The Census Bureau has released Easy Stats, an app that allows users to filter information about fellow residents through the lens of race, income, educational background and whether they drink Yuengling or Belgian. Here’s how it works: Let’s say you live in Ambler borough and you want to know if you’re making more money than your neighbors. Click on one of the subcategories for income, and you’ll learn that the majority of residents make between $75,000 and $99,999 whether white, Asian or Hispanic/Latino. The majority of African Americans in Ambler, however, make between $60,000 and $74,999, while the majority of those in the Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander category…oh, sorry. There isn’t anyone in that category in Ambler.
You’ll also learn that there are more homeowners than renters in Ambler, but not by too much, and that the majority of people living in Ambler were not only born in the U.S., but in Pennsylvania. And the Amblerites are staying put, too; there’s plenty of info about tenure in housing and moving in and out of the homes they own or rent. Some of the categories are hopelessly complicated, like “Sex By Age By Nativity And Citizenship Status.” That sounds irreligious and maybe even illegal. Also: “Sex By Work Experience In The Past 12 Months By Earnings In The Past 12 Months (In 2011 Inflation-Adjusted Dollars) For The Population 16 Years And Over.” Well, at least they’re 16.
Have fun with the tool, but don’t use it with congressional districts, which are gerrymandered beyond all sanity. Take the disturbingly shaped 13th Congressional District of Pennsylvania, which includes Horsham and Oxford Circle, Huntingdon Valley and Olney, Fox Chase and Bryn Athyn. There is no such thing as average housing stats for such a district, bless its heart.