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Demographic Report

Demographic Report

Anonymous

The city I choice is San Francisco

Purpose:

Learn how to access U.S. Census and American Community Survey (ACS) data. Learn how to manipulate and

analyze the data in Excel (or similar spreadsheet program) to draw conclusions about urban planning topics of

interest. Connect the data to urban planning issues.

Background

The starting point for planning is an assessment of current conditions – the answer to the question “where are

we now.” Planners use many different techniques to assess current conditions, including inventories of existing

facilities and surveys of residents. Planners also make use of existing data sources, particularly the decennial

U.S. Census and the annual American Community Survey (ACS). The ACS is particularly useful for providing

detailed information about the community’s population as well as its housing stock. Planners regularly look at

ACS data to gauge changes within the community, and analyzing ACS data is often the first step in the process of

updating the General Plan.

In this assignment, let’s imagine that you are an intern at a city of your choice. The city is considering an update

to its General Plan, and the planning director – your boss – wants to know what the ACS shows about important

issues in the city. She has given you the task of preparing a demographic report that summarizes selected data

from the ACS. Her plan is to share this report with the Planning Commission and to post the report on the

Planning Department’s website.

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