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CUR research initiatives

CUR's website provides free access to many of the data sets, maps, and research findings we have prepared over the years. Click on the links below to read descriptions of our work, view data and maps online, and download our materials for use in your own projects. Contact us if you have any questions or would like us to provide customized services for you.

A Comprehensive Map of the Census Bureau's 2020 Contact Strategies

NB: This post was updated December 2019.
For the 2020 census, the Census Bureau will be providing options for households across the country to submit their census responses, compared with 2010 when almost all households received a paper questionnaire by mail and were asked to return the completed form also by mail. Depending where you live, you may receive a mailed invitation with a unique ID to respond online or by phone (an "Internet First" mailing).  Or you may receive a paper version of the census questionnaire that you can mail back to the Bureau (this is an "Internet Choice" mailing because it will include the paper questionnaire plus instructions for responding online). Some of these areas may receive the mailing in Spanish and English. Other communities will not be receiving a mailed invitation at all; instead they either will receive hand-delivered census packets from the Census Bureau or will be counted directly in-person. The information on all these different 2020 Census contact techniques is now combined in one place at our Hard to Count map, so census stakeholders can more easily inform local residents about what to expect when the 2020 decennial census takes place.  

Public Libraries and the 2020 Census

The nation’s more than 16,700 public libraries will likely play an essential role in helping to ensure a fair and accurate 2020 census. Not only are public libraries important information sources for local communities across the country, but virtually all public libraries provide public internet access computers as well as public wi-fi. Internet access is critical because for the first time the decennial census in 2020 will be available online, and the Census Bureau will be urging most households to submit their replies to the census questionnaire via a secure website. Public library computers can provide a convenient opportunity to submit 2020 census information for households that do not otherwise have easy access to the internet. This analysis by the Center for Urban Research at The Graduate Center / CUNY examines the proximity of public libraries in the U.S. to hard-to-count census tracts and areas with poor internet access, with an eye toward the role of libraries in the upcoming 2020 Census.

Toward a 21st Century City for All

The Center for Urban Research collaborated with New York City Councilmember Brad Lander in 2012 and 2013 to compile a set of documents that analyzed an array of urban issues facing New York City against the backdrop of the 2013 mayoral election, and that proposed reforms and recommendations to form a progressive agenda to lead New York into the 21st century. Each chapter of the report is available here for downloading.

Census 2020: Fewer Area Census Offices Proposed for 2020

For the upcoming 2020 Census, the Census Bureau plans to open only 248 Area Census Offices — half as many as in 2010 — to carry out important census tasks and valuable local assistance. The cut in the number of local census offices affects almost every state and many counties in urban, rural, & suburban areas across the country. The link above provides charts that display the proposed reductions for the 50 states, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, as well as for the counties that will experience the largest drops in the number of local offices.

Census 2020: Internet Access Limitations May Hinder Self-Response in Hardest-to-Count Districts

For the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau will urge most households to fill out the census form online rather than use a paper questionnaire. This is an effort to boost self-response rates and reduce costs. But in some areas of the country, especially in disadvantaged communities that have proven more vulnerable to being undercounted in the past, relatively low internet access may hinder the effort to increase online response. This could make it even more challenging to conduct a fair and accurate census in the nation's hardest-to-count areas, and counterintuitively may also adversely impact some areas that would be considered more likely to self-respond during the 2020 Census based on historical trends. The Center for Urban Research's analysis presents these concerns. Also, our Hard to Count online map shows which communities across the country may be impacted the greatest by these issues.

The Maker Economy in Action

In the context of renewed efforts to boost U.S. manufacturing since the 2007-09 recession, the maker movement has captured the imaginations of policy makers and commanded attention and resources at the White House and in city halls across the nation. CUR Visiting Research Scholar Laura Wolf-Powers is the lead author on this report, which provides first-of-its-kind evidence on the locally embedded business enterprises fueling the maker phenomenon, and on the institutional ecosystems that support them in three cities: New York City, Chicago, Illinois, and Portland, Oregon. The report was funded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and co-authored with collaborators at Portland State University and the University of Illinois.

NYC's Changing Electorate: 2015-2016

Recent news that many thousands of voters were inadvertently removed from NYC's voter roll -- especially in Brooklyn -- raises important questions about how New York's electorate is measured. This post maps the drop in voters by neighborhood across the city, and highlights other statistics showing inconsistent fluctuations in the city's voter roll.

"Communities of Interest" in NYC

The Center for Urban Research prepared a paper discussing how "communities of interest" might be considered, measured, and understood in the context of drawing new City Council lines in the 2013 districting process. The paper was written for the NYC Districting Commission, and is provided here with the permission of the Commission.

End of segregation? Hardly

The Manhattan Institute's report on "The End of the Segregated Century" makes bold claims about the decline of African-American segregation in America. The Center for Urban Research examines the report's claims for the largest metro area in the country: New York. Through our review and comprehensive mapping of the region, we find a more nuanced story, in which the end of the era of segregation is not at hand.

