Bike Month: Celebrating and Educating

May is here, bringing warm weather, the end of the 2016-17 academic year, and National Bike Month. To celebrate Bike Month, in this post, we’ll be talking about the prevalence of bicycling in Champaign County, the pros and cons of the data available, and the BikeMoves Illinois app. Finally, we’ll present some upcoming events happening during […]

Library Patronage and Community Services: The Quantifiable and Non-Quantifiable Benefits of Public Libraries

March is National Reading Month, so we’re taking this opportunity to talk about public libraries, measuring library patronage, and the community, recreational, and informational benefits of public libraries in general. Champaign County is home to 10 library districts: the Champaign Public Library, the Homer Community Library, the Mahomet Public Library District, the Ogden Rose Public […]

The Statistics of Valentine’s Day: Measuring Relationships with Census Data

It’s February. With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, we’re matching up a sentimental holiday with statistical rationality to address the following question: can we determine, by numbers or percentages, an accurate, basic relationship status breakdown in Champaign County? The short answer is yes and no. There is data on marital status and household type available […]

Data Literacy: Using the American Community Survey

It’s already December, and that means it’s time for another data literacy post: this time, in honor of the upcoming American Community Survey (ACS) 2011-2015 5-Year Estimates release on Thursday, December 8th, we’ll be talking about what the ACS is, what topics it covers, how it can be used by members of the public, and […]

Voter Participation Statistics: Methods and Sources

You may already be aware of this, but Election Day is right around the corner. And although there are a lot of polarizing issues under discussion this season, we can all at least agree that we love statistics. (Right? Right?!) So here’s the rundown on voter participation rate statistics, how they’re calculated, and where to […]

Measuring the Urban Forest: Benefits and Methods

With fall finally underway, our urban forest is heading into leaf season. And with increased interest in green infrastructure has come increased interest in measuring the benefits of the urban forest – defined as “all publicly and privately owned trees within an urban area” [1]  by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service. The urban […]

Impacts of University Populations on Communities’ Median Age, Median Income, and Poverty Rate

It’s now September, and in Champaign-Urbana and other cities and towns with major universities, that means the population has risen with the start of the fall semester. But how does the university population affect Champaign-Urbana’s overall statistical outlook? And how are college students counted for U.S. Census Bureau programs? To answer the second question first, […]