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 (APL) of the University of Wisconsin-Madison provides direct access to demographic data for specific demographies through “GetFacts,” an interactive, web-based tool for mapping and downloading data. APL will respond to requests for data and information from citizens, policy makers, public agencies, nonprofits and community based organizations. 

  • Madison Neighborhood Indicators: This user navigated site  provides information about Madison neighborhoods on demographics, housing, public safety, health, education, economy and transportation. The 2020 ediction estimates data based on the 2010 Census. This tool allows users to find specific information at smaller geographies.
  • Latinos in Wisconsin: A Statistical Overview: Demographics for the Latino population from 2000-2010.

Capital Area Regional Planning Commission (CARPC): CARPC serves as the regional planning and water quality management planning entity for the Dane County Region. CARPC provides an interactive data mapping tool (Open data portal) for geospatial data. Their website includes dashboards on housing construction, rental vacancy rates, and workforce housing affordability. CARPC provides technical services to help communities plan and to coordinate regional and local plans.

Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP): UW-Madison research institute that specializes in research on poverty and the determinants of poverty. The Wisconsin Administrative Data Core (WADC) links administrative data to support evidence-based policymaking.
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 data through their dashboard. 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 (now Kids Forward) published the Race to Equity report to bring to light the state of racial disparities in Dane County (2013 baseline report). 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 2020. 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.

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.