalities joined together for the purposes of regional planning and managing common services (such as police or ambulance services). These groupings are established under laws in effect in certain provinces in Canada. For example, a census division might correspond to a large city, a county, or a regional district. In other provinces and the territories where laws do not provide for such areas, Statistics Canada defines equivalent areas for statistical reporting purposes in cooperation with these provinces and territories. CDs cover all the territory of Canada.

Census Glossary

[U.S. demographics] View the Census Glossary for the U.S. Census Bureau definition of attributes included in the Census and ACS databases.

Census Metropolitan Areas/Census Agglomerations (CMA/CA)

[Canadian demographics] Area consisting of one or more neighbouring municipalities situated around a major urban core. A census metropolitan area must have a total population of at least 100,000, of which 50,000 or more live in the urban core. A census agglomeration must have an urban core population of at least 10,000. CMA/CAs do not cover all the territory of Canada.

Census Subdivisions (CSD)

[Canadian demographics] Area that is a municipality or an area that is deemed to be equivalent to a municipality for statistical reporting purposes, for example, an Indian reserve or an unorganized territory. Municipal status is defined by laws in effect in each province and territory in Canada. CSDs cover all the territory of Canada.

Census tracts

[U.S. demographics] Census tracts (TR) are small statistical subdivisions of a county, typically with 1,200 to 8,000 residents. The boundaries are usually delineated by local committees and do not cross county or state lines. Tracts are identified by a six-digit code, with an implied decimal between the fourth and fifth digits.

[Canadian demographics] Small, relatively stable geographic areas that usually have a population of 2,500 to 8,000. They are located in census metropolitan areas and in census agglomerations with an urban core population of 50,000 or more in the previous census. A committee of local specialists (for example, planners, health and social workers, and educators) initially delineates census tracts in conjunction with Statistics Canada. Once a census metropolitan area (CMA) or census agglomeration (CA) has been subdivided into census tracts, the census tracts are maintained even if the urban core population subsequently declines below 50,000. Census Tracts (CT) do not cover all the territory of Canada.

Civilian labor force

[U.S. demographics] Esri's estimate of civilian labor force consists of all persons 16 years of age and older who are either employed or unemployed and does not include persons on active duty in the armed forces.

Color-coded map

Also called a thematic map, a color-coded map displays geographic areas according to specific values. For example, it can be a map showing census tracts in different colors according to median household income, in which light green represents lower income, medium green represents a higher income level, and dark green represents the highest level. A map of drive times is another example of this type of map.

Compound annual growth rate (CAGR)

[U.S. demographics] The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is an annualized measure that describes a variable's direction (positive or negative) and magnitude of change between two distinct points in time. An annualized rate means that the resultant value reflects a rate of change covering a twelve-month time period. This component of the calculation permits the analysis of multiple growth rates between values measured from differing points in time since the change is computed using a common time period of twelve months. The compound component of the expression simply means that the annualized growth rate is repeated, or compounded, each year. Moreover, the CAGR can colloquially be referred to as growth rate, annual rate, annualized growth rate, or compound growth rate.

The CAGR is calculated using the following generalized formula:

CAGR(b,e)

where b is the beginning point in time, e is the ending point in time, and VARb and VARe are the variable values for these respective points in time.

For example, to compute a growth rate for total population between the years 2021 and 2026 for an area where the counts are 1,574 persons and 1,854 persons, respectively, use the following formula:

CAGR(2021,2026)

Congressional districts (CDs)

[U.S. demographics] Congressional districts (CDs) are the areas from which individuals are elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Once the apportionment of congressional seats is made based on census population counts in a state, each state establishes CDs to elect representatives. A CD is uniquely identified using a two-digit state FIPS code and a two-digit CD FIPS code.

Consumer Spending data

[U.S. demographics] Esri's Consumer Spending data estimates and forecasts U.S. spending based on surveyed consumption preferences for over 700 products and services organized by 17 categories. For every product or service, Esri provides three measures of consumer demand:

  • Total Amount Spent: The Total Amount Spent represents a current year estimate (or a five-year forecast) of the aggregate amount spent for a product by all households in an area.
  • Average Amount Spent: The Average Amount Spent represents a current year estimate (or a five-year forecast) of the average amount spent for a product per household in an area. Averages are calculated using total annual spending by all households in a geographic area. Values may be lower than anticipated for products purchased by relatively few households.
  • Spending Potential Index (SPI): The SPI compares the average amount spent locally for a product to the average amount spent nationally; an index of 100 reflects the average. An SPI of 168 indicates an area where spending on a product is 68 percent higher than the national average; a local value of 78 indicates consumer spending that is 22 percent lower than the national average for a product.

