How to Get Income and Earnings Data for Your City

The demographic versions of our Microsoft Excel add-in, CDXZipStream, cover a wide range of demographic data both from the decennial (10-year) U.S. Census as well as from the annual American Community Survey, also administered by the U.S. Census Bureau.  We’re going to cover here a couple of different approaches that can be used to get income or earnings data for your city or town.

The first, and simplest, approach uses the CDXACSPlace data feed, which is available through the CDXZipStream Premium ACS version.  The Census Bureau uses the term “place” instead of city to encompass the wide range of geographic entities here: city, town, borough, village, township, municipality, etc.  You will need to enter your list of “places” in Excel in the following format:   

New York|NY

This uses a vertical bar (also called a pipe delimiter) to separate the place name and state, which should also be in two-character abbreviated form.   Then just use the cursor to select the city/state combination at the beginning of your list, and click on the CDXZipStream icon on the toolbar.  You’ll see a dialog box like this:

Select the CDXACSPlace data feed using the drop-down list at the upper left-hand corner, then add the desired income and earnings data to the selected fields box.  Click OK, and the dated you requested will be returned for all the cities listed in your worksheet.

The CDXACSPlace data feed covers over 29,000 geographic entities in the United States.  According to the Census Bureau, however, there are over 89,000 local governments, including special districts and independent school districts.  If you are looking for data not covered in CDXACSPlace, you may be able to obtain other estimates by using ZIP code data.  For instance, Haddon Heights, New Jersey contains two exclaves, West Collingswood and West Collingswood Heights, which are not included as “places’ by the U.S. Census Bureau.  However, you can use the right-click function of CDXZipStream to find the ZIP codes for these areas, with the function CDXZipList:

In this case West Collingswood Heights is covered by the single zip code 08059, which is returned to the worksheet by CDXZipList and can then be used as input for the CDXACSZCTA data feed:

This will not work for those local governments not covered by CDXZipList, and in some cases for larger areas it may be necessary to aggregate data covered by multiple areas.   Also note that for data fields that involve a median value, such as median income, averaging these values for multiple zip codes is not recommended.

Please refer to the following videos for more information on how to use the CDXZipStream functions discussed above:

ZIP Code List in Microsoft Excel: 

Demographic Data in Excel: 

Census Records in Microsoft Excel: 

Alternatively, here are the corresponding links to these videos on YouTube:

  Zip Code List in Microsoft Excel

  Demographic Data in Excel

  Census Records in Microsoft Excel


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