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Coming to Terms

Census Block--The smallest geographical unit used by the United States Census Bureau. Census blocks are organized into census block groups that are a subdivision of a census tract.

Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)--Legislation enacted in 1977 and revised in 1995 that requires depository institutions, such as banks, to demonstrate they are loaning in the areas where they take deposits with particular attention to low- and moderate-income households.

Desire Lines--A type of market analysis in which lines are plotted from each customer to the store that serves them.

Drive-Time Analysis--Used to determine a trade area based on how long a customer must drive to get to the store. This analysis can factor in street speed limits, traffic volumes, and other impedances.

Daytime Population--Demographics for an area during the daytime that reflect who works in that area as opposed to residential demographics. Businesses often require this type of demographic information to most effectively market their products.

Gravity Models--Used to determine the likelihood of customers patronizing a particular store based on the store's proximity, competition, and other factors.

Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)--An urban area defined by the United States Office of Management and Budget as having at least one city with a population of 50,000 or more and having adjacent communities that share similar economic and social characteristics. The total population of an MSA is at least 100,000.

Service Area--A geographic area served by a facility, such as a hospital, that is defined in based on distance or drive time.

Trade Area--The geographic area where a certain percentage of a store's customers live.


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