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Philly Federal Reserve Releases Inventory of Useful Data Sources for Community Development

October 24, 2014 Category: Uncategorized

The Community Development Studies and Education Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia has released an inventory of useful data resources for community development professionals and organizations.

The inventory contains a list of 16 resources, which include data on housing, demographics, economy and education.

In addition to the list, the inventory provides 1-2 page descriptions of each resource, such as how frequently it is updated and the type of data it contains.

How might some of these data sources be used?

Community development is increasingly multi-faceted, spanning housing, social services, business development and commercial corridor management. And while many community development stakeholders know their communities intimately, they still need to dig into hard data to get a complete picture.

A community development professional working to improve a commercial corridor, for example, may work closely with business owners located on the corridor. They usually also have a general understanding of how those businesses operate by observing the number of customers and turnover in staff.

But to fully understand the corridor’s economy, they could reference the County and Zip Code Business Patterns data sets from the U.S. Census to determine basic economic factors such as the number of businesses and employees in that given geographic area. They could also reference the USPS Vacancy Data to look at commercial vacancy rates along the corridor, rather than counting the empty storefronts on their own.

The inventory has been added to the Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s Community Development Data Dashboard, which includes additional data including lists of active community development organizations for areas throughout the Third Federal Reserve District, which covers eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware.

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For more information, see the full report here.

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