Estimates are based on the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Spending surveys—the Interview Survey and the Diary Survey—and Esri's key demographic sources, including Esri Updated Demographics and Esri Tapestry Segmentation data. Learn more about Esri Consumer Spending data

Contract rent

[U.S. demographics] Contract rent is the monthly rent agreed to or contracted for, regardless of any furnishings, utilities, fees, meals, or services that may be included. For vacant units, it is the monthly rent asked for the rental unit at the time of interview. See Gross rent for related terms.

Core-Based Statistical Area (CBSA)

[U.S. demographics] Core-Based Statistical Areas (CBSA), which include metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas, are composed of one or more counties and are defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB). A metropolitan statistical area is affiliated with at least one urbanized area of 50,000 or more inhabitants. A micropolitan statistical area is associated with at least one urban cluster of at least 10,000 people, but fewer than 50,000. For U.S. available geographies, the abbreviation is CB.

County (CY)

[U.S. demographics] Counties are the primary legal divisions of a state, identified by a two-digit state FIPS code and a three-digit county FIPS code. See FIPS code.

County subdivisions (CSDs)

[U.S. demographics] County subdivisions (CSDs) are the primary divisions of counties and include census county divisions (CCDs), minor civil divisions (MCDs), census subareas, and unorganized territories. CSDs can be uniquely identified using a two-digit state FIPS code, a three-digit county FIPS code, and a five-digit CSD FIPS code.

Crime Index

[U.S. demographics] Esri's Crime Index estimates and five-year forecasts provide the relative risk (not actual crime occurrence), of seven specific crime types compared to the United States in its entirety. Personal Crime Indexes include: Murder, Rape, Robbery, and Assault. Property Crime Indexes include: Burglary, Larceny, and Motor Vehicle Theft.

For example, a crime index of 120 for Robbery indicates the risk in the given area for robbery occurrences is 20% higher than the national average of 100.

See the AGS CrimeRisk methodology to learn more.

Data collection

A data collection is a preassembled list of attributes that are used to enrich the input features. Collection attributes can describe various types of information, such as demographic characteristics and geographic context, of the locations or areas submitted as input features.

Some data collections can be used in all supported countries. Other data collections may only be available in one or a collection of countries. Data collections may only be available in a subset of countries because of differences in the demographic data that is available for each country.

Database

One or more structured sets of persistent data that are managed and stored as a unit and generally associated with software to update and query the data. A simple database can be a single file with many records, each of which references the same set of fields. A GIS database includes data about the spatial locations and shapes of geographic features recorded as points, lines, areas, pixels, grid cells, or TINs, as well as their attributes.

Daytime Population

[U.S. demographics] Esri's Daytime Population includes both workers (the civilian employed at work and the armed forces personnel) and residents (the population under 16 years of age, the unemployed, those not in the labor force, and the civilian employed temporarily absent from work due to illness, vacation, bad weather, labor dispute, vacation, and so on). See Daytime residents or Daytime workers for related terms.

Daytime residents

[U.S. demographics] Esri's Daytime residents estimate includes the population under 16 years of age, the unemployed, those not in the labor force (that is, retirees, homemakers, college students, and miscellaneous noninstitutional and institutional group quarters populations in nursing homes, juvenile detention centers, homeless shelters, and so on), and the civilian employed temporarily absent from work due to illness, vacation, bad weather, labor dispute, vacation, and so on.

Daytime workers

[U.S. demographics] Esri's Daytime workers estimate is the total number of workers including the civilian employed at work (commuters and noncommuters) and the armed forces personnel (on and off base).

Demographic data

[U.S. demographics] Esri Updated Demographic data includes current-year estimates and five-year projections for key demographic data. With the exception of the Esri Tapestry Segmentation data, which is not available at the BG level of geography in the standard product, all data is available at census block group, census tract, county, state, U.S., CBSA, DMA, and ZIP Code levels of geography.

