I'm looking for any region that is smaller than block groups. And it doesn't have to be for the whole United States. Does this exist? Does anyone have any ideas?

I feel like I saw somewhere that income data exists on the block level for some cities, but I haven't been able to find anything..


2 Answers 2


Smaller than block groups would surely be blocks, then.

I would assume you have looked at the Census? Data is available in shapefiles but also in csv files. I would especially recommend looking at the latter, as sometimes it contains more data.

Esri also provides TIGER data that has been formatted already; using that data might have benefits over using the Census' shapefiles, as some issues have been fixed. But I do not think they are readily vailable for the lat Census yet.

I can also recommend the American Community Survey, which often provides information that is much more detailed than the typical Census data. It is also gathered at irregular intervals, so you might be lucky if your area has just been covered. I am pretty sure I have found income data for the 2000 Census there in the past.

Also, I have not used City Data data yet, but maybe it is worth a shot!

PS: What is your study area, or which cities are you looking for?

  • Thanks for your answer! This is Nick from above - I just forgot my password. To my knowledge, there is no income data on the block level from the ACS, it just goes down to the block group level.
    – user45748
    Jan 30, 2015 at 8:38
  • I will have a look at the income maps I previouly created this weekend. Almost positive it was at the group level, but mayb I am wrong. Will also ask my friend who works with demographic datasets at Esri. She might be able to point me into the right direction as well! Jan 30, 2015 at 15:06
  • 1
    Been doing some reading on that. Income data from the Census is definitely not (publicly) available at the block level. Jan 31, 2015 at 21:55

The one caution around using block group level data from the American Community Survey (which is a great resource!) is that the sample sizes are pretty small and you have to watch your margins of error, especially around things like median household income, which can be skewed in small populations. If you are interested in aggregating areas, here's one tool and a resource about the ACS issues from the U of Michigan.

  • I second this note about the ACS block group data - data at this level is only available for the 5 year estimates, and the margins of errors are quite large (the data isn't published for blocks because the MEs are so large that it's unpublishable). You can mitigate this by aggregating, or by using a larger geography that's predefined - census tracts are the next level up.
    – fdonnelly
    Aug 5, 2015 at 18:18

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