Upcoming Tutorial: Analyzing US Census Data in R

Today I am pleased to announce that on May 21 I will run a tutorial titled Analyzing US Census Data in R. While I have spoken at conferences before, this is my first time running a tutorial. My hope is that everyone who participates will learn something interesting about the demographics of the state, county and ZIP code that they are from. Along the way, I hope that people become comfortable doing exploratory data analysis with maps, learn a bit about geography and leave with a better understanding of how US Census data works. Here is the description:

In this tutorial Ari Lamstein will explain how to use R to explore the demographics of US States, Counties and ZIP Codes.  Each person will analyze their home state, county and ZIP code. There will be an emphasis on sharing results with each other. We will use boxplots and choropleth maps to visualize the data.

Time permitting we will also explore historic demographic data, learn more about the data itself, and how to use the Census Bureau’s API.

Attendance is free. If you are interested and can make it to the event, then I hope to see you there!

Note that the current draft of my slides is available on github. After the talk I plan to publish my slides on slideshare, where I have placed slides from my previous talks.

Felipe Sodré Barros says May 11, 2015

Lamstein, congratulations for the course.
It is really interesting and important. I would sugest an Open Online Course, so we could follow remotely.

    Ari Lamstein says May 11, 2015

    Thank you Felipe! Do you know how to set up an Open Online Course? I have never done that before. This is my first tutorial, so I am just playing it by ear.

    By the way, the materials for my tutorial are available here: https://github.com/arilamstein/r-census-tutorial-2015-05. Note that I am still working on them. After the talk, I am planning on distributing my slides online.

      Felipe Sodré Barros says May 11, 2015

      Hi, Lamstein.
      Unfortunately I don’t know the procedures to set up an Open Online Course.
      But, you could think about using tools such Google Hang Out on Air (or any other similar), so people could follow the lecture by internet (with a small delay) and after that, the video stays in your YouTube channel (if you want )
      And thanks for sharing your materials!

John says May 11, 2015

Hi Ari,
I will definitely check out the presentation materials. I just used census data (American Community Survey) on population and median income by California county to combine it with solar installations in California to try to understand what factors drive solar growth. It was really tedious getting the data I wanted from the census web page, perhaps your information will make my life easier next time! If you are interested check out what I’m working on http://www.beyondmaxwell.com

    Ari Lamstein says May 11, 2015


    I just checked out your project and it does seem very interesting. I think that you will find functions like ?county_choropleth in the choroplethr package can make producing maps like those in your blog post much easier.

    Also, the data frame “?df_county_demographics” can provide the demographic statistics that you use ready-made. Also, if you wanted to look at historical data, check out “?get_county_demographics.”


Ari Lamstein says June 25, 2015

For those who were not able to make the meetup in person, note that I have just launched an email course that covers much of the same material. You can learn more here: https://arilamstein.com/blog/2015/06/25/learn-to-map-census-data-in-r/

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