Frequently asked questions

Listed below are common questions about Esri demographic data.

General

U.S. data

Global data

General

How is data calculated for user-created areas?

The data summarization method delivers accurate estimates in areas that don't match up exactly to common geographic areas such as census block groups in the United States. For example, user-created areas of interest such as rings, drive times, hand-drawn polygons, or imported shapefiles frequently cut through part of a census block group. To account for population that may not be evenly distributed geographically throughout a block group, the application identifies where the population is distributed at the block level (in the United States), which is a more granular level than a block group, and uses this information to summarize the data more accurately. A similar approach is used in other countries. Read more about the data allocation method in Data enrichment.

What are the sources for Esri demographic data?

The Esri global data fact sheet contains details about the sources for standard and advanced demographic data available from Esri.

The Esri U.S. data fact sheet contains details about the sources for Esri demographic data in the United States.

Source and Copyright Information for MB-Research Data (PDF) provides details about the sources for standard international data available from Esri.

The advanced international data is from the following sources:

For which countries does Esri offer demographic data?

Esri offers demographic data for the more than 150 countries listed below.

  • Africa—Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Eswatini, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mayotte, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Réunion, Republic of the Congo, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
  • Asia—Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Georgia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Macao, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam
  • Europe—Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus (Greek part), Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova (without Transnistria), Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom
  • North America—Anguilla, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Canada, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Greenland, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States, U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Oceania—Australia, Fiji, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea
  • South America—Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela

What are Standard Demographics and Advanced Demographics?

Standard Demographics is a basic set of comparable variables for each country, sourced from Michael Bauer Research GmbH (MB-Research). MB-Research is a globally recognized developer of demographic data and boundaries at small scales for more than 150 countries and has been in operation since 2004.

Advanced Demographics are available for select countries and provide a more detailed set of demographic variables and, in some cases, a more detailed level of geography. Sources vary by country.

What demographic topics are covered by Esri Demographics?

The attributes and variables available for each country vary; however, the following topics are available for the majority: Population, Households, Gender, 15-year Age bands, Unemployed, Consumer Spending, Purchasing Power, Households by Income Quintiles, Education, Households by Type, and Marital Status.

The United States and Canada datasets include a broader range of topics in addition to those above.

The United States dataset also includes the following:

  • Additional demographics data: Race, Net Worth, Daytime Population, Income by Age, Home Value, Journey to Work, Occupation/Industry, Health Insurance, Poverty, Year Moved In, Heating Fuel, Rent, Vehicles Available, Year Structure Built, Units in Structure
  • Additional consumer data: Tapestry Segmentation, Market Potential, Consumer Spending
  • Additional business data: Business Summary, Business Locations (Places/Points of Interest), Traffic, Crime Index

The Canada dataset also includes the following:

  • Additional demographics data: Religion, Identity, Language, Immigration, Housing, Daytime Population, Method of Travel to Work, Occupation, Heating Fuel, Rent, Units in Structure
  • Additional consumer data: PRIZM Segmentation
  • Additional business data: Business Locations

How can I find out what data variables are offered by Esri?

You can view variable lists for the specific countries you are interested in the Regional Data section. You can also view variables using the Esri data browser.

Can I download Esri Demographics?

For information about purchasing Esri Demographics as stand-alone datasets, contact datasales@esri.com.

Esri Demographics is also accessible in various products including ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World, ArcGIS Business Analyst, ArcGIS Community Analyst, ArcGIS Insights, ArcGIS for Office, ArcGIS for Power BI, ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS for SharePoint, Esri Reports, Map Viewer in ArcGIS Online, and GeoEnrichment Service in ArcGIS Online.

Which Esri products include Esri Demographics?

Esri Demographics is available in various products. See Esri Demographics access for a list of products.

How frequently is Esri Demographics data updated?

United States and Canada demographics are updated annually.

Standard Demographics from Michael Bauer Research GmbH (MB-Research) are updated annually for Europe and every two years for Africa, Asia, North America, Oceania, and Europe.

The updates for Advanced Demographics vary by data provider.

On what time period or date are Esri Demographics based?

Data releases are provided for the United States and many other countries. Timing of data releases, as well as data vintage, differs by country.

