Learn Your Market By Reviewing Census Stats

It’s the time of year when there’s some movement on the broadcast side of the business.  This is the time of year when college graduates get jobs and thus contracts are up, two years later.

censusreporterIf you’re new to a community, or if you’re staying put but haven’t looked at the demographics of your market lately, check out CensusReporter.org.  I find it’s much simpler and easier to use than the Census’ own website. (Thanks to Knight Foundation for funding censusreporter.org) .

Story ideas may jump out at you by just perusing the site. For example, look at this comparison between the City of Syracuse and Onondaga County for housing ownership.


Since most people in the city rent (60%) those viewers are more interested in stories about tenant rights or first-purchase housing programs. And you might pitch how-tos on home fix-its or stories about mortgage rates to suburbanites, most of whom own their homes (65%).

Other quick story leads might be  commute times from various locations or the changing demographics as to race.

With the concern about medical care for vets, did you know that you can find out how many veterans live in your area?

One caution – – remember the most recent figures come from the American Community Survey, ACS, which surveys a statistically significant part of the population each year. But don’t compare those ACS stats to the decennial numbers. And best bet, say Census staff, is to use the 3-year or 5-year ACS stats as they are more accurate than the one-year numbers.



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