Creating Local Profiles and Analyzing Neighborhood Conditions Using the R Statistical Programming Language

Toolbox Tuesday


Join a Toolbox Tuesday that will demonstrate how to use the latest Census data to analyze neighborhood conditions—a critical step in the local planning process due to a variety of housing and environmental planning requirements.

This session will demonstrate how to analyze neighborhood-level characteristics within cities using the R statistical programming language to extract, wrangle and visualize data. R provides a free, open-source software environment for integrated handling a wide range of data analytics tasks. The session is oriented toward American Community Survey data—the nation’s most current and accessible source for data on critical planning topics.  

Participants will learn basic data skills in R and how to: 

  • Identify and use the appropriate Census data based on the goals of the analysis.  
  • Join Census data at different geographic scales.  
  • Map data in R, with a focus on neighborhood variables within a city. 
  • Create shapefiles in R. 
  • Look up variables in Census data. 

Session materials will be posted for review a week prior to the session. 

*Click here to access session materials. 

This tutorial is designed so participants can follow along and execute R commands on their own computers during the session, so participants should load and configure R on their computers before the session. To install R, first install the programming language. Then, install the Graphical User Interface, RStudio. The open-source edition of RStudio Desktop is the only software necessary to participate. A step-by-step instruction guide can be found on the Rstudio website. We encourage participants to review the introductory slide deck in the session materials folder and the previous session on Census and American Community Survey data using R Statistical Programming Language to maximize learning opportunity.