Mapping high school graduation rates

This blog was originally posted at: http://smartblogs.com/leadership/2013/06/17/mapping-high-school-graduation-rates/.

Thousands of teenagers are graduating from high school this month. Many plan to attend college and conquer the world. Others are content to find a good job and settle down. High school graduation rates have been rising in the U.S. over the past several years. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 87.65% of the U.S. population has graduated from high school. In 2010, 78.2% of high school students received their diploma in four years, according to the Department of Education. For the first time in history, the U.S. is on track to have a 90% graduation rate by 2020, according to the “Building a Grad Nation” report produced byAmerica’s Promise Alliance.

Which states and counties have the highest graduation rates? Which have the lowest? What are some reasons for this disparity?

High school graduation rates by location

Graduation rates vary immensely across the country. By state, Wisconsin, Vermont, Minnesota and North Dakota have the highest high school graduation rates. At least 87.4% of their students graduate from high school, according to America’s Health Rankings. Nevada, Mississippi and New Mexico have the lowest rates.

County Health Rankings and Roadmaps notes that in 2011 several counties, including Hinsdale in Colorado, Hodgeman in Kansas and Baylor in Texas, achieved a 100% graduation rate of 9th-graders who graduate in four years.

Graduation rates of 50% or less are noted in other counties such as Alpine in California, Dawes in Nebraska and Glades in Florida. See high school graduation rates by state and county in this interactive map:


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Numerous reasons can account for variations in high school graduation rates, including per capita income and access to health insurance. People with lower incomes and no health insurance are less likely to graduate from high school, according to America’s Health Rankings. High school graduates, on average, earn more money over time than those without a high school diploma. According to the Census Bureau, high school graduates earn $652 week; those without a high school diploma earn $471 per week. Those without a high school diploma are also much more likely to be unemployed.

The per capita income in the U.S. in 2012 was $26,409 according to Esri’s 2012/2017 Updated Demographics; however, this number, varies by location and industry sector. Connecticut and Maryland have the highest 2012 per capita incomes at $35,247 and $34,360, respectively, according to Esri’s demographic estimates. Their high school graduation rates are both over 75%. Arkansas and Mississippi have the lowest per capita incomes at $21,011 and $19,477, respectively. Their high school graduation rates are 74% and 62%, respectively.

Arlington County, Alexandria City and Falls Church City in Virginia have the nation’s highest per capita incomes of more than $50,000. Their high school graduation rates are 82% or higher.

Counties with the lowest per capita incomes include Todd in South Dakota, Sioux in North Dakota and Holmes in Mississippi, where per capita incomes are below $12,200. Their high school graduation rates are 66% or lower.

Explore this map for more information about per capita income:


View Larger Map

America’s Health Ratings states that there is a strong correlations between educational attainment and lack of health insurance. Students who miss school when they are sick have difficulty catching up to graduate. People without health insurance can still obtain health care through clinics, however, it may take longer and may not be as good as through insurance. According to the Census Bureau, 15.7% of Americans did not have health insurance in 2011.

At least 25% of the population in Texas, Florida and Nevada is uninsured — the nation’s highest rates. The high school graduation rate in Texas is 75% — the U.S. average. High school graduation rates in Florida and Nevada are below the U.S. average — 69% and 56%, respectively.

Less than 10% of the population in Vermont, Hawaii and Massachusetts is uninsured — the nation’s lowest rates. High school graduation rates in these states are average or above average. For example, Vermont’s high school graduation rate is 90%.

At the county level, there seems to be a less obvious correlation between high school graduation rates and the uninsured population. Hidalgo County in Texas, Miami-Dade County in Florida and LaGrange County in Indiana are among the counties with the highest rates of uninsured populations. In each of these counties, at least 35% of the population is uninsured; however, high school graduation rates are higher than 80%.

In Maui County in Hawaii, Bibb County in Georgia and St. Louis City in Missouri, high school graduation rates are just above 50%; 19% or more of the population is uninsured.

Learn more about locations of the uninsured populations in this interactive map:


View Larger Map

Why this matters

How can organizations help improve high school graduation rates at the local, county, state and national levels? Not surprisingly, students from wealthy families are more likely to graduate from high school and even college. However, many factors beyond affluence can help improve graduation rates, including access to health insurance, healthy food and mentoring programs.

Governments and private-sector institutions that understand the need for assistance at all levels can help make a difference. Organizations that know local situations can help provide specific services and social programs to help students stay in school and complete their education. Private-sector institutions can send donations, services, healthy food and equipment to areas with the greatest need. Communities that focus on raising graduation rates of their high school students can help improve their lives. Local graduates can land good jobs, contribute to the local economy and achieve a better quality of life.

More information about Esri’s data can be found at www.esri.com/data or to learn more about Esri in general, go to www.esri.com.

Pam Allison is a digital media, marketing strategist and location intelligence consultant. You can visit her blog at www.pamallison.com.

The revenue side of the NBA and NHL Finals

This blog was originally posted at: http://smartblogs.com/finance/2013/06/10/the-revenue-side-of-the-nba-and-nhl-finals/.

June is a busy month for professional playoffs in the U.S. The NBA playoffs started Thursday, pitting the San Antonio Spurs against the Miami Heat. In the NHL, the Chicago Blackhawks take on the Boston Bruins for the Stanley Cup starting Wednesday.

The NBA and the NHL are big business and generate huge revenue from multiple sources. The NBA has earned $5 billion this season, most coming from television rights, with a growing portion from China because of television rights and exploding interest in Chinese and Chinese-American players. The NBA’s per-game gate-revenue average increased 6% compared with last season. Regular-season attendance in 2012-2013 averaged 17,348 per game, up 0.4% from the 2011-2012 season. The Chicago Bulls led the league, with an average of 21,877 attendees per game; the Sacramento Kings ranked last, with 13,750 attendees per game, according to Sports Business Daily.

The NHL projects that it will make $2.4 billion for the 2012-2013 season, despite a lockout. Thus, the NHL expects to generate 72.7% of the 2011-2012 season’s revenue of $3.4 billion, while playing 58.5% of the season.

Who watches NBA and NHL games on television? Who goes to the games? Is there a difference for each sport? Where do these people live?

Fans of the National Basketball Association

Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the U.S. The NBA attracts all types of fans. Appeal outside the U.S. has increased because of the popularity of the original Dream Team at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, the formation of teams overseas and more foreign players joining the NBA.

Fans follow their favorite players as they begin their career in high school, play in college, then move on to the NBA. Who is most likely to watch NBA games on television? Who attends NBA games? Where do they live?

People who are most likely to attend NBA games live along the Eastern Seaboard and in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Washington. ZIP codes with residents most likely to attend NBA games include 10475 (Bronx, N.Y.), 35221 (Birmingham, Ala.), 48235 (Detroit) and 60428 (Markham, Ill.). Residents in these ZIP codes are twice as likely as the average American to attend an NBA game.

Attend Pro Basketball Game

People most likely to watch NBA games on television live along the Eastern Seaboard and in the West. ZIP codes with residents most likely to watch include 13669 (Ogdensburg, N.Y.), 27708 (Durham, N.C.), 58105 (Fargo, N.D.) and 92617 (Irvine, Calif.). Residents in these ZIP codes are at least 1.5 times more likely than the average American to watch NBA games on television.

Watch Pro Basketball on TV

What type of American is most likely to attend an NBA game or watch a game on TV?

Esri, a company for geographic information systems, developed the Tapestry™ Segmentation system that classifies U.S. residential neighborhoods into 65 unique market segments based on socioeconomic and demographic characteristics.

Residents of Boomburbs, Dorms to Diplomas, Family Foundations, Laptops and Lattes, and Military Proximity neighborhoods are the most likely to attend NBA games.

