February 8, 2014

14850, 13068, and 13053: Colors Don't Quite Tell the Story

I was surprised a couple of months ago by a story on "Super Zips" in the Washington Post. The story was mostly about the concentration of wealthy well-educated people in neighborhoods around Washington, DC, but the map showed some interesting data for around here.

As I expected, we have no "Super Zips", places in the top 5% of wealth and education (calculated in some strange way to produce a spread across a range). Tompkins County does stand out from its neighbors, as do many collegetowns:

Tompkins County-ish.
Zip code data on wealth and education for the Tompkins County area.

The part that's most interesting to me, though, is that the Freeville and Dryden zip codes are in the same band as the Ithaca zip code. The local standouts are Lansing, which is just wealthier to reach the next color band, and Newfield, which isn't.

Zip CodeMedian Household Income% College graduatesPosition
Dryden (13053)$63,32639%73
Freeville (13068)$61,75030%65
Ithaca (14850)$45,31162%65
Groton (13073)$53,57822%49
Brooktondale (14817)$49,56739%61
Lansing (14882)$67,60947%80
Newfield (14867)$44,66320%36
Trumansburg (14886)$55,54337%66
Cortland (13045)$44,40328%46

Looking at the data, though, it's pretty clear that the Dryden and Freeville zip codes are similar, but even though the Ithaca zip code is in the same color band, it's more about what the Post chose to value than deep similarity. Lansing changes color - but its rank of exactly 80 was the bottom score needed to do that.

Maps don't always tell stories as neatly as they promise.

Posted by simon at February 8, 2014 5:28 PM in
Note on photos