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What strange things do people search for on Google? How does income tax affect migration patterns? What features are popular in which type of homes?

At the City-Data Blog, our writers utilize data to answer questions you never knew you had. From silly, light-hearted investigations to powerful economic examinations, we cover a range of topics that anyone can enjoy! Our writers, many of them Ph.D. graduates or candidates, create easy-to-read articles on a wide variety of topics.

Locally popular baby names

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

The most popular baby names change frequently. We saw earlier which names were trending during the past decades. Usually, the growth in popularity is widespread — the most popular names are very common in every state.

But for some names, this isn’t the case. According to the official Social Security website data, almost all names exhibit some geographical patterns, though we are interested in those where such patterns are the most evident.

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Relocations: Will you leave NYC for California?

Alexander Fishkov

Alexander Fishkov, Ph.D. student Computer Science

In this post, we analyze migration data provided by the IRS.  In an earlier post, we explored the nationwide characteristics of relocation. This time we focus on a lower level and study which states are the most popular relocation destinations for people across the U.S.

From the following map, we can see that most people relocate locally, usually to the neighboring states. The obvious exceptions are Alaska and Hawaii, but even for these states, the distribution of out-migrants is non-uniform.

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Relocation patterns: recovery after recession?

Alexander Fishkov

Alexander Fishkov, Ph.D. student Computer Science

Every year, millions of people in the U.S. relocate for various reasons: a job offer, family circumstances or simply striving for a change of scenery. To study relocation patterns we analyzed migration data provided by IRS. The data is based on taxpayers’ reports and is provided at the county and state level. In this post, we will focus on migration between states.

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Online sales for eyewear: contact lenses and sunglasses

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Pavel Prikhodko, Ph.D. Machine Learning

The eyewear market is rapidly growing in the United States. The market consists of four main categories: prescription glasses, sunglasses, over-the-counter readers and contact lenses. In 2013, the U.S. frame market for eyewear generated around $8.69 billion in retail stores, compared to $8.48 billion in 2012. If we examine the statistics of lens sales, we see that the U.S. lens market generated around $10.41 billion in retail sales. In 2011, the retail sales of lenses amounted to around $9.5 billion, while 2010 saw sales of about $9.4 billion.

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Generations through time: Immigration

Alexander Fishkov

Alexander Fishkov, Ph.D. student Computer Science

Throughout history, the U.S. has been seen as a place of tremendous opportunity and progress. Many people took the challenge to pursue a new life in this country, and many of them stayed. However, western society has not stayed the same — each generation was influenced by different economic and social events. In this post, we will explore how migration patterns changed with each new generation.

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Generations through time: Education

Alexander Fishkov

Alexander Fishkov, Ph.D. student Computer Science

According to Dictionary.com, “generation” can be defined as “the entire body of individuals born and living at about the same time,” or “the term of years, roughly 30 among human beings, accepted as the average period between the birth of parents and the birth of their offspring.” Other definitions of the term include shared ideas and attitudes.

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What were the trending baby names in the past decades?

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

The most popular baby names do not change frequently — Michael was on the top of the list from the 1960s until it was passed by Jacob in the 2000s. Mary was the most popular name for girls for the entire first half of the century.

On the other hand, it’s still interesting to see which names rapidly gained popularity in the past years. Since the official Social Security website provides data from Social Security card applications for each state, we can trace the geographical nature of such changes.

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Finished basements are becoming more popular, especially in large houses

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction, the number of new houses with basements is declining across the U.S., down by almost a quarter from 40 percent of new homes in 2000 to 32 percent in 2013. Surprisingly, not only did the relative number of finished basements rise, but there has also been an increase in the absolute percentage: 9 percent of all new homes in the U.S. now have a finished basement.

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Top 10 cities for professionals in the U.S.

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

What are the top cities for professionals? Should you move to the opposite coast in search of a larger paycheck? Or maybe head to Houston or Chicago?

Below is an interactive map showing the top 10 cities in the country by average payroll for the entire sector as well as for each of the subsectors (as defined by the NAICS). It also shows the relative change since 2010.

Cities with the highest wages in the subsector

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