US Population by Ethnicity Visualization

US Census 2011 (ACS) – choroplethr

As a statistician, I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for the US Census. I love the rich data sets that are made publicly available and I’ve often experimented with visualizing the results. A couple of months ago, Ari Lamstein (a data scientist at Trulia) released the choroplethr package on CRAN (a repository for R packages). I pulled it up a couple of days ago and found it be simple and intuitive. Only a couple of simple commands are required to build plots like this: USPop

1) Go to http://www.census.gov/developers/tos/key_request.html to get a ACS API key.
2) Visit http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/affhelp/jsf/pages/metadata.xhtml?lang=en&type=survey&id=survey.en.ACS_ACS to find the appropriate ACS table ID for the attribute that you’re looking to explore.
3) Open up R, install choroplethr package, define your API key using the api.key.install() command
4) Explore away!

I started looking at the US population split by ethnicity.
USPopWhite

USPopBlack

USPopAsian

We can see very clearly the heavier concentrations of African-Americans in the Southeastern states, the Eastern seaboard and Southern CA. Asian-American population centers are focused on the West Coast and the NE Coast.

The R code is shown below:

###### Settings
library(choroplethr)
library(acs)
library(ggplot2)
 
###### API key
# Need to go to http://www.census.gov/developers/tos/key_request.html to set API key
api.key.install("###############")
 
###### Basic ACS Table IDs 
# B19301 = Per Capita Income
# B01003 = Population
 
###### Plotting
## Basic by State
choroplethr_acs(tableId="B19301",lod="state")
choroplethr_acs(tableId="B19301",lod="state",showLabels=FALSE)
choroplethr_acs(tableId="B19301",lod="state",showLabels=FALSE,num_buckets=9)
choroplethr_acs(tableId="B19301",lod="state",showLabels=FALSE,num_buckets=9)+labs(title="US 2011 Per Capita Income by State")
 
## Per Capita Income by County
choroplethr_acs(tableId="B19301",lod="county")
choroplethr_acs(tableId="B19301",lod="county",num_buckets=9,states=c("CA"))
 
## Population by County by Ethnicity
choroplethr_acs(tableId="B01003",lod="county")+labs(title="Total US Population by County (2011)")
choroplethr_acs(tableId="B02008",lod="county")+labs(title="US Population by County (2011) - White")
choroplethr_acs(tableId="B02009",lod="county")+labs(title="US Population by County (2011) - Black ")
choroplethr_acs(tableId="B02011",lod="county")+labs(title="US Population by County (2011) - Asian")
choroplethr_acs(tableId="B03001",lod="county")+labs(title="US Population by County (2011) - Hispanic")

 

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