Boomburbs neighborhoods are home to busy, affluent young families with young children who live an upscale lifestyle. Most households have two incomes. Residents of Dorms to Diplomas neighborhoods are focused on education. Most are enrolled in college or graduate school. Family Foundations neighborhoods are small, urban communities in a large Southern or Midwestern metropolitan area. Residents are family oriented and include married couples, single parents, grandparents and young-adult children. Laptops and Lattes residents are single, affluent renters and love big-city life. They are highly educated and hold professional or managerial positions. Residents of Military Proximity neighborhoods depend on the military for their livelihood. Most work in the armed forces or work in civilian jobs on military bases. Two-thirds of the households are young, married couples with children.

Those most likely watch NBA games on television are somewhat similar to people who are most likely to attend games. Residents of Dorms to Diplomas, Family Foundations and Metro City Edge neighborhoods are most likely to watch NBA games on TV.

Metro City Edge neighborhoods are found in older suburbs of a large Midwestern or Southern metropolitan city. Household types include married couples, single parents and multigenerational families. Nearly half of the residents who work are employed in service industries.

Residents of Las Casas, Rooted Rural and Southern Satellites neighborhoods are the least likely to attend NBA games. They live in rural areas that might be far from NBA venues. Their lower income also might prevent them from attending games. Las Casas residents are young, Hispanic families found primarily in California. Approximately half were born outside the U.S. Residents of Rooted Rural neighborhoods are married couples living in rural areas. Southern Satellites neighborhoods are found in the rural South. Residents are married couples who work in manufacturing and service industries.

Residents of Southwestern Families neighborhoods are the least likely to watch NBA games on television. These ethnically diverse families are the bedrock of Hispanic culture in the Southwest. Most of those who work are employed in blue collar or service occupations.

Fans of the National Hockey League

Ice hockey might not be as popular across the U.S. as in Canada, where it was invented, perhaps because of a lack of youth leagues and high-school and college teams. Kids in warmer climates might not have access to rinks and teams. However, NHL fans can be as loyal as fans of the NBA and other professional sports.

Who is most likely to attend an NHL game? Who watches games on TV? Where do they live?

People who are most likely to attend a hockey game live along the Eastern Seaboard, in the Chicago or Minneapolis area and in the West. ZIP codes with residents most likely to attend an NHL game include 10996 (West Point, N.Y.), 32508 (Pensacola, Fla.), 66442 (Fort Riley, Kan.) and 98433 (Tacoma, Wash.). Residents in these ZIP codes are three times as likely as the average American to attend a hockey game.

Attend Ice Hockey Game

People who are most likely to watch hockey games on television are in similar places as people who attend games: along the Eastern Seaboard, in the Chicago or Minneapolis area and in the West. ZIP codes with residents most likely to watch games on TV include 37916 (Knoxville, Tenn.), 55455 (Minneapolis), 78712 (Austin, Texas) and 92617 (Irvine, Calif.). Residents in these ZIP codes are at least twice as likely as the average American to watch hockey games on television.

Watch Ice Hockey on TV

What type of American is most likely to attend a hockey game or watch a game on television?

Residents of Military Proximity and Wealthy Seaboard Suburbs neighborhoods are most likely to attend a hockey game. Wealthy Seaboard Suburbs neighborhoods are older, established and affluent. Residents are primarily married couples living in a single-family home. About half work in management or have a professional career.

Residents of Dorms to Diplomas neighborhoods are most likely to watch hockey games on television. They live in dorms or share off-campus housing with one or more roommates. Most employed residents work part time to support themselves while attending school.

Not everyone is a hockey fan. Rooted Rural and Southern Satellites are the least likely to attend a hockey game. Residents of Las Casas and Urban Villages neighborhoods are the least likely to watch hockey games on television.

Most Rooted Rural neighborhoods are in the South; others are scattered nationwide. Approximately one-third of households receive Social Security benefits. The lifestyle of Southern Satellites residents is similar to that in Rooted Rural neighborhoods.

Residents of Las Casas neighborhoods are part of the latest wave of Western pioneers. Urban Villages neighborhoods are diverse. They are multicultural enclaves of young families in densely populated cities. All types of families live in these areas; the average family size is 4.16. Unemployment is relatively high; however, many households are supported by two workers in construction and services industries.

Why this matters

Leagues and teams can increase revenue by knowing more about the demographics and lifestyles of their most loyal fans. This information enables team owners to raise promotion-response rates, expand channels to attract less-avid fans and reach out to those who might not know much about the sport. By developing marketing strategies and promotions targeted to each type of fan, leagues can create additional revenue streams. For example, they can craft packages of tickets, hotel rooms and restaurant discounts to reach fans who would attend games. For TV fans, they can offer discounts for team merchandise or chances to win a trip to see a game. They can consider collaborating with TV channels to provide discounts on packages of games. By “slicing and dicing” promotions by demographics and lifestyles, leagues might be able to keep their most devoted fans, turn casual observers into fans and attract those who wouldn’t ordinarily be interested. Teams also can generate additional revenue by working with local economic-development groups to promote attractions around arenas. These activities can increase the value of such areas and bring much-needed cash into league cities.

More information about Esri’s data can be found at Esri.com/data. To learn more about Esri in general, go to Esri.com.

Pam Allison is a consultant for digital media, marketing strategy and location intelligence. Visit her blog at PamAllison.com.

Taking the holiday road to U.S. theme parks

This blog was originally posted at: http://smartblogs.com/leadership/2013/06/03/taking-the-holiday-road-to-u-s-theme-parks/.

Many Americans are planning summer trips to theme parks, one of the most popular vacation destinations. Theme parks offer a wide variety of attractions targeted to families. Major theme parks such as Walt Disney World and Universal Studios draw diverse visitors from across the country who plan their vacations around park visits. Resort ambiance such as spas, luxurious rooms and fine dining broadens the parks’ appeal to more affluent groups.

Theme parks are big business. According to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, the industry earned $12 billion in 2007. Revenues — and attendance — have steadily increased over time. The Themed Entertainment Association and AECOM stated that 127 million people visited the top 20 North American theme parks in 2011, an increase of 2.9% from 2010. In 2011, 337 million people visited the world’s top 10 theme parks groups. This includes Walt Disney Attractions, Merlin Entertainment Group and Universal Studios Recreation Group. Smaller parks such as Cedar Point in Ohio, draw thrill-seeking regional crowds to ride Millenium Force, the world’s best steel roller coaster.

What types of people visit theme parks? Where do they live? Do their visits depend on the park’s attractions?

Walt Disney World Resort

Disney theme parks are the world’s most-visited theme parks with a total of 121.4 million visitors to all of its parks in 2011, according to TEA. Of Disney’s theme parks, Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., ranks No. 1 for the most visitors. In 2011, 17.1 million people visited Florida’s “Happiest Place on Earth.”

Who is most likely to visit Walt Disney World Resort in Florida? Where do they live?

People who are most likely to visit Walt Disney World Resort live along the Eastern Seaboard, in southern Florida and in parts of the West. ZIP codes with residents who would most likely go to Walt Disney World Resort are 07751 (Morganville, N.J.), 20152 (Chantilly, Va.), 77382 (Spring, Texas) and 94506 (Danville, Calif.). Residents in these ZIP codes are at least 1.5 times more likely than the average American to visit Walt Disney World Resort.

Walt Disney World Visitors

What type of American is most likely visit to Walt Disney World Resort? Esri, a geographic information systems company, developed the Tapestry™ Segmentation system that classifies U.S. residential neighborhoods into 65 unique market segments based on socioeconomic and demographic characteristics.