[Canadian demographics] Provided by Environics Analytics, Demographic Estimates and Projections (DemoStats) consists of current-year estimates and demographic projections for 3, 5, and 10 years into the future. It also includes historical estimates for the fifth year prior to the current year based on the same methodologies to ensure accurate trend analysis. DemoStats variables are available at the Dissemination Area (DA) level for all estimates and projections. DemoStats is created using innovative methods that combine econometric, demographic, and geographic models and employs a variety of data inputs including the latest census, current economic indicators, postcensus estimates from federal and provincial governments, immigration statistics, and economic data such as building permits. DemoStats features variables on population, family structure, household size and type, diversity, labour force participation, and income—including both averages and distributions.

Demographics

The statistical characteristics of a population—income, education, race, home ownership, and so on.

Designated Market Area (DMA)

[U.S. demographics] Designated Market Areas (DMAs) are television markets defined by The Nielsen Company that are revised on an annual basis. The majority of DMAs are composed of one or more whole counties, although a few include parts of counties. For U.S. available geographies, the abbreviation is DM.

Disposable income

[U.S. demographics] Disposable income represents money income after taxes—an estimate of a household's purchasing power. Disposable income is estimated in nominal dollars for nine intervals. Esri reports disposable income for seven age of householder groups. Methods for median and average calculations follow those used for household income.

Diversity Index

[U.S. demographics] Esri's current-year Diversity Index estimate and five-year forecast combines racial diversity with ethnic diversity and shows the likelihood that two persons, chosen at random from the same area, belong to different races or ethnic groups. The Diversity Index uses a scaled measure that ranges from 0 (no diversity) to 100 (complete diversity). Additional diversity index interpretations include the following:

  • Areas with a diversity index value near 100 means the population is more evenly divided across race and ethnic groups. A value of zero means an area's entire population belongs to one race group and one ethnic group.
  • A value of 50 means an area's entire population is divided evenly into two race groups and one ethnic group.
  • A Diversity Index of 67.5 means the probability that two people randomly chosen from the U.S. population belong to different race or ethnic groups is nearly 68 percent. For more information, see Esri's Diversity Index Methodology Statement.

[Canadian demographics] The Diversity Index summarizes racial and ethnic diversity. The index shows the likelihood that two persons, chosen at random from the same area, belong to different racial or ethnic groups. The index ranges from 0 (no diversity) to 100 (complete diversity). For example, the diversity score for Canada is 59, which means there is a 59 percent probability that two people randomly chosen from the Canadian population belong to different racial or ethnic groups.

Economic Dependency Ratio (EDR)

[U.S. demographics] Esri's Economic Dependency Ratio (EDR) measures the relationship of nonworkers to the employed population. Nonworkers include children, the unemployed population, and those not in the labor force (for example, individuals that are neither working nor actively searching for work). Children are defined as the population under 16 years of age. Learn more with Esri's Dependency Ratios Methodology.

Esri provides four economic dependency ratio measures:

  • The Child Economic Dependency Ratio (CEDR) is the population under 16 divided by the total employed population. A CEDR of 41.1 means there are around 41 children for every 100 workers.
  • The Working-Age Economic Dependency Ratio (WEDR) is the population not employed aged 16 to 64 divided by the total employed population. A WEDR of 39.7 means there are around 40 dependents aged 16 to 64 for every 100 workers.
  • The Senior Economic Dependency Ratio (SEDR) is the population not employed aged 65 and older divided by the total employed population. A SEDR of 29.4 means there are around 29 seniors for every 100 workers.
  • Total EDR is the sum of CEDR, WEDR, and SEDR.

All ratios are multiplied by 100. Higher ratios mean a greater burden is carried by working-age people. Lower ratios mean more people are working who can support the dependent population. These measures exclude prisoners and the Armed Forces population.

Families

[U.S demographics] Families are households in which one or more persons in the household are related to the householder (formerly, the head of the household) by birth, marriage, or adoption. The census tabulates only one family per household.

[Canadian demographics] Families are households in which one or more persons in the household are related to the householder (formerly, the head of the household) by birth, marriage, or adoption. The census tabulates only one family per household. This data is contained in the Adjusted Census and DemoStats.

Family householder

A family householder is a householder living with one or more people related by birth, marriage, or adoption. The householder and all people in the household related to the householder are considered family members.

