Is your state below average or above average?

The US Census American Community Survey for 2011 shows an estimated 0.6% of Americans biked to work last year.

I generated a map using the US Census Fact Finder tool to split the states between above average (shown as blue states) and average to below average (shown as red states).


Above average or below average?

18 Comments

  • Jessi
    September 24, 2012 - 1:45 pm | Permalink

    I recently got to participate in a transportation survey. On the day they chose for me to do my survey, I walked to work instead of biking. Oh well. That’s good too, right? Cyclists and pedestrians both, represent!

  • Elias Friedman
    September 24, 2012 - 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Only VT & MA east of the Mississippi? Passing strange…

  • ladyfleur
    September 24, 2012 - 2:10 pm | Permalink

    The fact that 0.6% is the average is pathetic. That’s like 1 person in 200.

  • September 24, 2012 - 3:39 pm | Permalink

    “average” isn’t the best measure of central tendency to use here – huge range, w outliers at the top (like Oregon and its 6.x%), and a zero limit at the bottom. Above/below median would be more appropriate.

  • steve_a_dfw
    September 24, 2012 - 3:39 pm | Permalink

    So, what’s your theory about why SD is above average while ND and NE are below average?

  • September 24, 2012 - 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Does ACS Fact Finder have median values for their map tool?

  • September 24, 2012 - 4:08 pm | Permalink

    You’re the 2nd person to notice this interesting South Dakota discrepancy. I guess I’ll dig into it a little.. and I find:

    North Dakota: 0.6%
    South Dakota: 0.7%
    Nebraska: 0.5%

    So a tenth of a percentage point separates North from South in this instance.

  • September 24, 2012 - 8:39 pm | Permalink

    you should switch colors lest someone think that biking is political

  • September 25, 2012 - 6:32 am | Permalink

    First thing that popped into my head was that the western states have really hopped on to biking. The midwestern and southern states are slow to follow. Could be a weather issue, but that doesn’t explain everything since Alaska and states in the Great Lakes area also have an above average cycling rate. I love analyzing data and trying to explain correlations. Thanks for sharing!

  • September 25, 2012 - 6:55 am | Permalink

    You should have lied.

  • Ben Bahn
    September 25, 2012 - 8:33 am | Permalink

    Another factor you could put into the mix. How healthy are these places. Minnesota continually ranks in high health studies. Bicycle commutes are not just about getting somewhere, but your well being.

    Planning my cardio exercises, is nothing more than a destination.

  • September 25, 2012 - 9:18 am | Permalink

    I wonder how many people skew their results because of green guilt?

  • September 25, 2012 - 9:19 am | Permalink

    I initially did this specifically to compare this vs support of Romney vs Obama in polls. There doesn’t seem to be much correlation.

  • September 25, 2012 - 9:20 am | Permalink

    Is it possible to break this down by metro area rather than state? It would also be useful to have three categories – perhaps 0-0.5%, 0.51-1.0%, 1.01+%. My guess is that every city is in the middle or top category, and most suburbs are in the bottom one. Most of the eastern states don’t appear here because the suburbs outweigh the cities.

    Also, does the ACS gather data at a particular time of year, or all year? If it’s in the winter, then that could also explain why western states are represented but eastern states aren’t – winters generally aren’t as harsh in the west.

  • September 25, 2012 - 9:46 am | Permalink

    Hi Kenny, yes you can split things up any way you want. I discuss the data a little bit here in this earlier post.

    RIght now there’s only data for communities with population over 65,000. Steve Vance (of Grid Chicago) tells me more data will be available in December. For smaller populations, the data becomes less reliable so they’re collated into 3 year or 5 year summaries, depending on the population size.

    Surveys are collected every month, and I believe the surveys are distributed geographically (e.g. Census doesn’t focus on California in the July and Massachusetts in January).

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