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Getting Started

This guide will help you with the Community Analysis assignment for TSOCW 512. Here are a few tips for before you start your research:

  1. Define your location. Are you focusing on a neighborhood? A city? A county?
  2. Think about the broader categories your community fits into. If you're having trouble finding a specific data point for a small area, like a neighborhood, you might be able to find more information about the city or county your community is in.

Check out the boxes below for good starting points for demographic data, local history, and some advanced search tips. See the tabs on the left for resources on local business and local news.

Demographic Data

This assignment asks for a lot of demographic data -- that is, statistics about about a particular population or groups within it. There are lots of places where you can start looking for this information, but a particularly good starting point is Social Explorer.

Social Explorer can help you find information about the population, religion, income, crime, and health of a specific area. You can search for small or large areas -- anywhere from the entire United States to a zip code to a one mile radius around a specific address. The video above will help you get started using this database. Other options for finding demographic data are also listed below.


Google Advanced Search

Google Advanced Search can help you find more information about your community by focusing on searches within a specific website or domain (see image below). For example, in this assignment you might want to search only within .gov websites. Use this tool to help you find local government websites, reports, and other data points.

A screenshot of a Google Advanced search form. The "site or domain" field is highlighted.

Local history

Local history resources can help you learn more about the origins of place names, community traditions, or historic disputes in your community.


Profile Photo
Marisa Petrich

Other local information