Residents of Boomburbs, Pleasant-Ville, Simple Living and Top Rung neighborhoods are the most likely to visit Walt Disney World Resort.

Boomburbs neighborhoods are home to busy, affluent young families with young children who live an upscale lifestyle. Most households have two incomes. Residents of Pleasant-Ville neighborhoods are prosperous married-couple families who live in single-family houses. Located primarily in the Northeast and in California, some of these middle-aged residents are nearing retirement. Simple Living neighborhoods are found in urban outskirts or suburbs across the U.S. Older singles and married-couple families with limited resources live in these neighborhoods. Top Rung residents represent the wealthiest 1% of U.S. households. They are highly-educated, married couples with and without children.

Residents in Metropolitans neighborhoods are the least likely to visit Walt Disney World Resort. These singles and married couples prefer an urbane city life. They live in single-family homes and multiunit structures in older neighborhoods. Half of them hold professional or management positions.

Six Flags

For thrill-ride seekers, Six Flags is a popular theme park destination. In 2011, 24.3 million people visited Six Flags parks, according to TEA. Six Flags has 18 parks, including amusement parks and water parks; 16 are located in the U.S.

Who are the thrill-ride seekers that go to Six Flags parks? Where do they live?

Visitors to Six Flags theme parks most likely live along the Eastern Seaboard, in southern Texas, on the west coast of California and in parts of Alaska. ZIP codes with residents who would most likely go to a Six Flags theme park are 11219 (Brooklyn, N.Y.), 37916 (Knoxville, Tenn.), 78705 (Austin, Texas) and 91204 (Glendale, Calif.). Residents in these ZIP codes are at least twice as likely as the average American to visit a Six Flags theme park.

Six Flags Visitors

What type of American is most likely to visit a Six Flags theme park? Who is the least likely?

Residents of Dorms to Diplomas, High Rise Renters, International Marketplace and Urban Melting Pot neighborhoods are most likely to visit a Six Flags theme park. All of these neighborhoods have young, diverse populations.

Dorms to Diplomas residents are focused on their education. Most are enrolled in college and graduate school. High Rise Renters neighborhoods are in densely populated urban communities, mostly in New York City. A diverse mix of cultures, many residents speak a language other than English. International Marketplace neighborhoods are a rich blend of cultures and household types. Most residents are families who live in apartments. Residents of Urban Melting Pot neighborhoods are ethnically rich and recently settled. Most residents rent apartments in the high-density urban canyons of large cities. Residents of Silver and Gold neighborhoods are the least likely to visit a Six Flags theme park. These residents are primarily affluent seniors who have retired from professional careers and moved to sunny climates.

SeaWorld

SeaWorld theme parks are also popular. In 2011, 23.6 million people visited SeaWorld theme parks according to TEA. Three SeaWorld parks are in the U.S.: San Diego, San Antonio and Orlando, Florida.

Who is most likely to visit Shamu at SeaWorld? Where do they live?

Visitors to SeaWorld theme parks most likely live along the Eastern Seaboard, in Southern Texas and throughout the West. They are least likely to live in the Midwest and South. ZIP codes with residents most likely go to a SeaWorld theme park are 33538 (Lake Panasoffkee, Fla.), 60585 (Plainville, Ill.), 86413 (Golden Valley, Ariz.) and 98851 (Soap Lake, Wash.). Residents in these ZIP codes are at least twice as likely as the average American to visit SeaWorld.

Sea World Visitors

What type of American is most likely to visit a SeaWorld theme park? Who is the least likely?

Residents of Boomburbs, Senior Sun Seekers and Southwestern Families neighborhoods are most likely to visit a SeaWorld theme park. Boomburbs neighborhoods are home to busy, affluent families with young children who live an upscale lifestyle. Senior Sun Seekers residents have typically escaped cold weather to live in warmer areas. Most are retired or are close to retirement. Southwestern Families residents are ethnically diverse families and are the bedrock of Hispanic culture. Most of those who work are employed in blue-collar or service occupations.

Residents of Home Town, Rural Bypasses and Southern Satellites neighborhoods are the least likely to visit a SeaWorld theme park. Home Town neighborhoods are low-density, modest income communities that rarely change. Residents rarely move across county lines. Rural Bypasses neighborhoods are found in small southern towns along back country roads near open space, undeveloped land and farms. Unemployment is high in these communities. Residents of Southern Satellites neighborhoods are primarily married-couple families living in newer single-family houses or mobile homes. They work in manufacturing and service industries.

Why this matters

Theme parks are big business to the theme park companies as well as to the economic development agencies, hotels, restaurants and stores located near the park properties. Although visits to theme parks can be quite expensive, many Americans choose to vacation at theme parks. Properties such as Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Studios provide a wide variety of entertainment for the whole family and special packages for other groups. Companies that know who their visitors are can continually update their attractions, encouraging their loyal visitors to return. If companies also understand the types of consumers who would probably not visit their properties, they can tailor offerings and marketing to reach those consumers.

Smaller theme parks are often more specialized and cater to the local area. Understanding who their visitors are and where they can come can help these theme parks draw in larger crowds. Theme park companies can create promotions for specific groups to increase attendance and loyalty. Additionally, location intelligence can help the theme park adapt attractions based on demographics and lifestyles of the regional population. Companies can also co-promote attractions with local restaurants, hotels and shops to consumers within an easy drive time.

More information about Esri’s data can be found at www.esri.com/data or to learn more about Esri in general, go to www.esri.com.

Pam Allison is a digital media, marketing strategist and location intelligence consultant. You can visit her blog at www.pamallison.com.

Who’s got lottery fever?

This article was originally posted at: http://smartblogs.com/leadership/2013/05/27/whos-got-lottery-fever/.

Last week’s Powerball jackpot hit a record $590.5 million, setting off a contagious wave of lottery fever. A single player from Zephyrhills, Fla., holds the winning ticket for this record jackpot. Americans dream of winning big money, so they can provide for their families, buy a tropical island, zoom around in fancy sports cars, live in their dream house and retire. As they say, if you don’t play, you can’t win.

Although most Americans might play the lottery occasionally, many play only when jackpots are big. A large group plays much more regularly. Amounts spent on lottery tickets range from a couple of dollars to hundreds of dollars. Who are the people who play? Where do they live? How much do they spend?

Lottery spending

All types of people play the lottery. Who spends the most on lottery tickets? Where do they live?

People who spend the most on lottery tickets and parimutuel betting in the U.S. live along the Eastern Seaboard, in parts of Wyoming and Montana, and in a few places in the West. ZIP codes with residents who spend the most annually, on average, to play the lottery are 07078 (Short Hills, N.J.), 22066 (Great Falls, Va.), 60022 (Glencoe, Ill.) and 94027 (Atherton, Calif.). Residents in these ZIP codes spend, on average, at least $175 annually on lottery tickets.

Lottery Spending

The commonality among these ZIP codes is the high median household income. Therefore, while these residents may spend the most, it is a small percentage — just 0.12% or less of the median household income. Residents that spend the highest percentage of their median household income on the lottery are located primarily in the Midwest and parts of the South and West. Residents of ZIP codes such as 14604 (Rochester, N.Y.), 38774 (Shelby, Miss.), 77010 (Houston) and 98104 (Seattle) spend, on average, as much as 0.25% of their income on lotteries.

Avg Lottery Spending as Percentage of Median Income

What type of American spends the highest amount on lottery tickets and what type spends the highest percentage of their income playing the lottery? Esri, a geographic information systems company, developed the Tapestry™ Segmentation system that classifies U.S. residential neighborhoods into 65 unique market segments based on socioeconomic and demographic characteristics.

