Providence Neighborhood Profiles
Census Technical Documentation

Census Bureau Definitions (See also The Providence Plan Definitions Below):

Age The data on age were derived from answers to a question that was asked of all people. Age is generally derived from date of birth information, and is based on the age of the person in complete years.

Census Block A subdivision of a census tract, a block is the smallest geographic unit for which the Census Bureau tabulates 100-percent data. Many blocks correspond to individual city blocks bounded by streets, but blocks -- especially in rural areas - may include many square miles and may have some boundaries that are not streets. The Census Bureau established blocks covering the entire nation for the first time in 1990. Previous censuses back to 1940 had blocks established only for part of the nation. Over 8 million blocks are identified for Census 2000.

Census Geography: A Quick Primer (PDF 123kb)

Census Tract A small, relatively permanent statistical subdivision of a county delineated by a local committee of census data users for the purpose of presenting data. Census tract boundaries normally follow visible features, but may follow governmental unit boundaries and other non-visible features in some instances; they always nest within counties. Designed to be relatively homogeneous units with respect to population characteristics, economic status, and living conditions at the time of establishment, census tracts average about 4,000 inhabitants. They may be split by any sub-county geographic entity.

Ethnicity (Spanish/Hispanic/Latino) The data on the Spanish/Hispanic/Latino population -- the only group categorized as an ethnicity by the Census Bureau -- were derived from answers to a question that was asked of all people. Spanish/Hispanic/Latino is a self-designated classification for people whose origins are from Spain, the Spanish-speaking countries of Central or South America, the Caribbean, or those identifying themselves generally as Spanish, Spanish-American, etc. Origin can be viewed as ancestry, nationality, or country of birth of the person or person's parents or ancestors prior to their arrival in the United States. Spanish/Hispanic/Latino people may be of any race.

Place (City) A concentration of population legally bounded as an incorporated place (e.g., Providence).

Race The data on race were derived from answers to the question on race that was asked of all people. The concept of race as used by the Census Bureau reflects self-identification by people according to the race or races with which they most closely identify. These categories are sociopolitical constructs and should not be interpreted as being scientific or anthropological in nature. Furthermore, the race categories include both racial and national-origin groups. More...

Source of Census definitions: American FactFinder Glossary, U.S. Census Bureau

The Providence Plan Definitions:

Imputation When information is missing at the block level, The Providence Plan uses a method called imputation to assign values. Imputation relies on the statistical principle of "homogeneity," or the tendency of populations within a small geographic area to be similar in most characteristics. Check out this example.

"Minority" A term used to describe all people who identified themselves as Hispanic and/or a race other than White. Taken together, the "minority" and non-Hispanic White populations in any given geographic area equal the area's total population. The term "minority" is treated with quotations marks to indicate its tenuous sociopolitical status.

Neighborhood One of 25 areas designated by the Providence City Plan Commission in 1977. The neighborhoods, which together account for the entirety of Providence, allow for statistical comparisons across areas of the city and across time (e.g., Census 2000 data for each neighborhood can be compared to 1990 and 1980 Census data for the same area). To learn about the neighborhoods, including boundaries and data derived from sources other than the U.S. Census, visit The Providence Plan's Neighborhood Factbook.

  Suggested Citation: Census 2000: The Changing Face of Providence, The Providence Plan, Providence, R.I., 2001

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