Federal Electoral Districts (FED)

[Canadian demographics] A Federal Electoral District is an area represented by a member of the House of Commons. The Federal Electoral District boundaries used for the latest Census were based on the Representation Order for the most recent federal election held prior to the Census. FEDs cover all the territory of Canada.

Federal Information Processing System (FIPS) code

[U.S. demographics] Federal Information Processing System (FIPS) codes are numeric codes used to identify states and counties.

Forward Sortation Area (FSA)

[Canadian demographics] The Canadian postal code (PC) is a six-character alphanumeric combination (ANA NAN) assigned to one or more postal addresses in a specific delivery area (for example, M4B 1G5). The first three digits of the PC are the Forward Sortation Area (FSA). The last three digits are the LDU. An FSA will comprise one or more LDUs. The number of FSAs in Canada increases intermittently as new population centres are built. FSA boundaries are based on the FSA boundaries provided by the latest Census and are updated annually based on the Canada Post FSA listings current as of the end of the year prior to the current Business Analyst Canadian data release. All provided Census, Demographic, Spending, and Segmentation data is summarized to these FSAs. FSA changes during the current year are not incorporated until the following year.

Gross rent

[U.S. demographics] Gross rent is the amount of contract rent plus the estimated average monthly cost of utilities (electricity, gas, and water and sewer) and fuels (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, and so on) paid for by the renter (or paid for the renter by someone else). Gross rent is intended to eliminate differentials which result from varying practices with respect to the inclusion of utilities and fuels as part of the rental payment. See Contract rent for related terms.

Group quarters population

[U.S. demographics] Includes all people living in group quarters instead of housing units. Group quarters are places where people live or stay, in a group living arrangement, that is owned or managed by an entity or organization providing housing, services, or both for the residents. Group quarters population is divided into two general categories: institutional group quarters and noninstitutional group quarters. Institutional group quarters include adult correctional facilities; juvenile facilities; skilled-nursing facilities; and other institutional facilities, such as mental (psychiatric) hospitals and in-patient hospice facilities. Noninstitutional group quarters include facilities such as college and university student housing; military quarters; and other noninstitutional group quarters, such as emergency and transitional shelters for people experiencing homelessness and group homes.

Hispanic origin

[U.S. demographics] Defined by self-identification, Hispanic origin refers to ethnicity, not race. Persons of Hispanic origin can be of any race.

Historical Time Series data

[U.S. demographics] Esri's Historical Time Series database contains estimates for estimates for total population, households, and housing units data for every year between the prior decennial census and Esri's current estimates at all levels of geography down to the block group level. For example, the 2021 time series covers the entire decade from 2010 to 2021. Because this is a vintage-based time series, with each Updated Demographics release, the entire time series is updated to include new, yearly estimates. For more information, see Esri Updated Demographics.

Home value

[U.S. demographics] The estimate of value is presented for total owner-occupied units. For a discussion of home value projections, see Esri Updated Demographics. See Median home value for related terms.

[Canadian demographics] The estimate of value is presented for total owner-occupied units.

Home value base

[Canadian demographics] The estimate of value is presented for total owner-occupied units.

Household

[U.S. demographics] A household is an occupied housing unit. Household type is identified by the presence of relatives and the number of persons living in the household. Family households, with or without children, include married couples and other families—a male or female householder with no spouse present. Nonfamily households may be a group of unrelated persons or a single person living alone.

[Canadian demographics] Household is an occupied housing unit. Household type is identified by the presence of relatives and the number of persons living in the household. Family households, with or without children, include married couples and other families—a householder of any gender with no spouse present. Nonfamily households may be a group of unrelated persons or a single person living alone. This data is contained in the Adjusted Census and DemoStats.

Household income

[U.S. demographics] The sum of the income of all people 15 years and older living in the household. See Income for related terms.

[Canadian demographics] See Income.

Household income base

[U.S. and Canadian demographics] This is the sum of the household income distribution.

Householder

[U.S. demographics] A householder is the person or one of the people, in whose name the home is owned, being bought, or rented. If there is no such person present, any household member 15 years of age and older can serve as the householder. There are two types of householders; see Family householder and Nonfamily householder.

