Gender, Education, Family, Poverty and Race


Heather Fitz Gibbon, College of Wooster

Learning Goals


  • Using software to access and analyze census data
  • Identifying independent and dependent variables
  • Employing control variables
  • Learning how to construct, read, and interpret bivariate tables displaying frequencies and percentages
  • Identifying population trends over time


  • To discuss the topics of income and poverty
Context for Use

This activity is used in a General Sociology class for undergraduate students. This activity looks at factors that affect income and poverty in the United States over time.

Description and Teaching Materials

Please see File Attachment(s).

Urban underclass indicators such as teen pregnancy rates, and joblessness over the last three decades will be compared by race and location (cities versus suburbs) in an effort to explore the determinants of poverty using actual census data.

Teaching Notes and Tips

This activity uses twelve customized data sets, three made from combining census information from 1950-1990, one from combining census data from 1950-2000 and eight from the 1990 Census. It guides students through data manipulation using WebCHIP software found at DataCounts!. To open WebCHIP with the dataset for the activity, please see instructions and links in the exercise documents under teaching materials. For more information on how to use WebCHIP, see the How To section on DataCounts!