1st Edition

Analyzing US Census Data Methods, Maps, and Models in R

By Kyle Walker Copyright 2023
    368 Pages 191 Color Illustrations
    by Chapman & Hall

    368 Pages 191 Color Illustrations
    by Chapman & Hall

    368 Pages 191 Color Illustrations
    by Chapman & Hall

    Census data is widely used by practitioners to understand demographic change, allocate resources, address inequalities, and make sound business decisions. Until recently, projects using US Census data have required proficiency with multiple web interfaces and software platforms to prepare, map, and present data products. This book introduces readers to tools in the R programming language for accessing and analyzing Census data and shows how to carry out demographic analyses in a single computing environment.

    Chapters in this book cover the following key topics:

    • Rapidly acquiring data from the decennial US Census and American Community Survey using R, then analyzing these datasets using tidyverse tools;

    • Visualizing US Census data with a wide range of methods including charts in ggplot2 as well as both static and interactive maps;

    • Using R as a geographic information system (GIS) to manage, analyze, and model spatial demographic data from the US Census;

    • Working with and modeling individual-level microdata from the American Community Survey’s PUMS datasets;

    • Applying these tools and workflows to the analysis of historical Census data, other US government datasets, and international Census data from countries like Canada, Brazil, Kenya, and Mexico.

    1. The United States Census and the R programming language 2. An introduction to tidycensus 3. Wrangling Census data with tidyverse tools 4. Exploring US Census data with visualization 5. Census geographic data and applications in R 6. Mapping Census data with R 7. Spatial analysis with US Census data 8. Modeling US Census data 9. Introduction to Census microdata 10. Analyzing Census microdata 11. Other Census and government data resources 12. Working with Census data outside the United States 13. Conclusion


    Kyle Walker is an associate professor of geography at Texas Christian University, director of TCU’s Center for Urban Studies, and a spatial data science consultant. His research focuses on demographic trends in the United States, demographic data visualization, and software tools for open spatial data science. He is the lead author of a number of R packages including tigris, tidycensus, and mapboxapi.

    "This book is destined to become the go-to text for people wanting to use R for the analysis of US Census data. I think this is a strong, clear, and comprehensive introduction to the tidycensus package and the tidyverse. I have been using tidycensus and Walker’s tigris package probably since he initially contributed them to the community of R users years ago. Although I use the packages regularly for teaching and research, I still learned quite a bit about their functionality in the chapters I reviewed. Thus, I think it will be a useful text for both novices and experienced R users. I could see this book being used in a variety of social science courses relating to research methodology, data visualization, and cartography."
    -Hugh Bartling, Associate Professor, DePaul University

    "Walker [...] is clearly familiar with the material and how to use R to the best advantage for mapping and modeling. Indeed, he has written the code for some of the many R packages covered in this title. In this book, he recommends which R package is most suitable for each application and then provides code examples to highlight how to carry out a simple version of each task with the package. Some of the specific scenarios include the creation of data visualizations using ggplot2 or tmap, a discussion of handling margins of error with the American Community Survey data using tidycensus, and historical census data analysis and mapping using ipumsr. The code samples are suitable for users who are quite familiar with R or similar GIS software. This title would function well as a reference or a textbook for graduate-level students or faculty.
    -J. Parker, SUNY Cortland in CHOICE, April 2024