Census Data and Luxury Lane


Marnie Rodriguez, Cleveland State University

Learning Goals


You will learn that the U.S. Census is a good source of information about characteristics of people living in the U.S. in general, or states/cities in the U.S. in particular.

You will become familiar with describing and analyzing simple descriptive statistical information.


You will learn that there are practical uses for the information about the characteristics of the population of a given region.

Context for Use

This exercise was designed for a race, class, and gender course. In this exercise, students will play the role of a social researcher hired by business developers. The student will have to utilize income and education data to inform the “developers” whether there will be adequate demand for the goods.

For this assignment, students will pretend to be a social researcher hired by the developers of Luxury Lane, a high end shopping plaza featuring gourmet cuisine, custom furniture, designer clothing, and expensive artwork. They will determine (1) if they should consider placing their shopping area in Ohio or another state, and (2) if they choose Ohio, whether they should choose Cleveland or another city.

Teaching Notes and Tips

This activity uses the charts, rankings and maps on CensusScope.org. CensusScope is an easy-to-use tool to investigate U.S. trends using census data.