Household Spend data

[Canadian demographics] Provided by Environics Analytics, Household Spend (HS) provides current estimates of average annual expenditures for categories of goods and services used by Canadian households—everything from mortgage payments, household furnishings, and utilities to vitamins, mobile phones, footwear, and games of chance. This wide-ranging database lets you analyze potential expenditures by both average dollars per household and total dollars spent for any geographic level—from the entire nation down to a small trade area—regardless of where a consumer made the purchase. HS is produced annually with DA disposable income data from Environics Analytics' DemoStats and PRIZM segment spending patterns based on a recent Survey of Household Spending conducted by Statistics Canada. Note: All spending data is reported as positive dollars within the data.

Households below poverty

[U.S. demographics] Households below poverty are those households that fall below a poverty line that is established by the Census Bureau each year. The line differs depending on the size of the household—it is lower for smaller sized households and higher for larger sized households. For example, in 2020, the poverty line for a family of three was approximately $20,591.

Households on food stamps

[U.S. demographics] Households on food stamps includes only people living together as one economic unit sharing common cooking facilities and for whom food is customarily purchased in common. Food stamps are government-issued coupons that are sold at little cost or given to low-income persons, redeemable for food.

Housing Affordability Index

[U.S. demographics] Esri's Housing Affordability Index (HAI) measures the financial ability of a typical household to purchase an existing home in an area. An HAI of 100 represents an area where median household income is sufficient to afford a home valued at the median home price. An index greater than 100 suggests homes are easily afforded by the average area household while an HAI less than 100 suggests that homes are less affordable.

For example, an HAI of 150 means that median household income is 50 percent higher than what is necessary to afford a home at the median value. An HAI of 50 means that median household income is only 50 percent of what is required to afford a home at the median value. Assumptions regarding interest rates, mortgage length, down payment, and debt service ratios are made to assess affordability. In 2021, the HAI for the United States was 130.

The Housing Affordability Index is not applicable in areas with no households or in predominantly rental markets. Esri's home value estimates include owner-occupied homes only. To learn more, see Housing Affordability in the U.S.

Housing unit

[U.S. demographics] A housing unit is a house, an apartment, a mobile home, a group of rooms, or a single room that is occupied (or if vacant, is intended for occupancy) as separate living quarters. Separate living quarters are those in which the occupants live separately from any other people in the building and which have direct access from the outside of the building or through a common hall. Occupants may be a single family, one person living alone, two or more families living together, or any other group of related or unrelated people who share living arrangements.

Income

[U.S. demographics] Esri implements the definition of money income used by the U.S. Census Bureau. For each person 15 years of age or older, money income received in the preceding calendar year is summed from earnings, unemployment compensation, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, public assistance, veteran's payments, survivor benefits, disability benefits, pension or retirement income, interest, dividends, rent, royalties, estates and trusts, educational assistance, alimony, child support, financial assistance from outside the household, and other income. Household income distributions are estimated for areas with 10 or more households only. For more information about income estimates, see Esri Updated Demographics. See related terms: Median household income and Per capita income.

[Canadian demographics] Income is a forecast of income for the current year, based on the most recent Census calendar year. Income amounts are expressed in current dollars, including an adjustment for inflation or cost-of-living increases. This data is contained within the DemoStats.

Note:

All Income data is reported as negative dollars because spending data is reported as positive dollars.

Index

[U.S. demographics] An index is the ratio of a local percent (rate) to a U.S. percent (rate) or other base, for example:

Ratio of a local percent (rate) to a U.S. percent (rate)

[Canadian demographics] An index is the ratio of a local percent (rate) to a benchmark percent (rate) or other base, for example:

Ratio of a local percent (rate) to a Canada percent (rate)

Local Delivery Unit (LDU)

[Canadian demographics] The Canadian postal code (PC) is a six-character alphanumeric combination (ANA NAN) assigned to one or more postal addresses in a specific delivery area—for example, M4B 1G5. The last three digits of the PC are the Local Delivery Unit (LDU) and identify a specific delivery area within the associated FSA.

Location Quotient

[U.S. demographics] Esri's Location Quotient (LQ) estimate measures a local area's share of total employment in an industry or occupation relative to the nation's share of total employment in that same industry or occupation. LQs greater than 1.0 highlight higher concentrations of employment specialization while LQs below 1.0 reveal which industries or occupations are below the national average. The formula used to determine the LQ for an industry or occupation is the same (substituting occupation data for industry):

LQ formula

Learn more with the How to use and interpret Esri's civilian labor force data lesson.

