Each topic page on the ACT Rochester website contains a "Resources" tab. Those tabs contain information and links to organizations that provide data or services in the topic area. This section includes links to general, cross-sectional sources of data and information. There are three types of information provided in this section: national data sources and services; local information sources; and information about community indicator projects.
National Data Sources and Services
The United States Census Bureau is one of the world's largest sources of data and analysis. In fact, the basic enumeration conducted every 10 years is required by the U.S. Constitution (Article 1, section 2). Census Bureau information includes both data from its enumeration conducted every 10 years, as well as various data estimates, analyses and reports. For a summary of the Census Bureau data tools, click here.
One particularly useful census tool is the American Fact Finder which provides relatively easy access to data, and which can be sorted by a wide range of factors, even your own zip code.
An important initiative of the U.S. Census Bureau is the American Community Survey which samples 3 million households annually to provide updates to the 10-year enumeration. Currently, the American Community Survey provides estimates for the nation, states, and individual communities with a population of 65,000 or more (Monroe, Ontario, and Wayne counties, as well as the City of Rochester).
There are various public and private services that utilize Census information to provide useful analysis, reports and maps. Following are some particularly useful sources.
- Census Plus is an interactive data tool provided by the Brookings Institution. It enables users to access a wide range of demographic indicators for all 50 states as well as the 100 largest cities, counties, and metropolitan areas in the United States. Data come from Census 2000 as well as the 2005, 2006, and 2007 American Community Surveys (ACS). The site allows users to view and download a wealth of information about their community, to compare how it ranks against others of its type on a certain attribute, or to view how it performs across multiple indicators.
- The Social Explorer provides web-based maps illustrating a wide range of demographics down to the census tract level.
- City Data.com includes a wealth of information, from statistics to photographs, for the largest U.S. cities and their surrounding areas.
- Community Issues Management (CIM) uses data similar to ACT Rochester and permits web-based mapping.
- Diversity Data provides profiles and rankings for metropolitan areas.
- Fairdata use mapping down to the census tract level to illustrate a variety of demographic data.
- CensusScope provides quick charts, maps, and rankings for the nation, states, metro areas, and counties.
Local Information Sources
The Genesee-Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council maintains a data center with access to maps, reports and other valuable data items. Data includes both historical information and forecasts of future demographic changes.
The Monroe County Department of Planning and Development provides a statistical summary of Monroe County "Fast Facts" and links to detailed Census data for the county.
The Rochester-based Center for Governmental Research is a leading public policy research organization. CGR provides access to a variety of research reports, including its census interpretation studies. CGR also maintains a data center providing up-to-date information on regional employment data.
Most local media organizations maintain websites with useful news and information. Of particular note is the Democrat and Chronicle's RocDocs, a repository for regional data, maps and reports. The Rochester Business Journal maintains valuable economic profile data.
About Community Indicators
Live United is an initiative of the national United Way, which is also supported by the United Way of Greater Rochester. The effort supports the use of national indicators and goals to encourage action in three areas of basic concern: Education; Income; and Health.
ACT Rochester is modeled after community indicator efforts used in many other communities. Currently, there are dozens of community indicator programs in the United States and in other countries. While programs differ in design, they have a common element: the use of community data to understand and address critical issues. The Community Indicators Consortium provides general information community indicators and communities using this approach. Jacksonville, Florida was one of the earliest communities to use community indicators. The Jacksonville Community Council provides research information on the value of community indicators. Vital Signs is a community Indicators program used by many localities in Canada.
Several community indicator projects were studied in the development of ACT Rochester, including the following:
- Boston Indicators Project
- Toronto's Vital Signs
- State of the Region: Regional Performance in the Buffalo-Niagara Region
- Strategic Spartanburg (Spartanburg, S.C.)
- Ottawa's Vital Signs
NOTE: Consult the "Resources" tab in each topic section for addition information.
Banner photo provided by Rochester Downtown Development Corp.