If you work at all with demographic data — or even if it simply interests you — check out Social Explorer. Developed at Queens College of the City University of New York, the site’s objective is “to help visually analyze and understand the demography of the U.S. through the use of interactive maps and data reports.” It includes a series of interactive census maps using U.S. census data back to 1940. These maps provide visual displays of census data for the entire country or any location within it for dozens of categories and subcategories. Use it, for example, to see how racial groups are concentrated within the U.S., to compare income levels, or to find where particular industries are concentrated. You can also create slideshows showing movement of data across locations or time periods. The site’s time-series maps show the changing racial compositions of New York City from 1910 to 2000 and of Los Angeles County from 1940 to 2000. Users can create custom demographic reports drawing on a range of historical and current data.

Use of the site’s basic functions is free. Libraries and educational institutions may subscribe to obtain access to a broader range of data and interactive maps.

Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.