Residents of Connoisseurs, Suburban Splendor and Top Rung neighborhoods spend the most to play the lottery each year. Residents of all of these Tapestry segments are wealthy. On average, residents of those neighborhoods spend $100 or more a year to play the lottery.

Connoisseurs neighborhood residents are well-educated and somewhat older with a median age of 47.7 years. Their neighborhoods are older, affluent, established and slow-growing. The median household income is $123,663. Suburban Splendor residents live in growing affluent neighborhoods. Most households are two-income, married couple families. The median household income is $116,617 and the median age is 43.4 years. Top Rung residents represent the wealthiest 1% of U.S. households. The median household income is $173,172 and the median age is 45 years. Residents are highly-educated, married couples with and without children.

Residents in High Rise Renters and Social Security Set neighborhoods spend the highest percentage of their income on lottery tickets. High Rise Renters neighborhoods are culturally diverse urban communities in densely populated areas, such as New York City. Most residents are either single or single parents. The median age is 31.9 years and the median household income is $22,758. Social Security Set neighborhoods are located among business districts and around city parks in large U.S. cities. Most residents live alone in rented apartments in low-rent, high-rise buildings. The median age is 44.4 years and the median household income is $16,332.

Lottery fanatics

Although most Americans who play the lottery each year will often wait until there is a big jackpot, others are fanatics and will play at least eight times or more a month. Who are these lottery fanatics? Where do they live?

Frequent lottery players are most likely to live in the Midwest, areas of the West and in Alaska. ZIP codes with residents most likely to play the lottery eight or more times per month are 02126 (Mattapan, Mass.), 11433 (Jamaica, N.Y.), 48125 (Dearborn Heights, Mich.) and 60624 (Chicago).

Played Lottery 8 times or more in last 30 days

What type of consumer is most likely to play the lottery frequently? Who is the least likely?

City Strivers residents are 1.5 times more likely than the average American to play the lottery at least eight times per month. Residents of City Strivers neighborhoods are a mix of family types living in densely populated areas of major cities such as New York and Chicago. The median age is 33.8 years and the median household income is $36,621. Half of the employed residents work in the health care sector of the service industry. Twenty-two percent hold government jobs.

Residents of Connoisseurs, NeWest Residents and Top Rung are the least likely to play the lottery at least eight times per month. Connoisseurs residents are well-educated and somewhat older with a median age of 47.7 years. Their neighborhoods are older, affluent, established and slow-growing. The median household income is $123,663. NeWest Residents neighborhoods are dominated by Hispanic residents with a strong family-oriented lifestyle. They rent apartment in mid- or high-rise buildings. The median age is 27.4 years and the median household income is $25,284. Top Rung residents represent the wealthiest 1% of U.S. households. The median household income is $173,172 and the median age is 45 years. Residents are highly-educated, married couples with and without children.

Why this matters

Because everyone dreams of “winning big,” lottery players come from all walks of life and live all over the U.S. It is critical that lottery organizations understand the differences between the types of people who play frequently and those who play occasionally. Although wealthy people tend to spend more on lottery tickets, they do not play regularly. Conversely, those with lower incomes tend to play more frequently. By understanding players’ demographics and lifestyles and where they live, lottery organizations can market their games more effectively. Targeting different consumer groups with specific messaging and promotions can help to grow their revenue. Lottery organizations can also use this consumer knowledge to identify the best locations to sell lottery tickets and where to expand.

More information about Esri’s data can be found at www.esri.com/data or to learn more about Esri in general, go to www.esri.com.

Pam Allison is a digital media, marketing strategist and location intelligence consultant. You can visit her blog at www.pamallison.com.

The big business of Champions League soccer

This blog was originally posted at: http://smartblogs.com/finance/2013/05/20/the-big-business-of-champions-league-soccer/.

This year’s Union of European Football Association (UEFA) Champions League final is set to be an all-German affair between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund on May 25 at London’s Wembley Stadium. Next to the World Cup, the UEFA Champions League final is one of soccer’s most-anticipated events. Recognizing the growing global appeal of the final, UEFA made the decision a few years ago to switch the game from a weeknight to a Saturday so it could attract more viewers from around the world.

Big Business for UEFA

These championships are big business in Europe. The annual estimated gross commercial revenue expected from the 2012/2013 UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Super Cup is €1.34 billion or about $1.73 billion, according to UEFA. This compares to annual revenues of $9.5 billion for the NFL, $7.5 billion for Major League Baseball, $4 billion for the NBA, $3.4 billion for the NHL, and $300 million for Major League Soccer. UEFA isn’t the world’s biggest sports entity in terms of revenue, but it makes significant revenue and has fans worldwide.

In 2011, 178.7 million television viewers tuned in to watch Barcelona beat Manchester United in the final. It was the most-watched UEFA Champions League game ever and the most-watched worldwide annual sporting event that year. In the U.S., 2.6 million viewers tuned in, while the 2012 final between Chelsea and Bayern Munich drew a U.S. audience of 2 million. Both matches were shown live in the U.S. on FOX Sports.

The road to the 2013 UEFA championships started in July 2012. Teams compete in a qualifying round, play-offs, Group Stage, Knockout Phase, and the Final. Teams from Eastern and Western Europe, Israel, Russia, the Ukraine, and some Asian countries compete in the UEFA championships. Holding nine titles, Real Madrid C.F. is the most successful UEFA team. The current champion is Chelsea F.C. from London, though they were defeated in the Group Stage in this year’s competition.

The UEFA league is made up of 53 football member associations throughout Europe and one provisional team. Each UEFA member has its own league system.

Explore the map below to learn more about the top 16 teams in this year’s Champions League.


View Larger Map

Watch Soccer on TV

Even though soccer is not the most popular sport in the U.S., it is gaining fans due to participation in amateur youth and adult leagues and the influx of immigrants over the past decade. Some Americans love the sport and are most likely to watch the UEFA championships on television. Where are the Americans who will cheer on their favorites?

People in the U.S. who watch soccer on TV most frequently live along the Eastern seaboard, near Chicago and Minneapolis, and areas in the West, including California. ZIP codes with residents most likely to watch soccer on TV include: 21402 (Annapolis, Maryland), 65473 (Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri), 92145 (Fort Irwin, California), and 98433 (Tacoma, Washington). Residents in these ZIP codes are at least twice as likely as the average American to watch soccer on TV.

Watch Soccer on TV

What type of American most likely watches soccer on television? Esri, a geographic information systems company, developed a Tapestry Segmentation system that classifies U.S. residential neighborhoods into 65 unique market segments based on socioeconomic and demographic characteristics.

Residents of Dorms to Diplomas, Las Casas, and Military Proximity neighborhoods are the most likely to watch soccer on television. Dorms to Diplomas residents are focused on their education. They have a median age of 21.9 years and most live in dorms. Las Casas residents are primarily young, Hispanic families with a household size of 4.14 people. Approximately half were born outside the United States. Residents of Military Proximity neighborhoods depend upon the military for their livelihood. Most are in the Armed Forces; others work in civilian jobs on base. Two-thirds of the households are married-couple families with children.

Residents of Prairie Living, Rural Bypasses, and Southern Satellites neighborhoods are the least likely to watch soccer on television. Prairie Living residents live on family-owned farms in the Midwest. Two-thirds of the households are married couple families; the median age is 43.3 years. Rural Bypasses neighborhoods are found in small Southern towns along back country roads near open space, undeveloped land, and farms. Unemployment is high in these neighborhoods; however, those who work have jobs in the agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and construction industries at a higher-than-average rate. Households in Southern Satellites neighborhoods are located in the rural South. Residents are primarily married-couple families who work in the manufacturing and service industries.

