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Sample Answer for “Using Census Data to Analyze your Neighborhood”

       Prepared by Jennifer Gerdes, New York University

The median family income for Census Tract 3.02 in Amador County, California is $47,996. I was surprised by this, because when I looked at the map of my census tact I saw that it only included a small portion of my town, and the entirety of Ione and Camanche. My town is thought of as one of the wealthier towns in the county, whereas Ione and Camanche are thought of as being a poorer part of the county. School children even call Ione “the ghetto,” which is ridiculous as there has never been a history of an geographically restricted ethnic group there, but nonetheless this shows the attitude towards Ione and the people living there. After seeing the map, I believed that the median income would be much less because of all of this, but once I started thinking about it logically and without prejudice, I thought of possible reasons for the median income in my census tract. Mule Creek state prison is located in Ione, which adds to Ione’s rough reputation, but also creates reasonably well- paying jobs. Also, after looking at the mean travel time to work (28 minutes) many people are traveling outside of this census tract to perhaps Sacramento or the Jackson Rancheria, an Indian Gaming Casino in another part of the county. Travel to either location would increase the availability of higher paying jobs and therefore account for the surprising median income.