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income by zip code

Is there any API which can be used to find average income of people in an area by entering the zip code?


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  1. Comment
    Community Member

    The 5-year ACS Summary File data includes two tables that should allow for the creation of averae income by zip code:

    B19313 - Aggregate Income

    B19325 - Sex by Work Experience by Income

    You only need the first cell of B19325, since it gives the estimate of the people who make up the "universe" of table B19313. So, the ration B19313(1)/B19325(1) should be the mean income for a zip code.

  2. Comment
    Phillip Thomas

    Indeed the Community Member hit this right on the nose, the ACS 5 year 2007-2011 documentation located at http://www.census.gov/developers/data/acs_5yr_2011_var.xml both contain this information. Also a new feature of the ACS data starting in the 2007-2011 year release is the inclusion of 5 digit Zip Code Tabulation Areas (ZCTA5). If you so chose using this data divided by total population (also included in the same documentation) should give you a fairly close number.

  3. Comment
    nishantdialani ( Idea Submitter )

    Thanks a lot both of you.

    I am unable to comprehend the data on the link you gave.

    Can you please explain me how to use this data set.

  4. Comment
    Phillip Thomas

    The (possibly oversimplified) explanation would be that "concepts" define what a group of variables measure (such as concept name="B00001. Unweighted Sample Count of the Population"). These are then broken down further into "variables".

    Breaking down these variable portions of the xml (we will use the first variable in the link as an example, I removed the tag open and tag close characters, less then and greater then as the forum will not allow me to post with them):

    variable name="B00001_001E" concept="B00001. Unweighted Sample Count of the Population" Total /variable

    We see that we have a variable, it is named "Boooo1_001E" the concept it presents is an unweighted sample count of the Population, and this variable in particular measures the Total within this concept.

    What this means when creating our link is that when we form the get= portion, this XML tells us that the variable "B00001_001E" is valid for use.

    Therefore, at this point our API query would look something like this.


    Which isn't enough for a valid query as it is missing both geography and key portions, you would use your own key, however let's just retrieve for all states within the United States of America.

    We would need to append to our link (for our geography):


    Making our link look something like:


    All that needs to be added is your key in the form of:

    &key=(your key here)

    And we should have a working, valid API call.

    This of course only covers the API side of things, The data within this particular Data Set is owned by the American Community Survey.

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