Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Data Dump Day

The U.S. Census poverty numbers are out for 2007. The early reports all focus on ranks, and I can play along with that. The problem is, the rankings are very different depending on your unit of analysis. For instance, when the Plain Dealer has Cleveland at #2 in the country in terms of poverty, they get there by first restricting the rankings to individual cities as opposed to any sort of metro area or region, and then restrict things further by only counting "large cities." There are lots and lots of ways to group populations into places, with the three most common being "city," which is defined by the actual city boundaries, "metro area," which refers to a city that acts as a central hub along with its suburbs, and "CSA" or Combined Statistical Area, which treats sets of metro areas that border each other as being part of the same population area. For Ohio, that means that a place like Cleveland can be defined by itself, as a metro area with suburbs like Lakewood and Parma, or a Metro area including Akron and Canton. Using the CSA approach, the Census Bureau recognizes 9 distinct CSAs in Ohio, which I've ranked by poverty rates below:

Youngstown-Warren-East Liverpool, OH-PA CSA



Toledo-Fremont, OH CSA



Columbus-Marion-Chillicothe, OH CSA



Dayton-Springfield-Greenville, OH CSA



Cleveland-Akron-Elyria, OH CSA



Cincinnati-Middletown-Wilmington, OH-KY-IN CSA



Lima-Van Wert-Wapakoneta, OH CSA



Mansfield-Bucyrus, OH CSA



Findlay-Tiffin, OH CSA



The Central Ohio CSA has a higher poverty rate than NE Ohio or SW Ohio. Something to think about.

The School District Report Cards and the data that they're generated from are also out. Just for fun, here are the top 15 Ohio Districts based solely on the overall test scores that go into the Performance Index:

Franklin County schools, ranked the same way:

Hats off to Jill, who did one post about two datasets before I got mine up, pointing me to Lisa Renee and the PD in the process.

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