The U.S. Census Bureau organizes demographic and socioeconomic data by census blocks, which may actually be a city block. Because of privacy concerns, many population variables are reported only at the block group level, which is a collection of census blocks. The U.S. has over 210,000 block groups. A block group can cover many square miles in rural relatively unpopulated areas or just a square mile or so in heavily populated areas.
Use the '+' and '-' buttons on the upper-left corner of the map as needed to have the map show just the area that you think is in your library market area. Then, depending on whether your library is in a rural or urban setting, select the number of block groups to display on the map and click on the Load Census Data button. (It may take a minute or two for the purple-shaded block groups to display).
If the displayed purple block groups do not include all the block groups you need, you can click on the Hide Census Data button and increase the number of block groups to load. Load time will increase though. Alternatively, you can adjust the zoom level of the map relative to your library.
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Click on a block group to add it into your library market area (it will turn green when added). Click on it again to remove it from your market area. A summary of the population characteristics of all the block groups included in your library market area (the green-shaded block groups) is provided below:
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