Why This Matters

Soccer has always been big business in Europe and Latin America. It has not been nearly as popular in the U.S. as other sports; however, some Americans love the sport. Soccer leagues – both domestic and international – can target U.S. soccer fans by understanding who they are and where they live in the U.S.

Many Americans who emigrated from Latin American and European countries or are first generation Americans from those areas are very connected to the game and want to watch it. They are often super fans who will do anything to view critical games played by their favorite teams as well as the league championships. Many fans are Hispanic, which are an increasing percentage of the total U.S. population. With the right marketing, messaging, and promotions, UEFA soccer leagues can increase their presence in the U.S.

More information about Esri’s data can be found at www.esri.com/data or to learn more about Esri in general, go to www.esri.com.

Pam Allison is a digital media, marketing strategist, and location intelligence consultant. You can visit her blog at www.pamallison.com.

Disability insurance and the U.S. economy

This blog was originally posted at: http://smartblogs.com/finance/2013/05/13/disability-insurance-and-the-u-s-economy/.

When evaluating the health of the U.S. economy, most Americans look at unemployment figures as a key statistic. Many, however, ignore another key statistic: Americans who receive disability benefits.

In December 2011, the Social Security Administration noted that by county, more than 55 million Americans received disability (OASDI) benefits. Up from 44.7 million in 2001, this number has steadily increased in the past several years. As a comparison, in December 2011, 14 million Americans received unemployment benefits.

Illness or an accident prevents many Americans from working. They need disability benefits to survive. A recent story on NPR’s “This American Life” titled “Trends with Benefits” reported that in several counties, almost 1 in 4 working-aged residents receive disability benefits. What do we know about these counties? Is unemployment high there? Is education attainment a factor? Do these residents work out? The NPR story described one case where a doctor diagnosed a disability based partly on a patient’s education. Is there a correlation among educational attainment, fitness and disability?

Disability beneficiaries by county

On average, 7.3 percent of working-aged adults (18-64) receive disability benefits from the U.S. government. The percentage by county varies immensely throughout the country. Counties with the highest percentages of disability benefit payments for working-aged adults are: Lewis County, Idaho (27.7%), Buchanan County, Va. (26.0%) and Dickenson County, Va. (24.6%).

Many counties with high percentages of working-aged adults receiving disability benefits are in the South. In 16 counties, at least 20% of working-aged adults receive disability benefits. All of these counties are in the South, except for two, which are located in Michigan.

Some believe that areas with a high percentage of the population on disability correlates to high unemployment. This may be the case in some areas, but not in others. These two statistics tell different stories about the economy.

In 2011, counties with the highest unemployment rates were Imperial County, Calif. (29.7%), Yuma County, Ariz. (26.8%) and West Hampton Census Area, Alaska (20.7%), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The percentage of working-aged adults of these counties that received disability benefits were 7.4, 6.8, and 6.8, respectively. In December 2011, the U.S. unemployment rate was 8.5%.

Many counties with a high percentage of disability recipients for working-aged adults also have high unemployment rates. However, several counties in the West with high unemployment rates have rates for disability benefits for working-aged adults lower than the U.S. rate of 7.3%.

Compare counties with high percentages of disability benefit payments for working-aged adults to unemployment rates:


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Residents in counties with the highest percentages of working-aged adults receiving disability benefit payments also have lower rates of college degrees than the average American. According to the Census Bureau, 17.7% of Americans have earned a college degree.

In counties where at least 20% of the working-aged population receives disability benefits, just 6.4% of the population has earned a college degree, on average. The rates vary from 4.3% up to 14.2%. Although no information is available about the education attainment of disability benefits recipients, there does seem to be a correlation between counties with a high percentage of working-aged people receiving disability benefits and a lack of college degrees.

Explore more about the percentages of adults who have attained a college degree in this interactive map:


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Healthy lifestyles

How much people exercise can have a great effect how an eventual need for disability benefits. It is more likely that people who lead a healthy lifestyle might be less likely to need disability benefits in the future, unless they are hurt or ill. One statistic that determines an area’s health is the number of people who exercise at a gym twice per week.

People who live in the South and Midwest are less likely to exercise regularly than people who live along the Eastern Seaboard or in the West. As noted above, working-aged adults living in counties in the South are more likely to receive disability benefits. This correlates to people who are less likely to exercise. Although people in the Midwest are less likely to exercise, overall, they are also less likely than the average American to receive disability benefits.

Exercise at Club 2 Times per week by County

What types of Americans are the least likely to exercise? Esri, a geographic information systems company, developed a Tapestry Segmentation system that classifies U.S. residential neighborhoods into 65 unique market segments based on socioeconomic and demographic characteristics.

For example, residents of Southern Satellites neighborhoods are the least likely to exercise. These neighborhoods are found primarily in the rural South. They are comprised of married-couple families who work in the manufacturing and service industries. Residents have a median age of 39.9 years and a median household income of $36,759.

Why this matters

Growing numbers of disability claims affect the economy significantly. If more people are working, paying taxes and spending their disposable income, the U.S. economy will improve. Government agencies must understand the types of people are receiving disability benefits, where they are located, and if possible, what steps can be taken to get them back to work. Keeping their current employees can also help companies avoid hiring and training costs. Businesses can offer wellness and education programs to improve employee fitness and encourage them to work toward a degree.

There is a clear trend in the South where a higher percentage of Americans are receiving disability benefits — especially among working-aged adults. There are various outside factors likely contributing to this high percentage. Studying the lifestyles of residents in these areas can help government agencies and companies better understand why some areas have a higher rate of benefit recipients than others. In the South, a lower percentage of residents hold a college degree and a lower percentage of those who exercise regularly than in other parts of the country. However, these are just two factors that may contribute to the issue. This knowledge can help the government and companies adjust their programs to address the issues in order to keep people in the work force.

More information about Esri’s data can be found at www.esri.com/data or to learn more about Esri in general, go to www.esri.com.

Pam Allison is a digital media, marketing strategist and location intelligence consultant. You can visit her blog at www.pamallison.com.

Los Angeles mayoral race — who are the candidates’ supporters?

This article was originally posted at: https://smartblogs.com/leadership/2013/05/06/los-angeles-mayoral-race-who-are-the-candidates-supporters/.

The race is coming down to the home stretch for the next mayor of Los Angeles. Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel are in the final stages in their respective campaigns to become mayor. Election Day is Tuesday, May 21, so both candidates are in heavy campaign mode — and continuing to raise funds to support their campaigns.

In the March 5 primary, Garcetti won 33.1% of the vote and Greuel won 29%.

The two campaigns have raised a total of almost $17.7 million. Although Garcetti leads in the polls and received more votes in the primary, he has raised less money than Greuel. To date, the Garcetti campaign has raised approximately $7.2 million; the Greuel campaign has raised approximately $10.5 million.

What type of voter is contributing to each campaign and where do they live? Who is likely to vote in the upcoming election?

Contributions by ZIP code

Prior to the primary election, the Garcetti campaign had raised $3.7 million from individuals. The Greuel campaign raised $3.8 million from individuals. The most an individual can donate to a mayor candidate is $1,300 for the primary and $1,300 for the runoff election, according to the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission.

The ZIP codes that the Garcetti campaign brought in the most are 90210 ($166,945), 90049 ($158,950) and 90069 ($97,720). The median household income in each of these ZIP codes is significantly higher than the U.S. median of $50,157. The ZIP codes that the Greuel campaign raised the most from are 90210 ($212,648), 90049 ($164,394) and 90024 ($113,275).

Both campaigns have received most of their campaign funds from voters in the same ZIP codes, due in part to the wealth in those areas, but also because both candidates are so similar. Both are Democrats and both have held elected positions in the City of Los Angeles.

