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LIS 560 - Collection Management (Spring 2018)

Your Librarian

Niamh Wallace's picture
Niamh Wallace
Main Library A209
(520) 621-4869

Using Social Explorer

Social Explorer provides easy access to current and historical census data (including the U.S. Census' American Community Survey) and demographic information for the United States. You can create thematic maps, interactive maps, and customized reports. 

In this course, you can learn to use Social Explorer to understand the demographic makeup of an area in order to best meet community library needs. 

Create a map with Social Explorer

Follow these steps to create a basic map with Social Explorer. In this example, we'll be exploring poverty levels in Tucson.

  1. Go to Social Explorer.
  2. Select Start Now
  3. Zoom in to Arizona. 
  4. Select Change Data from the menu option in the upper left corner. A larger menu appears.
  5. Under Browse by Category, select Poverty.
  6. Under Families, select Income in Below Poverty Level. This shows you the percentage of families living below the poverty level by county.
  7. Under Show data by, turn off the Automatic feature and select Census Tract.

For help with more advanced features, visit the Social Explorer help page

Create a report with Social Explorer

Follow these steps to build a table of data that allows you to compare two counties in Arizona.

  1. Go to Social Explorer.
  2. Select Tables from the upper menu.
  3. Next to American Community Survey (ACS) 2012–2016 (5-Year Estimates), select Begin Report.
  4. Under Select a geographic type, choose County, then under State, choose Arizona.
  5. Select Navajo County, Arizona, and click Add
  6. Select Pima County, Arizona, and click Add.
  7. Select Proceed to Tables.
  8. Select the demographic items you want to include in your comparison (e.g. Total Population, Race, Cumulative Educational Attainment, Household Income, etc.) and click Add.
  9. When all selections have been added, select Show Results.