Essential Business Analyst Vocabulary—2011/2016 Data




Age data is reported for five-year age groups and select summary groups such as 18 years and over. This data is Esri's 2011 projections.

Average household size

Average household size is calculated by dividing the number of persons in households by the number of households.

Business data

The Esri business data is extracted from a comprehensive list of businesses licensed from Infogroup. Infogroup collects information on approximately 12 million private and public U.S. companies. Individual businesses are located by address geocoding—not all will have an exact location. Businesses can be retrieved by their Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Code as well as by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Code and location. The Infogroup Business File can be used for locating both competitors and marketing opportunities. This data is current as of July 2011.

Census block

A census block is a component of a block group, identified by a four-digit code. Blocks are small in area, in general, especially in cities. However, blocks in rural or remote areas may cover hundreds of square miles. A block code that starts with a zero indicates a water-only block. There are 11,078,297 blocks in Census 2010 geography, as opposed to 8.2 million in Census 2000.

Census block group

A block group is a collection of one or more blocks and a statistical division of a census tract, identified by a one-digit code. Block groups do not cross census tract, county, or state boundaries. In general, a block group is comprised of 600 to 3,000 residents. A zero block group code indicates a water-only BG. Boundary changes and code restructuring are reflected in the Census 2010 release. There are 217,740 block groups in Census 2010 geography.

Census tract

Census tracts are small statistical subdivisions of a county, with 1,200 to 8,000 residents typically. The boundaries are usually delineated by local committees, and do not cross county or state lines. Tracts are identified by a six-digit code, with an implied decimal between the fourth and fifth digit. Boundary changes and code restructuring are reflected in the Census 2010 release. There are 73,057 tracts in Census 2010 geography.

Consumer spending data

Esri has extracted demographic and economic data for households from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2006 and 2007 Consumer Expenditure (CEX) diary and interview surveys. Each year of data actually represents a series of independent, quarterly surveys that include approximately 7,500 households or consumer units. Data is combined from the 2006–2007 surveys to increase the sample size for analysis. Data represents total household expenditures in dollars.

Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSA)

Core Based Statistical Areas, which include metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas, are comprised of one or more counties and are defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB). A metropolitan statistical area is affiliated with at least one urbanized area of 50,000 or more inhabitants. A micropolitan statistical area is associated with at least one urban cluster of at least 10,000 people, but less than 50,000. There were no boundary, code or name changes made to CBSAs since the last release. The total number of CBSAs stands at 942, each identified by a five-digit code.


Counties are the primary legal divisions of a state, identified by a two-digit state FIPS code and a three-digit county FIPS code. Boundary changes, as well as code and name changes, occurred in Alaska. Specifically, three codes were dropped and five new codes and names were added. There was also a slight change to a county name in Illinois and New Mexico. There are 3,143 counties in Census 2010 geography.

Demographic data

The 2011 data included current-year estimates and five-year projections for key demographic data. With the exception of the Tapestry segmentation data, which is only available at the block group level of geography in Business Analyst Premium, all data is available at census block group, census tract, county, state, U.S., CBSA, DMA, and ZIP Code levels of geography. The data update is as of July 1, 2011.

Designated Market Area (DMA)

Designated Market Areas are television markets defined by The Nielsen Company, revised on an annual basis. The current vintage is the 2010-2011 DMA definitions. The majority of DMAs are comprised of one or more whole counties, although a few include parts of counties. Boundary changes, but no name or code changes, are reflected in this release. There are 210 DMAs, each identified by a three-digit code.

Diversity Index

The Diversity Index summarizes racial and ethnic diversity. The index shows the likelihood that two persons, chosen at random from the same area, belong to different racial or ethnic groups. The index ranges from 0 (no diversity) to 100 (complete diversity). For example, the diversity score for the United States is 59, which means there is a 59 percent probability that two people randomly chosen from the U.S. population would belong to different racial or ethnic groups.


