ArcWatch: Your e-Magazine for GIS News, Views, and Insights

June 2009

Income Stagnant, Foreclosures Higher, Unemployment Rising, and Savings Shrinking

Demographic and Economic Changes in the United States Affect Nearly Everyone

By Brent Roderick, Esri Product Marketing

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This map shows the unemployment percentage rates by county across the United States.

Trends in Esri's newly released 2009/2014 demographic data updates confirm the recession's impact on housing, income, and employment that we've been hearing and reading about for months. Who is being affected by this serious recession? Nearly everyone. Changes in the nation's economy have become extremely personal. In the past year, 1 in 25 jobs was lost to the economic crisis and 1 in 42 homes was threatened by foreclosure. Households not touched directly by the loss of home or employment are experiencing low or no income growth, lower home values, loss in their savings or retirement funds, higher credit costs, cutbacks in services from struggling state and local governments, or the closing of a favorite local business.

Esri's 2009/2014 demographic data updates identify areas of high unemployment, activity in the housing market, rising vacancy rates, reduced consumer spending, changes in income, and increased population diversity. Updated data variables, such as population, housing, age, income, and home value, ensure that analysts can conduct their research with the most accurate information available, particularly for fast-changing areas.

Esri's 2009/2014 data updates have been released for more than 2,000 variables including the 2014 forecasts and are available in multiple geographies ranging from national to block group.

Esri continues its tradition of providing accurate demographic data based on its proven update methodologies to enable the most precise small-area analysis at any geographic level. Accuracy is the credo for Esri data. For example, Esri identified the beginning of the bursting housing bubble and the emergence of the damaging effect of subprime mortgages fully two years before the market actually collapsed.

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Median home values rose in most of North and South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas, and parts of Oklahoma and Texas.

"Esri pays close attention to economic and social trends and how they influence the needs of business, consumers, and citizens. The challenge of the current market underscores the importance of information," says Lynn Wombold, chief demographer and manager for data development at Esri. "Our data strategy provides consistent forecasts and year-on-year data solutions that enable analysts and knowledge workers to be confident that the analysis they perform this year will be valid and applicable next year, and even in five years' time. Current data can track critical changes and preclude the cost of being wrong." Three demographic trends, taken from the Esri Demographic Update Methodology: 2009/2014 white paper, show that

The 2009/2014 demographic data is currently available in more than 50 reports and maps from ArcGIS Business Analyst Online, Esri's on-demand analysis tool, and as ad hoc databases; it will be available soon in ArcGIS Business Analyst desktop software, the optional ArcGIS Business Analyst Segmentation Module, and ArcGIS Business Analyst Server, and from ArcGIS Online. Information from these reports can be used by organizations to analyze trends, identify growth, and make governmental or business decisions about expanding services and revealing new market opportunities.

For more information about Esri's 2009/2014 data, visit or call 1-800-447-9778.

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