Demographic and Livability/Sustainable Communities Facts

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Access to Census Demographic Data, both in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) format and standard tabular format can be very useful for planning agencies.  In an effort to provide easy access to Census data to our member agencies the following links are listed.

The US Census Bureau is of course the likely starting point.  At the US Census Bureau web site, located in the Geography / Maps & Data section, is access to a variety of maps and map data products.

The State of Michigan GIS Open Data portal  provides access to prior and current Census data contained in ESRI shape file format.  These Census Block Group and Census Tract shape file base maps can then be utilized to link other demographic data elements obtained from the US Census Bureau’s American Fact Finder site.

As part of the Department of Transportation's Livability Initiative, FHWA works within the HUD/DOT/EPA Interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities to coordinate and leverage federal housing, transportation, water, and other infrastructure policies and investments. The Partnership for Sustainable Communities developed the following principles to guide efforts:

  1. Provide more transportation choices.
  2. Promote equitable, affordable housing.
  3. Enhance economic competitiveness.
  4. Support existing communities.
  5. Coordinate policies and leverage investment.
  6. Value communities and neighborhoods.

INVEST is part of the Sustainable Highways Initiative, led by FHWA's Sustainable Transport and Climate Change Team, one of the programs underway at FHWA to help State and local agencies document and improve the sustainability of the Nation's roadways.

Additional governmental and non-governmental agencies focused on Livable, Sustainable, and Affordable communities also provide statistics and data that can be used to compare communities for planning purposes.