Explore this interactive map to learn more about which ZIP codes the contributions come from:


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The candidates appear to attract similar donors. Esri, a geographic information systems company, developed a Tapestry Segmentation system that classifies U.S. residential neighborhoods into 65 unique market segments based on socioeconomic and demographic characteristics.

The top Tapestry segments for contributions to both candidates are Laptops and Lattes, Metro Renters, Trendsetters and Top Rung. Residents of each neighborhood type account for at least 10% of donations to each campaign.

Residents of Laptops and Lattes neighborhoods are single, affluent and still renting. With a median age of 37.6 years and a median household income of $97,408, they are highly educated professionals who are partial to big‐city life. Metro Renters are young, well‐educated singles who are just beginning their professional careers. They have a median age of 32.1 years and a median household income of $49,852. Most rent apartments in high‐rise buildings, living alone or with a roommate.

Trendsetters are on the cutting edge of urban style. They live in older West Coast city neighborhoods and are young, diverse, mobile, educated professionals with substantive jobs. The median age is 34.8 years and the median household income is $53,345. Residents of Top Rung neighborhoods are very wealthy and represent less than 1% of all U.S. households. They have a median household income of $173,721. Residents are married couples with and without children, highly educated and in their peak earning years.

Number of contributors by ZIP code

One method to measure and track supporters is by the number of contributors. Each campaign had more than 7,500 contributors during the primary.

Garcetti had the most contributors from 90049 (346), 90210 (309) and 90069(222). These are the same top three ZIP codes for contributions amount however, not all ZIP codes are the same. For example, ZIP code 90026 had $51,048 in contributions from 188 people, for an average of $272 per contributor. This compares to 90210 that had $540 per contributor.

Greuel had the most contributors from 90210 (342), 90049 (313) and 91604 (250), three of the top four ZIP codes with the highest contributions per ZIP code. ZIP code 90210 had an average contribution of $622 per person compared to $400 per person in 91604.

One key note is that not all contributors were from the Los Angeles area. Each candidate received contributions from other areas including New York and Boston.

More about the number of contributors by ZIP code for each candidate can be explored in this map:


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Likely voters

Each campaign is very concerned about turnout on Election Day. Although an individual may support a particular candidate, going to the polls may be another matter if someone doesn’t feel particularly motivated to vote.

Likely Voters -  Los Angeles

What do we know about the people who are most likely to vote?

Residents of The Elders neighborhoods are most likely to vote in an election. Residents of these neighborhoods are typically retirees that live in senior living communities, primarily in warm climates. They have a median age of 71.2 years. Approximately 80% collect receive Social Security; 48% receive retirement income. Although neither campaign has received many contributions from this Tapestry segment; these voters could influence friends or family.

Residents of Laptops and Lattes, Metro Renters and Top Rung, all top contributors to both the Garcetti and Greuel campaigns, are also more likely to vote. Residents of Trendsetters neighborhoods were top contributors, but are not likely to vote.

Residents of Las Casas, NeWest Residents and Southwestern Families neighborhoods are the least likely to vote. Both campaigns received some contributions from residents in these neighborhoods, but the amounts are relatively small. Three percent of Greuel’s contributions come from residents of NeWest Residents neighborhoods. Five percent of Garcetti’s contributions come from residents of NeWest Residents neighborhoods.

Las Casas residents are young, Hispanic families. The average household has 4.14 people; 63% of the households include children. The median household income is $34,323. Residents of NeWest Residents are young and have a family-oriented lifestyle. Family types are married-couple or single-parent; children are present in 54% of the households. Approximately half of the population is foreign-born. Southwestern Families are ethnically diverse and are the bedrock of Hispanic culture in the Southwest. Their median household income is $25,155.

Why this matters

Even though this article focuses on the Los Angeles mayoral election, candidates and campaigns at all levels can succeed by learning more about the voter types in their electoral areas. People with similar backgrounds, demographics and lifestyles tend to support the same types of candidates because they agree on issues and have the same beliefs. Campaigns can use demographic and lifestyle data to locate supporters; find more like them; target voters to contribute, volunteer — and vote!

In Los Angeles, Garcetti and Greuel have a bit of a challenge because many of their supporters come from the same types of neighborhoods. Differentiating themselves at both ends of the support base may be the key to winning the election.

Currently, Garcetti leads in the polls by approximately 10 points. Greuel could gain support if she uses demographic and lifestyle data to learn about her supporters and find new ones. Garcetti can extend his lead by taking the same approach. We will know the outcome of the election when the results are in on May 22.

More information about Esri’s data can be found at www.esri.com/data or to learn more about Esri in general, go to www.esri.com.

Pam Allison is a digital media, marketing strategist and location intelligence consultant. You can visit her blog at www.pamallison.com.

Are you Trendy?

This blog was originally posted at: http://smartblogs.com/leadership/2013/04/29/are-you-trendy/.

People often use clothing to help define themselves. Some people will wear only designer clothing. Others try to be as trendy as possible, no matter who the designer is. Still others will wear only comfortable clothes.

Being trendy can help some people feel confident. But trendiness isn’t just for the rich. Designer clothes are available to the masses. One key piece of a trendy wardrobe is designer jeans. They are worn by people of all ages, income levels and lifestyles.

Who wears designer jeans? Does it vary from women to men? Where do they live?

Buyers of women’s designer jeans

Many women are fashion-conscious — or want to be. Designer jeans are often part of trendy women’s wardrobes. According to Esri, 5.2% of women in the U.S. are likely to buy designer jeans, compared with 3.4% of men.

Who are these women and where do they live?

Buyers of women’s designer jeans most likely live along the Eastern Seaboard, in the South, and in parts of California, Arizona, Hawaii and Alaska. The trend is clearly localized. For example, women’s designer jeans are very popular in some areas of the South, but much less so in other areas. Small Southern towns will more likely include buyers of women’s designer jeans compared with more rural areas, even if they are very close to one another. Households in ZIP codes 02143 (Somerville, Mass.), 19142 (Philadelphia), 81620 (Avon, Colo.), and 94130 (San Francisco) are twice as likely as the average American to purchase women’s designer jeans.

Women's Designer Jeans

What do we know about the types of people who would most likely buy women’s designer jeans? Esri developed a Tapestry Segmentation system that classifies U.S. residential neighborhoods into 65 unique market segments based on socioeconomic and demographic characteristics.

Residents of City Commons, International Marketplace, Laptops and Lattes, Las Casas, Metro Renters, Top Rung, Trendsetters, Urban Rows, and Young and Restless neighborhoods are one-and-a-half times more likely than the average American to buy women’s designer jeans. These neighborhoods differ markedly according to age, income, diversity, housing and employment.

Residents of Metro Renters, Trendsetters, and Young and Restless neighborhoods are young singles who prefer big-city life. They live in startup households in America’s more densely populated neighborhoods. They tend to be well-educated, working professionals who are either beginning their careers, attending college or already hold a degree. On the other hand, Laptops and Lattes residents are affluent, more established singles who have traded homeownership and child-rearing responsibilities for life in the city. International Marketplace and Las Casas neighborhoods are very diverse. Las Casas neighborhoods have a strong Hispanic influence. International Marketplace neighborhoods have a broad mix of cultural and racial diversity. City Commons neighborhoods are primarily in large Southern and Midwestern metropolitan areas. Residents are young singles or single parents, and most likely, are unemployed or work part-time. Top Rung residents are very wealthy and highly educated. Their median household income is $173,172. Conversely, residents of Urban Rows neighborhoods typically live in row houses in large Northeastern cities. They have a median household income of $29,467.

