BRA won’t analyze latest census data

August 31, 2012
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The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) will not create a local report of the latest U.S. Census data, according to BRA spokesperson Melina Schuler.

“Those facts and figures had been recently released,” said Schuler, referring to the 2010 U.S. Census, though that is not the most recent census data.

The BRA will not analyze the 2011 American Community Survey (ACS), which is more specific and up-to-date than the main 10-year census. Without the BRA analysis, it is very difficult for a layperson to get the neighborhood-specific results.

For 2010, BRA did neighborhood-specific reports on both ACS and the main 10-year census.

ACS is an ongoing statistical survey that samples a small percentage of the population every year, giving communities the information they need to plan investments and services, according to the U.S. Census website. The ACS shows how people live through collecting data on education, housing and jobs.

Among the data reported by ACS that the main 10-year census does not provide is household income, education level and country of origin.

Schuler said, among other reasons why the analysis didn’t take place, the BRA was busy developing the MyNeighborhood Census Viewer, which debuted last November and allows users to draw boundaries on a city map to find specific census data.

Schuler said the BRA has every intention of analyzing the 2012 ACS when it is released in December or January.

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