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Frequently Asked Questions

Listed below are common questions about Esri demographic data.


U.S. Data

Global Data


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 looks at 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.

What are the sources for Esri demographic data?

The Esri Global Data Fact Sheet (PDF) contains details on the sources for standard and advanced demographic data available from Esri.

The Esri U.S. Data Fact Sheet (PDF) contains details on the sources for Esri demographic data in the United States.

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

The advanced International data comes from the following sources:



MapData Services


Environics Analytics


Esri France






Esri Japan



South Korea




For which countries does Esri offer demographic data?

Esri offers demographic data for over 130 countries.

Africa—Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Réunion, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia

Asia—Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, China, Georgia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Macao, Malaysia, Mongolia, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam

Europe—Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom

North America—Aruba, Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Greenland, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, United States

Oceania—Australia, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, New Zealand

South America—Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela

What are "Standard Demographics" and "Advanced Demographics"?

Standard Demographics are 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 scale for over 130 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 based on country.

What demographic topics are covered by Esri Demographics?

The attributes/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 U.S. and Canada datasets cover a broader range of topics. In addition to the above,

U.S. also includes:

  • Additional Demographics: 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
  • Additional Business data: Business Summary, Business Locations, Traffic, Major Shopping Centers, Crime Index

Canada also includes:

  • Additional Demographics: 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?

Use the Data Browser to explore demographic data available from Esri.

Here's how:

Data Browser with numbers corresponding to search methods

  1. To search for available countries.
  2. To search for a specific data variable.
  3. To browse by category.

Can I download Esri Demographics?

For information about purchasing Esri Demographics as stand-alone datasets, contact

Esri Demographics are also accessible in various products including: ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World, ArcGIS Business Analyst, ArcGIS Community Analyst, ArcGIS Maps for Office, ArcGIS Maps for Power BI, the Map Viewer in ArcGIS Online, and the GeoEnrichment Service in ArcGIS Online.

What Esri products contain Esri Demographics?

Esri Demographics are available in various products including: ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World, ArcGIS Business Analyst, ArcGIS Community Analyst, ArcGIS Maps for Office, ArcGIS Maps for Power BI, the Map Viewer in ArcGIS Online, and the GeoEnrichment Service in ArcGIS Online. See Access for a list of products.

How frequently are Esri Demographics updated?

U.S. and Canada demographics are updated annually.

Standard Demographics from Michael Bauer Research GmbH (MB Research) are updated bi-annually over an 18-month period.

The updates for Advanced Demographics vary with data provider.

What date are Esri Demographics based on?

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


  • Esri U.S. demographics are current as of July 1st of the applicable year. For example, 2019 US estimates are current as of July 1, 2019 and 2024 US projections are current as of July 1, 2024.
  • Census U.S. demographics are current as of April 1st 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 is updated and released more frequently than the decennial census—every year instead of every ten years. ACS data currently in Esri’s system is the 2013–2017 ACS data. See What is "ACS" data and why is it labeled with a five-year range? under the U.S. Data FAQs.


  • The Canada demographics (DemoStats) are current as of March 31st of the applicable year.
  • The Canada spending estimates (HouseholdSpend) are current as of June 30th of the applicable year.
  • The Canada 2016 Census demographics (CensusPlus) are current as of March 31, 2018.


U.S. Data

How accurate are the Esri Updated Demographics data for the U.S., and what distinguishes it from other vendors?

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

The release of each decennial census enables data vendors to evaluate the accuracy of their annual demographic estimates by benchmarking against census results. Data vendors could also learn how their estimates compare to other providers. In 2011, Esri took advantage of this once-a-decade opportunity and 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 benchmarked against results from Census 2010 for the entire United States at four geography levels. This study proves that Esri's demographic update methodologies produce the industry's most accurate demographic data. Users can be confident that Esri's Updated Demographics data will provide them with the best possible analysis results. To learn more about the Vendor Accuracy Study and to read the excerpted report, visit Data Accuracy.

