There are a handful of ways to get demographic data for your business. The best source for you will depend on how you plan to use the data. This list includes the best sources of demographic data to provide application users an overview of an area. Demographic data can be used from everything to personalizing website experiences to deciding where to build your next business. Because of the variety of uses, it’s important to set the parameters up front.
If you are building something like a social platform or a real estate portal – providing your users and overview of an area can be valuable. If that’s the type of experience you are trying to create, these are some great sources of demographic data.
1. Onboard Informatics
Total disclosure – you’re reading the Onboard Informatics blog – so we are going to favor our own Community API. But if you’re looking for access to population, education, ancestry, crime, commute times and weather – this is a great resource.
What Data is Offered: It offers 387 fields of data aggregated from a variety of public and private sources including (but not limited to): US Census agency, USGS, EPA, FBI, Bureau of Economic Analysis, USPS and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Data is returned based on the specific geography in the request. So if you’re application needs to break down demographic information based on county or even neighborhood or residential subdivision, this API can do it for you.
Pricing Structure: There is a free trial to try out the API and then an easy pay-as-you-go model as you get ramped up. Annual contracts offer competitive pricing as well.
Pros: The data is geocoded to every other API in the Onboard Developer Platform, which includes things like points of interest, extensive boundary data, property and owner information. So if you’re looking to integrate a variety of datasets, this is a great way to do it.
Cons: This resource is not free. There is a free trial so you can access the API and make sure it works for your project and there is a flexible pricing model to get started, but there is a cost associated with this information.
The MapFruition Demographic Inquiry API provides developers with a simple HTTP/Rest interface to perform queries against our demographic data. All data is returned in JSON format for direct integration with existing map/non-map based products. Users will have access to current year estimates and five year projections for 700+ demographic variables.
What Data is Offered: Categories include population summaries, income characteristics, consumer expenditures, educational attainment, and demographic profiles. MapFruition also provides multiple ways (GIS and Non-GIS Based methods) to extract data of interest. Operations include inquiry by point, buffer (proximity), and travel time. Data coverage includes the Contiguous US, Alaska, and Hawaii.
Pricing Structure: Pay as you go, no long-term contracts.
Pros: If you are mapping this data, this option seems like a good bet.
Cons: MapFruition is relatively new and doesn’t appear to have enterprise clients at this point, so it’s not proven.
3. CDYNE Demographics API
Utilize this XML Web Service to return neighborhood-level data at point of entry or in batches run from user systems.
What Data is Offered: CDYNE Demographics, a full-featured statistical resource, instantaneously returns enhanced neighborhood-level census data such as gender, ethnicity, type of residence, median income, median house value, or median number of vehicles as an add-on to databases, Web sites, or software applications. This service can easily be built into sales, marketing, or even collections and accounts receivable management software.
Pricing Structure: Volume – based pricing
Pros: CDYNE provides samples, development information, and support to aid in the implementation of Demographics. This API uses SOAP protocol and responses are formatted in XML.
Cons: CDYNE is known for communication APIs so finding this particular database is a little tough. Not sure of the support for this API either.
4. Demographics PRO API
The Demographics Pro REST API provides a set of interfaces allowing the integration of social media demographic data into other applications. Some example API methods include aggregating audience analysis, retrieving individual user profiles, and searching for influencers based on demographic input criteria, across Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and other social networks.
Data Available: Demographic information as it relates to social media platforms. If you are looking to create an experience that shows the “feel” ofany given area, this might be an interesting approach. You can find out how many musicians or politicians in an area in addition to the more standard demographic information like gender and HH income.
Pros: Public documentation is available; developers can request API access here: http://www.demographicspro.com/. Demographics Pro is a social media analysis tool that allows users to understand the characteristics of their social media audience. In addition to generic demographic information, you can also search for influencers in any given area.
Cons: If you are looking for more traditional demographic information, these APIs might be a little “noisy.” If you are looking to create a unique experience however, this might be a great resource.
5. US Census Bureau
The Census Bureau offers access to key U.S. statistics. The Census application programming interface (API) lets developers create custom apps to reach new users and makes key demographic, socio-economic and housing statistics more accessible than ever before. The Census Bureau’s API allows developers to design web and mobile apps to explore or learn more about America's changing population and economy.
Data Available: Currently available statistics provide key demographic and economic information on the nation, it's neighborhoods and areas in between.
Pros: A robust and free data source straight from the Federal Government.
Cons: There is a lot here and it is tough to sort through. If you’re looking to integrate other APIs, you may need to do more extensive integration work.
All of these are great resources for your next project. If you have any questions about Onboard Informatics or our Developer Platform, reach out to us today.