  • United States
    • Esri U.S. demographics are current as of July 1 of the applicable year. For example, 2022 U.S. estimates are current as of July 1, 2022, and 2027 U.S. projections are current as of July 1, 2027.
    • Census U.S. demographics are current as of April 1 of the census year.
    • American Community Survey (ACS) data uses a continuous measurement, or rolling sample, in which a small percent of the population is sampled every month. The ACS data is updated and released more frequently than the decennial census—every year instead of every 10 years. ACS data currently in Esri’s system is the 2016–2020 ACS data. See What is ACS data and why is it labeled with a five-year range? under the U.S. data FAQ.
  • Canada
    • The Canada demographics (DemoStats) are current as of March 31 of the applicable year.
    • The Canada spending estimates (HouseholdSpend) are current as of June 30 of the applicable year.
    • The Canada 2016 Census demographics (CensusPlus) are current as of March 31, 2018.
  • Other

U.S. data

How accurate is the Esri Updated Demographics data for the United States, and what distinguishes it from other vendors?

Esri has a team of demographers, statisticians, and economists who use a variety of public and private data sources to develop an accurate and detailed representation of local population, economic, housing, and business characteristics in the United States. Using GIS tools and demographic estimating experience, Esri captures the effects of significant events that occur between decennial censuses.

The release of each decennial census allows data vendors to evaluate the accuracy of their annual demographic estimates by comparing to census results. Data vendors can also learn how their estimates compare to other providers. In 2011, Esri commissioned an independent study to obtain an unbiased answer about its data accuracy. This blind study was conducted by four credentialed researchers and experts in small-area forecasts and measures of forecast accuracy. Data from each of the five major data vendors, including Esri, was compared to results from Census 2010 for the entire United States at four geography levels. This study showed that Esri's demographic update methodologies produce the industry's most accurate demographic data. Users can be confident that Esri's Updated Demographics data provides the best possible analysis results. See the Vendor Accuracy Study to learn more and read the report.

Why do Esri’s U.S. demographic update figures sometimes differ from recent census numbers?

Census numbers can refer to a variety of counts, estimates, and projections from the U.S. Census Bureau. Census counts refer to the data reported from a decennial census of the U.S. population. The latest census was taken in 2010.

Esri provides demographic updates annually, representing July 1 of the current year. Estimates from the Census Bureau include both independent estimates based on demographic analysis and survey-based estimates. The timing varies. The latest independent county estimates from the Census Bureau usually run a year behind Esri’s current-year estimates, and these estimates are released after Esri’s updates are completed. The annual time series of estimates from the Census Bureau are also subject to revision annually. Survey-based estimates, such as the American Community Survey (ACS), predate Esri’s current-year updates. In addition, the ACS data for all areas is a five-year average, while Esri’s updates are point data estimates, representing July 1 of the reference year.

Note:

The Census Bureau’s estimates are additionally subject to estimate error and, if survey based, sampling error.

How is Esri's Diversity Index different from the Census Bureau's Diversity Index?

Race and ethnicity are separate concepts. For this reason, race and ethnicity questions are asked separately by the decennial census. Everyone counted by the decennial census falls into one of seven race groups (White, Black, American Indian, Asian, Pacific Islander, Some Other Race, or Multiple Race) and one of two ethnicities (Hispanic or Non-Hispanic). By treating race and ethnicity as two independent universes, Esri's Diversity Index compounds racial diversity with ethnic diversity to provide a more inclusive understanding of diversity. The Census Bureau's Diversity Index does not account for racial diversity within the Hispanic population. For these reasons the Esri Diversity Index is often slightly higher than the Census Bureau Diversity Index. However, the two measures are highly correlated (r=0.95 at the county level).

Does Daytime Population represent population counts for the workweek only, or does it also include the weekend population?

Esri’s Daytime Population is an estimate of the population that covers both residents and workers during the day. Esri’s data source for calculating daytime population does not distinguish if workers are in an area predominantly between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. or during some other time of the day. However, while there is no way to identify specific workday hours, workday activities typically occur Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., unless the data user knows otherwise and takes that into account in their analysis. To learn more about Esri’s Daytime Population methodology, see Esri Updated Demographics.