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 US Census Bureau. Census counts refer to the data reported from a decennial census of the US 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 upon 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, like the American Community Survey, also pre-date Esri’s current year updates. The ACS data for all areas is also a five-year average while Esri’s updates are point data estimates, representing July 1 of the reference year.


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

What does the Leakage/Surplus Factor in the U.S. based Retail Marketplace database mean?

The Leakage/Surplus Factor in the Retail MarketPlace database measures the balance between the volume of retail sales (supply) generated by retail businesses and the volume of retail potential (demand) produced by household spending on retail goods within the same industry.

Leakage in an area represents a condition where demand exceeds supply. In other words, retailers outside the market area are fulfilling the demand for retail products; therefore, demand is "leaking" out of the trade area. Such a condition highlights an opportunity for new retailers to enter the trade area or for existing retailers to extend their marketing outreach to accommodate the excess demand.

Surplus in an area represents a condition where supply exceeds the area's demand. Retailers are attracting shoppers that reside outside the trade area. The "surplus" is in market supply. Brand positioning and product mix are key differentiators in these types of markets. Read more in Understanding the Leakage/Surplus Factor.

Does Daytime Population represent population counts for the work week 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 to 5, or some other time of the day. However, while there is no way to identify a “day part” with any specificity, it’s probably safe to assume that most areas have worker activity Monday through Friday between 9 and 5, unless the data user knows otherwise and takes that into account in their analysis. Find out more about Esri’s Daytime Population methodology.

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

Esri current year occupation distribution covers 22 broad occupations. The following occupations are broken into 3 categories: White Collar, Services and Blue Collar. Each of the three employment classifications are expressed as a percentage of the Employed Civilian Population Age 16+.

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 turn to the 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 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 ten years. Smaller sample sizes and variable collection times have introduced a margin of error into their estimates. Find out more about ACS data.

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 persons living in group quarters?

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

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

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

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


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 show how Total Population is calculated, let's take, for example, the pie charts shown below. The pie chart on the left represents the percentage of people who are Non-Hispanic, while the pie chart on the right represents the percentage of people who are Hispanic. Each of these when summed separately sums to a Total for Non-Hispanics, and a Total for Hispanics. The result, the middle pie chart that shows when each of these two totals are summed together (Non-Hispanic Pop + Hispanic Pop) equals Total Population by Ethnicity (or Total Population).

Total Population by Ethnicity

Click to view a larger image of Total Population by Ethnicity

Total Population is also defined as the Population by Races. 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 show how Total Population by Race is calculated, let's take for example, the pie chart shown below. Each pie segment represents the percentage of people who comprise one of the seven races. When each are summed together (each pop by race segment) equals Total Population by Race (or Total Population).

Depending upon the interpretation you are after, here are a few scenarios that show how to accurately compute race and ethnicity percentages:

Scenario 1: Percentage of Race compared to the 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%


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 U.S., the centroids of geographies such as block groups, tracts, and so on, are located towards 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.


Prisons fall into the Unclassified segment.

How can I learn more information about certain Consumer Spending items?

In the ArcGIS Business Analyst Web App and ArcGIS Community Analyst Web App, you can learn more about a variable when you hover over the info (i) icon 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.


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 shows that the average amount spent by local consumers is 68 percent above the national average. An SPI of 78 shows 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 the variable is household based. You should 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 the variable is adult based. You should 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 a few reasons.

Small Area Data Source: Esri’s labor force updates use American Community Survey (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 will 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 are current as of July 1 of the release year. Data from the BLS (for example, CPS and Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) programs) are more current monthly time series.

Seasonal Adjustment: Esri’s labor force data are 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 can be found in the "Labor Force Data" section of Esri’s US Updated Demographics update methodology.

Why does Esri Updated Demographics not include Margins Of Error (MOE) like those included in American Community Survey (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 are not a survey and therefore MOEs cannot be calculated. Esri Updated Demographics values are forecasted estimates created by statistical modeling.

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 scale for over 130 countries and has been in operation since 2004.

Are spending data in Canada reported as Canadian dollars or US dollars?

All dollar amounts within 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 do income and spending data represent?

Income and spending data are displayed in the local currency. You can find this information in the Release Notes (PDF) for each country.