Why data? It is important to understand the demographics of a community when developing a community assessment or community profile. It is also important to use data to inform program or project development. Reliable data on community demographics drives resource allocation and programming priorities. The following web sites provide access to useful data sources and reports.

State and Local Data Resources:

Applied Population Lab: The Applied Population Lab of the University of Wisconsin-Madison provides links to data sites, analysis, and easy to use tables and graph builders for data specific to Wisconsin’s communities. 

  • Madison Neighborhood Indicators: This user navigated site  provides information about Madison neighborhoods, using 2000 & 2010 census data, plus a wide range of data collected by different institutions (e.g., city, police, school district, etc.). This tool allows users to find specific information at smaller geographies.
  • Dane Demographics Brief: This report presents data on demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of Dane County’s largest race and ethnic groups (white, Latino, African American, Asian), recognizing that aggregate data for the whole population masks differences that exist between groups. The report is helpful in understanding the nuances and disparities in the population.The primary data source for this report is the American Community Survey 2010-2012.
  • Latinos in Wisconsin: A Statistical Overview: Demographics for the Latino population from 2000-2010.
  • Dane County Latino Population Brief: Demographics for the Latino population in Dane County from 1980-2010.

Capital Area Regional Planning Commission (CARPC): CARPC serves as the regional planning and water quality management planning entity for the Dane County Region. CARPC publishes numerous reports with data about the county, including reports on regional trends in economic development. Additionally, CARPC provides an interactive data mapping tool on ‘the geography of opportunity’ for the Madison area.

Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP): UW-Madison research institute that specializes in research on poverty and the determinants of poverty. See their data resources list for quick access to data sources.

Public Health Madison & Dane County: // Public Health Madison & Dane County is a part of the community collaborative Healthy Dane.The Healthy Dane web site provides current community health and population data. The Healthy Dane partners use this data, as well as other local data sources and community input, to assess the health status of Dane County residents and identify important health issues facing Dane County.

Race to Equity: The Wisconsin Council on Children and Families published the Race to Equity report to bring to light the state of racial disparities in Dane County. This report made visible disparities that aggregate data hides, and illustrates disparate outcomes across multiple variables based on race.

National Data Resources:

Population Census: The government conducts a full population census every 10 years.  The latest census survey numbers are from 2010. Census data includes a wide range of demographic variables. This site takes you to the main census page, from which you can search for specific data or reports.

Census Data, County Business Patterns, with NAICs codes: This site allows you to search NAICS codes for your county.

American FactFinder: The U.S. Census Bureau, through the American FactFinder, provides access to facts about population, income, and other frequently requested demographics for communities within the United States, Puerto Rico and the Island Areas. The data in American FactFinder come from several censuses and surveys.

American Community Survey: The American Community Survey (ACS) is an ongoing survey that provides a wealth of information on a yearly basis. The ACS chronicles jobs and occupations, educational attainment, veterans, whether people own or rent their home, and other topics.