Market area

A market area is an area of people who are likely to purchase your goods or services. Market areas can be determined by the number of customers and any other information about them. For example, for a coffee shop, the market area may be the number of college students within three miles of a store location.

Market Potential data

[U.S. demographics] Esri's Market Potential database estimates U.S. demand for more than 2,400 products, services, buying styles, activities, values, and general attitudes. For every product, Esri provides two consumer demand measures:

  • Expected Number of Consumers (Buyers): The expected number of consumers (adults or households) in an area likely to buy or own a product, have specific behaviors, or hold certain attitudes.
  • Market Potential Index (MPI): The MPI estimate measures how a local area compares to the U.S. to help answer questions such as:

    Is this region more or less likely than the rest of the U.S. to own two or more automobiles? How does this region rate buying organic food compared to national attitudes?

    ​ MPI values that equal 100 represent national demand. Values greater than 100 represent higher demand, while values less than 100 represent lower demand.

Estimates are based on a combination of Esri Tapestry Segmentation data and the most current Survey of the American Consumer Doublebase® from MRI-Simmons. (The Doublebase is an integration of information from four consumer surveys, comprised of continuously fielded annual survey of 50,000+ U.S. adults). Learn more with the How to use and interpret Esri's Market Potential Data lesson.

Median

[U.S. demographics] This is a value that divides a distribution into two equal parts. A median is a positional measure that is unaffected by extremely high or low values in a distribution that may affect an average. For more information about medians, see Understanding Medians (PDF).

[Canadian demographics] This is a value that divides a distribution into two equal parts. A median is a positional measure that is unaffected by extremely high or low values in a distribution that may affect an average.

Median age

[U.S. demographics] Median age is calculated from the distribution of age by five-year groups. See Age for related terms.

[Canadian demographics] Median age is calculated from the distribution of age by five-year groups. This data is contained in the current DemoStats.

Median home value

[U.S. demographics] This estimate divides the distribution of home value into two equal parts. Linear interpolation is used if the median home value is below $1,000,000. If the median is in the upper home value interval of $1,000,000 or more, it is represented by $1,000,001. See Home value for related terms.

[Canadian demographics] This estimate divides the distribution of home values into two equal parts. Linear interpolation is used if the median home value falls below $1,000,000. If the median falls in the upper home value interval of $1,000,000 or more, it is represented by $1,000,001.

Median household income

[U.S. demographics] This is the value that divides the distribution of household income into two equal parts. Pareto interpolation is used if the median is in an income interval other than the first or last. For the lowest interval, less than $10,000, linear interpolation is used. If the median is in the upper income interval of $500,000 or more, it is represented by the value of $500,001. See Income for related terms.

[Canadian demographics] This is the value that divides the distribution of household income into two equal parts. Pareto interpolation is used if the median falls in an income interval other than the first or last. For the lowest interval, less than $10,000, linear interpolation is used. If the median falls in the upper income interval of $500,000 or more, it is represented by the value of $500,001.

Note:

Median household income is reported as negative dollars within the current dataset.

Mortgage payment

[U.S. Demographics] The regular monthly amount required to be paid to the lender for the first mortgage (deed of trust, contract to purchase, or similar debt) on the property.

Net worth

[U.S. demographics] Net worth equals total household assets less any debts, secured or unsecured. Assets include ownership of homes, rental properties, businesses, individual retirement accounts and Keogh accounts, pension plans, stocks, mutual funds, and motor vehicles. Examples of secured debt include home mortgages and vehicle loans; unsecured debt includes credit cards and other bills or certain bank loans. Esri reports net worth for 12 intervals and for seven age of householder groups by 10 net worth intervals.

Nonfamily householder

[U.S. demographics] A nonfamily householder is a householder living alone or with unrelated people only.

Occupied housing unit

[U.S. demographics] A housing unit is classified as occupied if it is the usual place of residence of the person or group of people living in it at the time of enumeration.

Owner-occupied housing units

[U.S. demographics] A housing unit is owner-occupied if the owner or co-owner lives in the unit even if it is mortgaged or not fully paid for.

Per capita income

[U.S. and Canadian demographics] This is the average income for all persons calculated from the aggregate income of persons 15 years and older. See Income for related terms.