Households in which one or more persons in the household are related to the householder (formerly, the head of the household) by birth, marriage or adoption. The census tabulates only one family per household. This data is from Census 2010 and Esri's 2011 projections.

Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) code

Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) for numeric codes used to identify states and counties.

Hispanic origin

Defined by self-identification, Hispanic origin refers to ethnicity, not race. Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race. This data is from Census 2010 and Esri 's 2011 projections.


A household is an occupied housing unit. Household type is identified by the presence of relatives and the number of persons living in the household. Family households, with or without children, include married couples and other families—a male or female householder with no spouse present. Nonfamily households may be a group of unrelated persons or a single person living alone. This data is Census 2010 and Esri's 2011 and 2016 projections.

Household income

See Income.

Household income base

This is the sum of the household income distribution.


2011 Income is a forecast of income for the calendar year 2010. Income amounts are expressed in current dollars, including an adjustment for inflation or cost-of-living increases. This data is Esri's 2011 and 2016 projections.


An index is the ratio of a local percent (rate) to a U.S. percent (rate) or other base. For example:

ratio of a local percent (rate) to a U.S. percent (rate)

Market potential data

The Esri Market Potential database includes data for 2,200 items organized into 35 categories, representing goods, services, attitudes, and activities, collected by Mediamark Research Inc. (MRI) Doublebase 2009 database. Market potential data measures the likely demand for a product or service. The database is available in Business Analyst Premium.


This is a value that divides a distribution into two equal parts. A median is a positional measure that is unaffected by extremely high or low values in a distribution that may affect an average.

Median age

Median age is calculated from the distribution of age by five-year groups. This data is Esri's 2011 projections. See Median.

Median household income

This is the value that divides the distribution of household income into two equal parts. Pareto interpolation is used if the median falls in an income interval other than the first or last. For the lowest interval, <$15,000, linear interpolation is used. If the median falls in the upper income interval of $200,000+, it is represented by the value of $200,001.

Per capita income

This is the average income for all persons calculated from the aggregate income of persons 15 years and older.


This is the total number of residents in an area. Residence refers to the "usual place" where a person lives, which is not necessarily the legal residence. For example, college students are counted where they attend school. This data is Census 2010 and Esri's 2011 and 2016 projections.


Defined by self-identification, race detail from Census 2010 contains the six basic race categories are White, Black or African American, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and "some other" race for persons who do not identify with one of the specified groups. Esri forecasts race for all single and multiracial populations that are consistent with 2010 Census tabulations. Data is from Census 2010 and Esri's 2011 projections.

Rate, annual percent

This is calculated as an annual compound rate of change from 2010 to 2011 for population, households, and families.

Shopping center data

Directory of Major Malls tracks information on over 5,000 major shopping centers and malls across the United States. The file used in Business Analyst includes all shopping centers with a gross leasable area (GLA) of approximately 225,000+ square feet and is current as of June 2012. Lifestyle/Specialty centers of any size are also included in this file as this classification of centers has recently become a primary focus in shopping center development. In addition, the data in Business Analyst contains the data for up to four anchor stores.


States are identified by a two-digit FIPS code. The District of Columbia is included as a state-equivalent area in the Esri database. See FIPS code.

Tapestry segmentation data

The Tapestry segmentation system provides an accurate, detailed description of America's neighborhoods. U.S. residential areas are divided into 65 segments based on demographic variables such as age, income, home value, occupation, household type, education, and other consumer behavior characteristics.

ZIP Code

Created by the U.S. Postal Service to deliver the mail, ZIP Codes do not represent standard census geographic areas for data reporting. Because ZIP Code boundaries are not contiguous with census geographic areas or stable over time, data estimated for ZIP Codes are also subject to change. Residential ZIP Code data are estimated from block group data, using a correspondence file created by assigning Census 2010 block points to ZIP Code boundaries from Navteq. The vintage of the ZIP Code boundaries is December 2010. The total number of residential ZIP Codes in this release is 31,890.