Residents of Southern Satellites and Midland Crowd neighborhoods are the least likely to purchase women’s designer jeans. Southern Satellites households are in the rural South and include married-couple families who work in the manufacturing and service industries. Midland Crowd neighborhoods are found in villages or towns in rural areas throughout the U.S. Most households are settled, married-couple families, half with children.

Buyers of men’s designer jeans

While many women are usually more fashion conscious than men, a lot of men put a high value on fashion and good-fitting designer jeans can be a key piece of their wardrobe. Where do they live?

Men who buy designer jeans most likely live along the Eastern Seaboard, in southern Florida and Texas, along the California coast, and in western Alaska. Adults in ZIP codes 11717 (Brentwood, N.Y.), 48235 (Detroit), 60661 (Chicago), and 91744 (La Puente, Calif.) are twice as likely as the average American to buy men’s designer jeans. Men in the Midwest are less likely to do so.

Men's Designer Jeans

Who is most likely to buy men’s designer jeans?

Residents of Family Foundations and Urban Villages neighborhoods are twice as likely as the average American to buy men’s designer jeans. Family Foundations neighborhoods found in small, urban communities include a family mix of married couples, single parents, grandparents, and young and adult children. Urban Villages neighborhoods consist of multicultural families in U.S. “gateway” cities found primarily in California. The average family size is 4.16 people.

Residents of College Towns, Salt of the Earth, Silver and Gold, and Southern Satellites neighborhoods are least likely to buy men’s designer jeans. They differ by age, income and locale. Education is the focus of residents of College Towns neighborhoods. Their median age is 24.4 years, with a high concentration of 18-to-24-year-olds. Salt of the Earth residents are settled, traditional and hard-working. Most are married-couple families that live in single-family homes in small towns or rural areas. Silver and Gold residents are wealthy, retired professionals who have moved to sunny climates, such as Florida, Arizona and California. Southern Satellites neighborhoods are in the rural South. Residents are married-couple families who work in the manufacturing and service industries.

Why this matters

Knowing who buys designer jeans and where they live is critical information for retailers. This type of information can help drive decisions about stocking merchandise by type and quantity for each store as well as offering online promotions by customer type. For example, Nordstrom customers include some of the Tapestry segments that are most likely to purchase designer jeans but not all. Residents of Connoisseurs, Laptops and Lattes, Pacific Heights, Top Rung and Urban Chic neighborhoods are likely Nordstrom customers. The segments that overlap with potential jeans buyers are Laptops and Lattes and Top Rung. Therefore, store locations that cater to those types of consumers would be wise to stock more designer jeans. Potential Nordstrom shoppers do not overlap with customers who are most likely to buy men’s designer jeans. However, these segments could provide an opportunity if a store location wants to expand its customer footprint. Other retailers can also use this information. They can look for products or services that fit their existing customer base to gain more sales from existing customers or prospects.

More information about Esri’s data can be found at www.esri.com/data or to learn more about Esri in general, go to www.esri.com.

Pam Allison is a digital media, marketing strategist and location intelligence consultant. You can visit her blog at www.pamallison.com.

The economic makeup of the DIY crowd

This blog was originally posted at: http://smartblogs.com/finance/2013/04/22/the-economic-makeup-of-the-diy-crowd/.

Home improvement is often a springtime activity. As the snow melts and the weather improves, homeowners often want to make improvements to their homes. These projects can include painting, fixing roofs, carpet and flooring installs, room remodeling and complete renovations. Although many people hire contractors to do the work, others are more do-it-yourselfers who are handy and may be concerned about finances. They want to save money and can easily do the work themselves.

Who are the do-it-yourselfers? Does it depend on the type of work?

Interior painting

A relatively quick, easy way to change a room dramatically without spending a lot of time or money is to repaint the walls. These projects can often be done in just a day or a weekend — depending upon the commitment and skill of the painters. The biggest challenge is usually selecting the color and doing the preparation work. Where do these do-it-yourself painters live?

Interior painters live all across the U.S.; large concentrations are in the Northeast corridor as well as in pockets of California and around Denver. Households in ZIP codes 08510 (Millstone, N.J.), 46814 (Fort Wayne, Ind.), 76034 (Colleyville, Texas) and 99516 (Anchorage, Alaska) are twice as likely as the average American to paint the interior of their homes themselves.

Interior Painting by HH Member

Who is most likely to paint the interior of their homes themselves? Esri developed a Tapestry Segmentation system that classifies U.S. residential neighborhoods into 65 unique market segments based on socioeconomic and demographic characteristics.

Residents of Boomburbs, Cozy and Comfortable, Green Acres, Prosperous Empty Nesters, Sophisticated Squires and Suburban Splendor neighborhoods are one and a half times more likely than the average American to paint the interior of their homes themselves. All of these neighborhoods represent a cross-section of demographics; however, many households have higher-than-average median incomes.

Boomburbs communities are home to busy, affluent young families with young children who live an upscale lifestyle. Cozy and Comfortable neighborhood residents are settled, married and working in suburban areas of the Midwest, Northeast and South. Many couples still live in the pre-1970s, single-family homes in which they raised their children. Green Acres neighborhoods are a “little bit country,” in pastoral settings of developing suburban fringe areas, mainly in the Midwest and South. Residents of Prosperous Empty Nesters neighborhoods are educated, experienced, and enjoying their transition from child-rearing into retirement. Sophisticated Squires residents are educated, married-couple families that hold good-paying jobs and are willing to commute longer distances to maintain their semi-rural lifestyle. Suburban Splendor residents are successful suburbanites who live in growing affluent neighborhoods.

Because they rent and have relatively low incomes, home improvement projects are not a priority for residents of High Rise Renters, Inner City Tenants and Modest Income Homes neighborhoods. Their median household income is less than half of the U.S. median of $50,157.

High Rise Renters neighborhoods have a diverse population and are located in densely populated urban communities. Inner City Tenants neighborhoods are a mix of young, multicultural, married and single residents who rent economical apartments in mid- or high-rise buildings. Modest Income Homes neighborhoods are in older suburbs of metropolitan areas and mainly consist of single-family housing.

Bathroom remodeling projects

Bathroom and kitchen remodels are the most common home-remodeling projects. These can significantly affect the daily lives of residents and, if done properly, can often increase the value of a home. A bathroom remodel can cost a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands, depending on the size of the bathroom and the quality of the interior finishes such as fixtures, cabinetry and flooring chosen by the homeowner. The website BathroomRemodel.com states that an average small bathroom remodel using a contractor costs between $5,000 and $8,000. Many homeowners do not want to spend that much — or think they can make the changes themselves. Where do these people live?

DIY bathroom remodelers live all across the U.S.; however, people in southern California, parts of Nevada and Arizona, and southern Texas are less likely to remodel their bathrooms themselves. Households in ZIP codes 14059 (Elma, N.Y.), 27712 (Durham, N.C.), 44026 (Chesterland, Ohio) and 62563 (Rochester, Ill.) are one and a half times as likely as the average American to do a bathroom remodel themselves.

Bathroom Remodel by HH Member

What types of homeowners are most likely to do a bathroom model themselves?

Residents of Exurbanites and Prosperous Empty Nesters neighborhoods are one and a half times more likely than the average American to do a bathroom remodel themselves. Residents of these neighborhood types are very concerned with their financial health, so they likely try to do things themselves to save money. Exurbanites are in affluent neighborhoods of empty-nesters and married couples with children. Many hold professional or management positions. Prosperous Empty Nesters residents are educated, experienced and enjoying transitioning from child-rearing into retirement.

