Social Explorer was created by a group of New York demographers to provide online access to U.S. socioeconomic data from a variety of sources, including the United States Census. Using interactive maps and data reports, Social Explorer makes available detailed information from the United States Census, beginning with the first census of 1790 and continuing to the present.
The demographic statistics presented here include all variables found in the "Comprehensive Reports" generated by Social Explorer for the census years since 1940. University Archives staff members Mary D. McConaghy and Michael L. Ellerson gathered these statistical tables from the professional version of Social Explorer then edited them for use here.
University Archives staff created the census tract maps found here. After generating area maps from Google Maps, they added census boundaries and census tract labels as needed.
How to Use this Data
Statistics are provided for West Philadelphia as a whole and by individual census tract. To examine these statistics, go to the page for a given census year and follow the links for aggregate statistics and for statistics for individual census tracts. A click on a specific census tract as found in either the list or the map for a given census year will present a detailed map with a link to the demographic statistics for that census tract. Documentation on the census data and variables is available on Social Explorer.
First, census tracts may vary from census year to census year, both with regards to boundaries and numbering.
Second, the questions asked by census takers usually vary from one census year to the next. Thus, it is sometimes, but not always, possible to track changes over time.
Finally, note that Social Explorer has included in its Comprehensive Reports most, but not all, of the variables available for each census year. For a complete list of the variables and breakdowns of data available, consult the professional version of Social Explorer available from the University of Pennsylvania Libraries and other institutional subscribers.