Database of the Month: Social Explorer

Social Explorer is relatively new online resource, designed to provide users with quick, visual access to large amounts of census data and U.S. demographic information.

Updated continuously and with coverage going back to 1790, Social Explorer is a useful illustrative tool for communication classes focused on either contemporary or historical issues of media and society (or anything and society, really). Additional features of interest to SOC faculty and students include:

  • All annual updates from the American Community Survey, which collects information about age, sex, race, education, employment status, income, and more at the census block group-level.
  • The Religious Congregations and Membership Study (RCMS) from 1980 to 2000. (To be updated in 2012.)
  • Carbon Emissions Data for 2002 from the Vulcan Project.

One great thing about Social Explorer is that users can create their own thematic and interactive maps (or downloadable reports) at the state, county, census tract, block group, and ZIP code level. However, to store these custom creations, it is necessary to create a personal account within the tool, by clicking on a link in the upper right hand corner of the page.

Check out the resource for yourself by visiting the Library’s “Databases A-Z” page, or by clicking here and logging in.

Click here or the image above to view my 1-minute tour of the Database of the Month!

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