JT sent a link to the site Rich Blocks, Poor Blocks. It’s a mashup of 1) Google maps, 2) census tract borders, and 3) median income statistics – all presented as a chloropleth.
It’s an interesting idea, and a great start, but I think it’s of limited usefulness in its current fineness.
I looked over the places I’ve lived: 4 in the Buffalo suburbs, 2 in Tuscaloosa, 1 in Salt Lake City, 2 in New Orleans, and 1 in Cedar City (comprising 9 different census tracts).
What I found was that only 5 of those tracts were homogenous enough to be representative of where I lived. The rest are too large geographically, with borders determined by convenience rather than reality. Perhaps they ought to ask the people going door-to-door where one neighborhood ends, and another begins, instead of telling them from a windowless office somewhere in the D.C. metro area.
One interesting thing I did find is that, apparently I’ve always chosen neighborhoods where my income was well above the median. I’m not sure what that says about me though.