What’s New on PolicyMap? September 2013

PolicyMap Recommended by Choice Magazine

We are thrilled to announce that Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries recently evaluated PolicyMap and gave PolicyMap its recommendation for university libraries!

“The site (PolicyMap) does a remarkable job of collocating numerous data sources, providing sophisticated tools to visualize the data (including maps, tables and reports), and adhering to an ethos that promotes sharing.”

Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries is the premier source for reviews of academic books, electronic media, and Internet resources of interest to those in higher education. More than 35,000 librarians, faculty, and key decision makers rely on Choice magazine and Choice Reviews Online for collection development and scholarly research. Choice reaches almost every undergraduate college and university library in the United States.

Read more about this endorsement and get a complete listing of all of our university customers on our blog.

Data Updates for September

A number of new and updated indicators are now available for you in PolicyMap. To see them for yourself, just go to www.policymap.com, select the area of the country you’d like to explore and start adding data. It is that simple. For an up-to-date listing of all data available in PolicyMap, visit our data directory.

Money & Income

Economic Mobility:
A timely new dataset about economic mobility is now available on PolicyMap. Using recently released data provided by researchers from Harvard University and the University of California at Berkeley, as part of The Equality of Opportunity Project, you can see the percent chance that children from low- and middle-income families will achieve certain income ranges as adults.

You’ll find these indicators towards the bottom of the Money & Income tab under a new section called Economic Mobility. The data are mapped to Commuting Zones, which are essentially geographic aggregations of counties that are similar to metro areas but also cover rural areas. To learn more about this study and how to view the data on PolicyMap, check out our blog.


State-level obesity data from the CDC is now available for 2012 allowing you to easily view obesity trends from 2000 through 2012. This data shows the percent of the population that is overweight, obese, and not overweight or obese. Data is available at the state and county levels and can be found in the Health tab, under Physical Health. Percentages are also available for metro areas for the years 2002 through 2011.

Health Insurance:
Now on PolicyMap is an update regarding people without health insurance. Data is now available for 2011, allowing you to look at health insurance trends from 2006 through 2011. This data comes from the Census’ Small Area Health Insurance Estimates and is available for states and counties. This data was released a couple of weeks ago and allows you to see where uninsured populations live by age and by income.

Health Resources:
You will now find new health resources data on PolicyMap, which comes from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Area Health Resource File (AHRF). AHRF is a county-level dataset that is designed for use by planners, policymakers, researchers, and others interested in the nation’s health care delivery system. The data on PolicyMap include indicators showing health facilities (hospital beds per capita and Federally Qualified Health Centers), health professionals (# of doctors and dentists per capita), and the rate of emergency room visits.

You can find this data in the Health tab.


High Performing Schools: The Distance to Nearest High Performing Public School data has now been updated on PolicyMap. This subscriber-only thematic layer shows the distance, by tract, to a GreatSchools public school with an overall performance rating of 9 or 10 out of 10. You can now see distance to high schools and elementary/middle/primary schools in addition to all public schools. The distance calculation is limited to schools within the same state and within 50 miles of the tract in question.

Find these layers in the Education tab under GreatSchools School Ratings.

HeadStart Locations

Head Start Centers: You can now find the locations of Head Start Centers around the nation on PolicyMap. Head Start locations are classified as Early Head Start, Head Start, or Migrant or Seasonal Head Start, and a center may actually be any combination of the three. This data comes from the Office of the Administration for Children and Families Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center out of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Find these center locations in the Add Sites menu, under Schools and Libraries. Click on any center to learn more about it and get contact information.

Jobs & Economy

July unemployment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is now on PolicyMap. You can access this data in the Jobs & Economy tab, under Unemployment (BLS).

Not a user and want to learn more? Sign up for any of our free webinars and get a live demonstration of all the data and tools available to you in this powerful platform.

Have a question? Just give us a call at 1-866-923-6277 (MAPS).