You may think you know your neighborhood, but you certainly can’t beat the information the federal government has collected about it. We’re not being paranoid: The U.S. Census Bureau is a statistician’s paradise — and now Mark Nash, an amateur programmer in Dallas, has launched Zipskinny, a website that renders all that data user-friendly. Zipskinny makes the numbers from the 2000 census searchable by ZIP code, so you can easily see how you compare with your neighbors when it comes to marital status, age, income bracket, even education.
Most people will probably look for where they live (or want to live) first — but it’s easy to drift while browsing for outliers. Take Cougar, Washington (98616), whose total population of 96 people all work in production or transportation, are all married, and all earn between $15,000 and $24,999. But whether you’re in 90210 or 99712 (Fairbanks, Alaska), now you’ll know exactly how you’re keeping up with your local Joneses.
This post is from Observer Short List—an email of three favorite things from people you want to know. Sign up to receive OSL here.