Sunday, November 11, 2012

Geography Awareness Week: Charting population density along America's highways

This week we'll be celebrating Geography Awareness Week by highlighting unique spatial visualizations of data.

The U.S. Census Bureau produced a series of graphics that show population density along some of the nation's most and least heavily populated transportation corridors.
Image source and source notes: Population density is based on average population density within 5 miles of the highway, in 2-mile increments, using 2010 block group centroids and 2010 Census population counts.
According to the Census Bureau:
Running from Los Angeles to Jacksonville, I-10 passes through 8 states and several major cities and traverses the 3rd largest population among the country's interstate highways. Population density within 5 miles of the interstate show several lengths with very low population density, including stretches between El Paso and San Antonio. Selected cities along the route are labeled, for reference, with cities of 250,000 or more shown in bold and with filled circles.
For comparative purposes, the Census Bureau provides a similar population density chart for the I-90 corridor, which runs along the northern part of the United States from Seattle to Boston. The highway, despite connecting Seattle, Chicago, and Boston, passes through some of the least densely populated areas in the nation.

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