Residents of City Lights, High Rise Renters, Inner City Tenants, International Marketplace, Las Casas, Laptops and Lattes, Metro Renters, NeWest Residents and Urban Melting Pot neighborhoods are the least likely to do a bathroom remodel themselves. Many of these households are located in large U.S. cities; except for the affluent Laptops and Lattes neighborhoods, these residents are young with modest incomes and tend to rent in multiunit buildings.

Kitchen remodeling

The kitchen is often the heart of the home. Remodeling a kitchen can greatly affect the flow of a household as well as increase the home’s value. The average cost of a kitchen remodel is $27,000, according to TheStreet.com. Because of the high cost, many want to save money on the remodel. Who does kitchen remodels themselves? Where do they live?

DIY kitchen remodelers are more likely to live in the Northeast and Northwest than in other parts of the country. Households in ZIP codes 34758 (Kissimmee, Fla.), 72058 (Greenbrier, Ark.), 85353 (Tolleson, Ariz.) and 87121 (Albuquerque, N.M.), are one and a half times more likely than the average American to do a kitchen remodel themselves.

Kitchen Remodel by HH Member

Who is most likely to do a kitchen remodel themselves?

Residents of Industrious Urban Fringe and Midland Crowd neighborhoods are one and a half times more likely than the average American to do a kitchen model themselves. Family is central to residents of Industrious Urban Fringe neighborhoods, which are located on the fringe of metropolitan cities. Many homes, which are owner-occupied, single-family housing, are multi-generational. Midland Crowd neighborhoods are in villages and town in rural areas throughout the U.S.. Most households are comprised of married-couple families, half with children.

Residents of College Towns, Dorms to Diplomas, Laptops and Lattes, Military Proximity, Milk and Cookies and Urban Chic neighborhoods are the least likely to do a kitchen remodel themselves. Many of these Americans are young, have low incomes and atypical environments such as college life or military service. Because of their transient lifestyle and life stage, most are renters.

Why this matters

Home improvement stores such as Home Depot and Lowe’s are ramping up their marketing for the spring season, focusing on the DIY market. As the housing market continues to rebound, more owners are investing in their homes. Many don’t want to spend a significant amount of money on remodeling projects, so they use their own skills to do the work. Many rely on home improvement stores for advice and to purchase tools and materials. Stores that offer how-to classes in the store or on the Web will encourage more novices to tackle simple projects. It is critical for these retailers to understand the markets where their stores are located — and where to open new stores. This location-based demographic and lifestyle information can help them make good decisions.

Retailers should have different messaging for their marketing based on the demographics of their stores. Some may be in areas where people are more likely to remodel a kitchen or bathroom — or paint on their own. Ads in these areas should focus on the types of projects people would most likely do — or encourage them to try another project. Stores in areas where people would prefer to contract for projects should focus on selling complete packages of designs that a contractor can use.

More information about Esri’s data can be found at www.esri.com/data or to learn more about Esri in general, go to www.esri.com.

Pam Allison is a digital media, marketing strategist and location intelligence consultant. You can visit her blog at www.pamallison.com.

Tax Day Cometh

This article was originally posted at: http://smartblogs.com/finance/2013/04/12/tax-day-cometh/.

For many Americans, April 15 — Tax Day — is their least favorite day of the year. In 2009, Americans paid $866 billion in taxes to the federal government.  The top 1% of earners — those making more than $343,927 — paid 36.7% of that figure. The bottom 50%, those who earned less than $32,396, paid $19 billion in taxes. Regardless, taxes affect people of all income  levels.

Where people live can greatly affect their tax bill.  States — and even counties and cities — levy taxes differently. In addition to the federal tax, 41 states and the District of Columbia also collect taxes on income. Cities and/or counties may add their own income tax on top of the state rate.  Counties collect property taxes at rates that vary immensely across the U.S.

Many people who have complicated investments and assets will hire a good CPA to prepare their taxes for them. People with less complicated finances may use software to prepare their own taxes. Who uses tax preparation software, and where do they live?

Income taxes

Federal income taxes affect almost everyone, but state income taxes (and even local in some areas) can affect area populations.  For example, Oregon and Hawaii tax top wage earners at the nation’s highest rates. In Oregon, people making more than $250,000 are taxed at 11%. In Hawaii, the 11% tax bite affects those who earn more than $200,000 per year.

As noted above, nine states have no state income tax. The states are Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wyoming. New Hampshire and Tennessee collect state taxes on income earned from interest and dividends, but not wages.

Several states also have flat tax rates — treating all income levels equally.  They are Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Utah.  Their tax rates vary from 3.07% to 5%.


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Property taxes

Commercial and residential property taxes are a significant income source for counties. Funds collected from these taxes pay for schools, roads, fire departments and more. The amount that a property owner pays is based on either the purchase price of the property (as in the state of California) or on the current value of the property (like in Oregon). The amount differs widely by county.

Several counties in New York have the highest property tax rates per $1,000 of property value. Orleans County, N.Y., has the nation’s highest median rate at $30.47 per $1,000 of property value, followed by Niagara County, N.Y., and Monroe County, N.Y.

Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area in Alaska has the lowest property rate at $0.826 per $1,000 of property value.

Overall, the highest property tax rates are in the Northeast, Midwest and the state of Texas. The West and South have among the lowest rates.

Explore this interactive map that shows median property tax rates by county:


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Tax-preparation software

Many Americans prefer to save money by preparing their own taxes instead of hiring a professional. While those with simple financial situations can fill out their forms manually; those with more complicated finances prefer to use tax-preparation software. Different software options include Intuit’s TurboTax®, H&R Block Tax Software® and TaxACT®.

Households in ZIP codes 28547 (Camp Lejeune, N.C.), 42223 (Fort Campbell, Tenn.), 66027 (Fort Leavenworth, Kan.) and 76544 (Fort Hood/Killeen, Texas) are twice as likely as the average American to use tax-preparation software. All of these ZIP codes are near military bases.

Owns Tax Prep Software

Who is most likely to use tax preparation software?  Esri has developed the Tapestry Segmentation system that classifies U.S. residential neighborhoods into 65 unique market segments based on socioeconomic and demographic characteristics.

Residents of Military Proximity neighborhoods are twice as likely as the average American to use tax-preparation software.  Residents of Military Proximity neighborhoods depend upon the military for their livelihood.  Most of the labor force is in the armed forces, while others work in civilian jobs on military bases. The median household income is $38,795; the median age is 22.5 years.

Residents of Boomburbs, Connoisseurs, Exurbanites, Sophisticated Squires, Suburban Splendor, Top Rung, Up and Coming Families and Urban Chic are also likely users of tax-preparation software. These are affluent, well-educated neighborhoods.

Residents of Modest Income Homes neighborhoods are the least likely to use tax-preparation software. These neighborhoods are primarily in older suburbs of metropolitan areas. Singles, single parents and family types live in single-family housing.  The median age is 36.3 years and the median household income is $19,695. These frugal types shop at discount stores, won’t pay to go online, and rarely eat out.

Why this matters

Taxes greatly affect the spending power of people in their communities. However, collecting tax revenues is also necessary for governments at all levels to provide essential services and programs that benefit the maximum number of citizens.  Agencies can use information about where taxes are generated to help make decisions about where and how to allocate funds to maximize benefits.

Understanding who uses tax software is important to a number of constituencies.  For example, software developers need to know the types of consumers who would buy and use their product, and where they are located to best market and distribute their product.  Tax accountants can also use this information in order to market their services to individuals who may need their services or target those who are currently using tax-preparation software.

More information about Esri’s data can be found at www.esri.com/data or to learn more about Esri in general, go to www.esri.com.

Pam Allison is a digital media, marketing strategist and location intelligence consultant.  You can visit her blog at www.pamallison.com.