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  • Dec 21 2017

EdChoice Offers New Service: Mapping Private School Hot Spots

Check out this example of Mississippi to learn how these maps work and where the state’s private school hot spots—and deserts—are located.

As someone who has been working with private school data for nearly five years, I am always looking for more tools to help us fill in the information gaps.

To that end, I took a handful of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) courses to get a Graduate Certificate that gave me the skills and ability to create data-driven maps. I have learned that these dynamic maps can—at times—be better at telling a story than words.

Take Mississippi, for example.

Thankfully, the mapping software that we use comes preloaded with all of the applicable demographic data for the Census tracts for the U.S. Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Current and future school-aged children (fewer than 18 years old):
    • 30 percent live within 10 minutes of at least one private school
    • 55 percent live within 20 minutes of at least one private school
    • 73 percent live within 30 minutes of at least one private school
    • 86 percent live within 40 minutes of at least one private school
  • Students in households that—based on their income—would qualify for free or reduced-price lunch (income less than $35,000):
    • 30 percent live within 10 minutes of at least one private school
    • 56 percent live within 20 minutes of at least one private school
    • 75 percent live within 30 minutes of at least one private school
    • 86 percent live within 40 minutes of at least one private school
  • Median income levels for households based on their distance from a private school:
    • $42,150 for those zero to 10 minutes from at least one private school
    • $40,854 for those 10 to 20 minutes from at least one private school
    • $44,882 for those 20 to 30 minutes from at least one private school
    • $52,490 for those 30 to 40 minutes from at least one private school
    • $45,190 for those 40 to 50 minutes from at least one private school

We hope that this is just the tip of the iceberg for EdChoice’s future mapping projects. Tell us: What would you like to know about your state’s private school landscape?

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