Oh, data. We hate when you’re stolen, sold and exploited, but when brought together in a certain way, you can be hella entertaining.
A site called ZIP Code lookup is one of those places where data is beautiful. Simply enter your Zip code and the site will package a perfect description of your town and your life into one nifty paragraph. Did we forget to mention that it’s eerily accurate?
Results for every Zip code are broken down into age, income and population density, but the real gem is the “Lifestyle” section. This is where all of the aforementioned data (and then some) is translated into highly accurate, slightly entertaining anecdotal paragraphs. The site even breaks it down enough so there’s separate descriptions for the college students and businessmen of the same town.
Betabeat looked up a few Zip codes from our past and present. Here are a few especially entertaining (and again, accurate) tidbits from the results:
12771 (Greenville, NY) – “Front Porches” – Cell phones are used to redeem mobile coupons or to listen to hip-hop and R&B.
08901 (New Brunswick, NJ) – “College Towns” – Managing our own money is new to us, so we tend to splurge on impulse purchases such as the latest fashions. We can be influenced by celebrity endorsements and trends we see in magazines.
11106 (Astoria, Queens) – “Trendsetters” – Believing that “you’re only young once”, we’re living life to the fullest, unfettered by home and vehicle ownership, and not ready to settle down. E-readers and tablets are preferred for everything except women’s fashion and epicurean magazines which must be in print. We shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s for quick, organic meals.
07704 (Fair Haven, NJ) -“Top Tier” – We’re empty nesters or empty-nester wannabes who still have adult children living at home in established, owner occupied suburban. We research products prior to purchase, and late-model SUVs, station wagons, and minivans may be in our driveways.
The interactive site is a part of Tapestry (a product of the company Esri), which has a team of demographers and mathematicians who compile all kinds of data. ZIP Code Lookup specifically compiles data from the latest census, the American Community Survey as well as Esri’s own data. They also look at consumer survey data on everything from Internet usage to magazine subscription, Catherine Spisszak, data product manager at Esri, told Betabeat.
The site is a great tool for marketers and can even help provide provide aid in the event of a natural disaster, but it’s a bit of fun too.