Percent of Income for Mortgage

[U.S. demographics] Esri's Percent of Income for Mortgage (POIFM) is similar to Esri's Housing Affordability Index, except it measures affordability from a monthly budget perspective. POIFM measures the percentage of median household income in an area dedicated to mortgage payments on a median valued home in the area. POIFM values higher than the U.S. POIFM identify that a larger share of median income is required to cover a mortgage payment relative to the nation. Values below the U.S. identify areas where a lower share of median income is required. For example, a POIFM value of 18% means, on average, households spend 18 percent of their income on mortgage payments. In 2021, the POIFM for the U.S. was 17.1 percent.

POIFM is not applicable in areas with no households or in predominantly rental markets, and does not include home insurance, private mortgage insurance, or property taxes. Esri's home value estimates include owner-occupied homes only. Learn more about Housing Affordability in the U.S.

Places (cities and towns) (PL)

[U.S. demographics] Places (PL) include incorporated places (usually cities, towns, villages, or boroughs), census designated places, and balance portions of consolidated cities. Places are uniquely identified using a two-digit state FIPS code and a five-digit place FIPS code.

Population

[U.S. and Canadian demographics] This is the total number of residents in an area. Residence refers to the usual place where a person lives, which is not necessarily the legal residence. For example, college students are counted where they attend school.

Population by Generation

[U.S. demographics] Esri provides six generational classifications. Born over similar spans of time, generational cohorts typically share the same life stage and life experiences. Generations are defined as follows:

  • Generation Alpha (born 2017 or later)
  • Generation Z (born 1999 to 2016)
  • Millennials (born 1981 to 1998)
  • Generation X (born 1965 to 1980)
  • Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1964)
  • Silent and Greatest Generations (born 1945 or earlier)

Postal Code (PC)

[Canadian demographics] A two-part, six-character alphanumeric combination (ANA NAN), the PC comprises an FSA LDU and is assigned to one or more postal addresses in a specific delivery area—for example, M4B 1G5. It is an integral part of every postal address in Canada that is used to identify the various processing and delivery facilities, post offices, and local delivery areas.

Provinces (PR)

[Canadian demographics] Province and territory refer to the major political units of Canada. From a statistical point of view, province and territory are basic areas for which data is tabulated. Canada is divided into 10 provinces and three territories.

Race

[U.S. demographics] Defined by self-identification, race detail from Census 2000 was expanded to include a multiracial component. For the first time, each individual could report up to six race categories, resulting in 63 possible race combinations. The six basic race categories are White, Black or African American, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and some other race for persons who do not identify with one of the specified groups.

Rate, annual percent

[U.S. demographics] This is calculated as an annual compound rate of change for population, households, families, and income.

[Canadian demographics] This is calculated as an annual compound rate of change for population, households, and families.

Calculated as an annual compound rate

Renter-occupied housing units

[U.S. demographics] All occupied housing units that are not owner occupied, whether they are rented or occupied without payment of rent, are classified as renter-occupied units.

Segmentation

[U.S. demographics] Segmentation explains customer diversity, simplifies marketing campaigns, describes lifestyle and life stage, and incorporates a variety of data. See Esri Tapestry Segmentation.

Shopping centre data

[Canadian demographics] Provided by Environics Analytics, the Directory of Shopping Centres tracks information on over 3,000 shopping centre records. It is produced annually by Rogers Publishing, listing most shopping malls in Canada, along with data on the number of stores, floor area, anchor tenants, food courts, and parking spaces. The Directory of Shopping Centres includes traditional and new format shopping centres, includes a geocoded location database for mapping and other analytical applications.

Socioeconomic Index

[U.S. demographics] Esri's Socioeconomic Index estimate measures the ratio of the socioeconomic status of a Tapestry segment relative to the national average. Values above 100 indicate an above-average socioeconomic status. Estimates are a composite of specified characteristics including measures of financial well-being, educational attainment, and labor force characteristics such as employment status, occupation, and type of employment.

State

[U.S. demographics] States are identified by a two-digit FIPS code. The District of Columbia is included as a state-equivalent area in the Esri database. See FIPS code.

Tapestry Segmentation data

[U.S. demographics] Esri Tapestry Segmentation data provides an accurate, detailed description of America's neighborhoods. United States residential areas are divided into 67 segments based on demographic variables such as age, income, home value, occupation, household type, education, and other consumer behavior characteristics.