Demographic change in metropolitan America: 2000 to 2010

Between 2010 and 2012, the US Census Bureau will have publicly released a vast amount of data reflecting the results of the 2010 decennial census as well as the separate but related American Community Survey. The Center for Urban Research is immersed in these Census data with the goals of accessing and distributing, visualizing, customizing, and analyzing it statistically in order to help others understand how to use it in their work. This page summarizes some of our efforts.

Census Roundup: Links to data, maps, analysis, and more about the 2010 Census

Links to online resources about the 2010 Census data for New York and the nation.

2010 Census population for NYS legislative districts and Congress

The Census Bureau today published the official 2010 Census population counts. Maps and data from CUNY's Center for Urban Research reveal which districts would need to be reshaped to add or reduce population based on these numbers.

UPDATED: The shifting map of Congressional districts in New York State: 2005-09 population estimates

The Census Bureau announced that New York State will lose 2 congressional districts based on the 2010 Census (from 29 to 27). Maps and data from CUNY's Center for Urban Research show which districts would need to be redistricted.

The 2005-09 ACS: Implications for 2012 NYS Legislative Redistricting

The latest Census Bureau population estimates for NY State legislative districts (covering the 2005-09 period) have important implications for redistricting in the New York State Assembly and Senate. CUNY's Center for Urban Research maps and analysis show why.

Census 2010 Participation Rate Analysis - The Challenge Ahead

Results of analyzing participation rates in the 2010 Census as of April 28, focused on analyzing the impact of replacement census forms, as well as the characteristics of areas that will be the focus of door-to-door census enumeration activity.

Census 2010 Participation Rate Analysis (Week 4)

Results of analyzing participation rates in the 2010 Census as of April 20, with an emphasis on areas that will be the focus of door-to-door census enumeration activity starting in May.

Census 2010 Participation Rate Analysis (Week 3)

Results of analyzing participation rates in the 2010 Census as of April 13 at the tract and county levels nationwide, including a new analysis of improvement over 2000 Census participation for counties and tracts (city by city).

Census 2010 Participation Rate Analysis (Week 2)

Results of analyzing participation rates in the 2010 Census as of April 6 at the tract and county levels nationwide, including an examination in major cities.

Census 2010 Participation Rate Analysis

Results of analyzing participation rates in the 2010 Census at the tract and county levels nationwide.

"Putting Data to Work" with the NY Immigration Coalition

The Center for Urban Research is collaborating with the NY Immigration Coalition on a project funded by the NY Community Trust to collect, analyze, and disseminate demographic and socioeconomic data to assist local immigrant-serving organizations. CUR and the Coalition will also be training these groups in how best to integrate this data into local organizing and advocacy efforts.

Second Generation Immigrants

This decade-long study examines the educational attainment, labor market experiences, family formation, values, attitudes, and civic and social incorporation among the young adult children of post-1965 immigrants who grew up in the New York metropolitan area and compares them to peers from native born backgrounds.

Workforce Trends in the NYC region

UPDATED SEPTEMBER 2008. Maps showing current conditions and trends in employment, firms, and wages in detailed industry sectors (NAICS) from 2000-2006 by county and ZIP Code in the New York metropolitan area.

New York's Changing Middle Class

Presentation by CUR's John Mollenkopf at an April 2007 conference co-sponsored by the Drum Major Institute and Baruch College's School of Public Affairs to discuss whether the middle class dream can survive in New York. Other speakers included former Governor Mario Cuomo and NYC Comptroller William Thompson.

Hispanic Immigration on Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk County)

The American Community Survey releases population estimates on an annual basis at the level of census-defined Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs). In a project for the Long Island-based Hagedorn Foundation, we were asked to estimate Hispanic population by legislative district (state and county). We used demographic methods to distribute the PUMA Latino population over Census Blocks, then aggregated the blocks by legislative district. This summary describes our approach.

Introduction to New York City Green Jobs

The NYCLMIS' Introduction to New York City Green Jobs defines the green economy, identifies local industries that are most closely involved in it, defines green jobs, distinguishes new jobs from old jobs that require new skills, gives examples of green jobs likely to grow in New York City, and outlines the major factors that will affect the future demand for green jobs.

ACS 2005-09: Getting It All

The American Community Survey 2005-09 is a massive dataset, best managed in a full-fledged relational database management system. Using the Census-supplied data dictionary, we created SQL scripts to create the table shells and import the data into PostgreSQL, a widely-used open source RDBMS.

Computer Crime Mapping

During the 1990s, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) dramatically increased and improved its use of computer mapping, and made computerized maps a central feature of its innovative management process known as CompStat. To explore ways to add more analytical capacity to the NYPD’s crime mapping capibilities, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) hired CUR and CAPSE to identify and evaluate methods for measuring and analyzing crime patterns and trends using GIS.