How are the percentages of White Collar, Blue Collar, and Services employment categories defined and calculated?

Esri current-year occupation distribution covers 22 broad occupations. The following occupations are divided into three categories: White Collar, Services, and Blue Collar. Each of the three employment classifications is expressed as a percentage of the Employed Civilian Population Age 16+.

Occupations divided into White Collar, Services, and Blue Collar categories

What type of occupations are included in the Population by Industry and Occupation table?

The occupations described in the Population by Industry and Occupation table are defined by the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). See 2010 SOC Definitions (PDF) for more information.

What is ACS data and why is it labeled with a five-year range?

ACS, or American Community Survey, is the replacement for sample data from the decennial census. The 2010 Census eliminated the long form. Those who need data on income and poverty status, school enrollment, journey to work, household type and relationships, languages spoken, migration, citizenship, disability, health insurance, ancestry, military service, or housing characteristics must use the ACS. ACS data uses a continuous measurement, or rolling sample, in which a small percent of the population is sampled every month. The data is reported as a 60-month average. The ACS is updated and released more frequently than the decennial census—every year instead of every 10 years. Smaller sample sizes and variable collection times have introduced a margin of error into their estimates. To learn more about ACS data, see American Community Survey.

How are college students and military barracks accounted for in households?

Colleges and military barracks are considered group quarters population. They are not counted as households. By definition, group quarters population plus household population equals total population.

Do Household Income, Income by Age, Disposable Income, Net Worth, or Per Capita Income include the income of people living in group quarters?

Household Income, Income by Age, Disposable Income, and Net Worth distributions are household-based variables and do not include the income of the group quarters population.

Since Per Capita Income is a population-based variable, it includes the income of people in group quarters.

Is Hispanic Population included in the Total Population estimates and forecasts?

Yes. Total Population is the sum of Hispanic Population and Non-Hispanic Population.

Note:

Total Population is not the sum of all Races and Hispanic Population added together.

The U.S. Census Bureau considers race and ethnicity to be two separate and distinct concepts. Hispanic Origin/Population refers to ethnicity, not race, and is viewed as the heritage, nationality, lineage, or country of birth of the person or the person's parents or ancestors before arriving in the United States. Persons are either Hispanic or Non-Hispanic. Those persons that identify as Hispanic may be of any race.

To learn how Total Population is calculated, see the example pie charts below. The first pie chart represents the percentage of people who are non-Hispanic, while the third pie chart represents the percentage of people who are Hispanic. Each of these when summed separately sums to a total for non-Hispanic population and a total for Hispanic population. The result, the middle pie chart, shows that each of these two totals summed together (Non-Hispanic Pop + Hispanic Pop) equals Total Population by Ethnicity (or Total Population).

Total Population by Ethnicity pie chart

Click to view a larger image of Total Population by Ethnicity

Total Population is also defined as the population by race. Race is reported as White, Black or African American, Asian, American Indian and Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, Some Other Race, and Multiple Races. To learn how Total Population by Race is calculated, see the example pie chart below. Each pie segment represents the percentage of the population comprising one of the seven races. The population by race segments, when summed together, equal Total Population by Race (or Total Population). Total Population by Race pie chart

The following scenarios show how to accurately compute race and ethnicity percentages:

  • Scenario 1: Percentage of Race compared to Total Population
    • Example: (Black/African American Race) / Population by Race Base
    • (2,500) / (5,000)] = 50%
  • Scenario 2: Percentage of Hispanic Population by Race compared to Total Hispanic Population
    • Example: (White Hispanics / Hispanic Population)
    • (1,258/6,500) = 19.4%
  • Scenario 3: Percentage of White Hispanics compared to Total Population
    • Example: (Hispanic White Population / (Sum of Hispanic Pop + Non-Hispanic Pop))
    • (3,000/40,000) = 7.5%
      Note:

      You can also use the Population of Race base to calculate this percentage.

Are centroids located at the geographic center or are they weighted?

In the United States, the centroids of geographies such as block groups, tracts, and so on, are located toward population centers rather than at the geographic center of the geography.