Thematic map

Also called a color-coded map, a thematic map displays study areas according to specific values. For example, it can be a map showing census tracts in different colors according to median household income, in which light green represents lower income, medium green represents a higher income level, and dark green represents the highest level. A map of drive times is another example of this type of map.

Unemployment rate

[U.S. demographics] The unemployment rate provides a direct measure of joblessness in an area. The rate represents the total number of unemployed persons as a percentage of the civilian labor force. The rate is calculated using unemployed persons aged 16 years and older divided by employed plus unemployed population.

Vacant housing units

[U.S. demographics] A vacant housing unit is classified as no one living in the dwelling, unless its occupant or occupants are only temporarily absent—such as away on vacation, in the hospital for a short stay, or on a business trip—and will be returning.

Variable

A symbol or quantity that can represent any value or set of values, such as a text string or number. Variables may change depending on how they are used and applied. Variables are also known as fields, attributes, or columns.

Vintage

The vintage is the year that the demographic data represents. For example, a vintage of 2016 means that the data represents the year 2016.

Wealth Index

[U.S. demographics] Esri's Wealth Index estimate measures the wealth of an area relative to the national level. Values exceeding 100 represent above-average wealth. Estimates are compiled from a number of indicators of affluence that include average household income and average net worth. The concept of wealth is defined by more than above-average household income. Wealth also includes the value of material possessions and resources. Esri captures both income and the accumulation of substantial wealth, or the abundance of possessions and resources, in its identification of the wealthiest areas in the country.

ZIP Code (ZP)

[U.S. demographics] Created by the U.S. Postal Service to deliver the mail, ZIP (Zone Improvement Plan) Codes do not represent standard census geographic areas for data reporting. Because ZIP Code boundaries are not contiguous with census geographic areas or stable over time, data estimated for ZIP Codes is also subject to change.


In this topic
  1. Age
  2. Age Dependency Ratio (ADR)
  3. Aggregated Dissemination Area (ADA)
  4. American Community Survey (ACS)
  5. Average household size
  6. Block
  7. Block group (BG)
  8. Census 2010
  9. Census 2020
  10. Census data
  11. Census Divisions (CD)
  12. Census Glossary
  13. Census Metropolitan Areas/Census Agglomerations (CMA/CA)
  14. Census Subdivisions (CSD)
  15. Census tracts
  16. Civilian labor force
  17. Color-coded map
  18. Compound annual growth rate (CAGR)
  19. Congressional districts (CDs)
  20. Consumer Spending data
  21. Contract rent
  22. Core-Based Statistical Area (CBSA)
  23. County (CY)
  24. County subdivisions (CSDs)
  25. Crime Index
  26. Data collection
  27. Database
  28. Daytime Population
  29. Daytime residents
  30. Daytime workers
  31. Demographic data
  32. Demographics
  33. Designated Market Area (DMA)
  34. Disposable income
  35. Diversity Index
  36. Economic Dependency Ratio (EDR)
  37. Families
  38. Family householder
  39. Federal Electoral Districts (FED)
  40. Federal Information Processing System (FIPS) code
  41. Forward Sortation Area (FSA)
  42. Gross rent
  43. Group quarters population
  44. Hispanic origin
  45. Historical Time Series data
  46. Home value
  47. Home value base
  48. Household
  49. Household income
  50. Household income base
  51. Householder
  52. Household Spend data
  53. Households below poverty
  54. Households on food stamps
  55. Housing Affordability Index
  56. Housing unit
  57. Income
  58. Index
  59. Local Delivery Unit (LDU)
  60. Location Quotient
  61. Market area
  62. Market Potential data
  63. Median
  64. Median age
  65. Median home value
  66. Median household income
  67. Mortgage payment
  68. Net worth
  69. Nonfamily householder
  70. Occupied housing unit
  71. Owner-occupied housing units
  72. Per capita income
  73. Percent of Income for Mortgage
  74. Places (cities and towns) (PL)
  75. Population
  76. Population by Generation
  77. Postal Code (PC)
  78. Provinces (PR)
  79. Race
  80. Rate, annual percent
  81. Renter-occupied housing units
  82. Segmentation
  83. Shopping centre data
  84. Socioeconomic Index
  85. State
  86. Tapestry Segmentation data
  87. Thematic map
  88. Unemployment rate
  89. Vacant housing units
  90. Variable
  91. Vintage
  92. Wealth Index
  93. ZIP Code (ZP)