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ZIP Code Demographics: Super ZIPs, Better Schools

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Can a person's ZIP Code indicate his or her demographic profile? Increasingly, the answer is yes - especially if that person lives in a "Super ZIP." Residents of Super ZIPs are among the most wealthy, well-educated groups in America, with a median household income of $120,000 and 70% of adults holding college degrees, according to the Washington Post. More than one-third of Super ZIPs lie in the Washington, D.C. metro area, as the map below shows.

 

The Changing Face of ZIP Codes and Neighborhoods

ZIP Codes and neighborhoods are increasingly either lower income or higher income, rather than somewhere in the middle - a change from a generation ago.

"People of widely different incomes and professions commonly lived close enough [in the 1970s] that they mingled at stores, sports arenas and school. In an era in which women had fewer educational and professional opportunities, lawyers married secretaries and doctors married nurses. Now, lawyers and doctors marry each other." ("Washington: A World Apart," The Washington Post)

In 1970, 65% of families resided in middle-income neighborhoods. In 2010, that figure had dropped to 42%.

 

School Districts by ZIP Code

One result of socioeconomic stratification by ZIP Code is that more and more, better school districts and school attendance zones are clustered in wealthier ZIP Codes. A study (based on Maponics school data) by the online real estate search engine Redfin showed that home prices in school attendance zones with top performing schools are often hundreds of thousands of dollars more expensive than homes that fall in school attendance zones with lower performing schools. In some areas, it may be cheaper to send your child to private school than to find housing in a school district with better public schools, says a Brookings Institution study.

 

Learn More About the Demographics of ZIP Codes with Maponics Data

Maponics Context Demographics projected onto Maponics ZIP Code Boundaries reveal population statistics segmented by ZIP Code. Syncing these two Maponics datasets gives analysts meaningful insight into populations within a prescribed area: the median household size, median household income, ethnicity breakdown and other data points. Context Demographics synced with School Boundaries offer additional information about the people within particular school districts and school attendance zones across America.