How are college students and military barracks accounted for in Esri’s Tapestry Segmentation database?

There are three specific Tapestry segments that are classified as having areas with predominantly group quarters populations: Military Proximity, Dorms to Diplomas, and College Towns.

Note:

Prisons are in the Unclassified segment.

How can I learn more about certain Consumer Spending items?

In the ArcGIS Business Analyst Web App and ArcGIS Community Analyst Web App, hover over the information button while browsing the available data. Many of the Consumer Spending variables have details about what is included in the value.

What do the three different measures with each Consumer Spending item mean?

Total Spending

Total spending represents the aggregate amount spent by all households in an area annually.

Average Spending

Average spending represents the average amount spent per household annually.

Index

The Spending Potential Index (SPI) compares the average local expenditure to the average national expenditure. The SPI values at the national level are 100. An SPI of 168 indicates that the average amount spent by local consumers is 68 percent above the national average. An SPI of 78 indicates that the average spent is 22 percent below the national average.

What do the Market Potential values represent—people or households?

The h in the 10-character variable name indicates that the variable is household based. Use Total Tapestry Households (THHBASE) as the base. (For example, MP01001h_B Household owns/leases any vehicle is a household-based variable.)

The a indicates that the variable is adult based. Use Total Tapestry Adults (TADULTBASE) as the base. (For example, MP01066a_B Member of auto club/roadside assistance program is an adult-based variable.)

Why does Esri’s U.S. unemployment rate differ from other sources of unemployment?

Esri’s U.S. labor force estimates can differ from unemployment data published by the Current Population Survey (CPS) program of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for the following reasons:

  • Small area data source—Esri’s labor force updates use ACS data for its forecast base because it is the only source available by block group for this socioeconomic information. While ACS uses the same labor force definitions (for example, how working-aged persons are classified as employed, unemployed, not in labor force, and so on), their rates of unemployed persons will differ (and often run higher) than the CPS—the source often quoted in the news. Ultimately, ACS and CPS differ because the surveys deploy different questions, samples, and data collection methods. More detail can be found in the Comparison of ACS and CPS Data on Employment Status working paper.
  • Data vintage—Esri’s labor force data is current as of July 1 of the release year. Data from the BLS (for example, CPS and Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) programs) is more current monthly time series.
  • Seasonal adjustment—Esri’s labor force data is not seasonally adjusted. CPS produces two sets of national unemployment estimates that are seasonally adjusted and not seasonally adjusted. The unemployment rate often quoted in the headlines is typically a seasonally adjusted estimate.

Additional information is available in the Labor Force Data section of Esri’s U.S. Updated Demographics update methodology.

Why does Esri Updated Demographics not include margins of error (MOE) like those included in ACS data?

MOEs can only be calculated from a survey of an entire population. MOEs describe how close a survey value can be expected to be to the true value. Esri Updated Demographics data is not a survey and therefore MOEs cannot be calculated. Esri Updated Demographics values are forecasted estimates created by statistical modeling.

Why are the total number of ZIP Codes available from USPS different from the total number of ZIP Codes in Esri Updated Demographics?

Esri provides residential ZIP Codes with land area and excludes point-level ZIP Codes. This ensures that residential-based demographic and socioeconomic data are not erroneously appended to a point. Point ZIP Codes include PO Boxes, and other unique organizations including military and government buildings. Enclosing ZIP Codes that surround and include the points are included in Esri's ZIP Code inventory.

Global data

Who is the data source for the standard demographic data?

Michael Bauer Research GmbH (MB-Research) is a globally recognized developer of demographic data and boundaries at small scales for more than 150 countries and has been in operation since 2004.

Is spending data in Canada reported as Canadian dollars or U.S. dollars?

All dollar amounts in the HouseholdSpend data from Environics Analytics are in Canadian dollars.

What is the difference between income (constant) and income (current) in Canada?

Income (constant) reports values in a constant-year price. Current income reports values in the current-year price. For example, Median Household Income (Constant Year 2005 $) reports the median in 2005 dollars, whereas Median Household Income (Current Year $) reports the median in current-year dollars.

What currency does income and spending data represent?

Income and spending data is displayed in the local currency. This information is available for each country.