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Revised: Bike Data Breakdown

Last week, we released our Where We Ride report, analyzing U.S. Census Bureau data on national bike commuting trends. Shortly following our release of the report, we became aware of more comprehensive data that should be included in our analysis. 

Today, we’re releasing our revised Where We Ride report, with more communities and data points included. Download it here.

We’ve also put together a short tutorial on how YOU can work with American Community Survey data at home. 

Where do we go for ACS data?

American FactFinder.

We use the Advanced Search feature to find our data. The Advanced Search feature allows us to easily access the data on commuting to work because we are familiar with the topics and geographies that we want to learn about. The information provided below should allow you to use the Advanced Search feature as well.

What topics do we use? 

Topics are displayed in a nested menu and we find commute to work data by navigating from People -> Employment -> Commuting (Journey to Work).

In some instances it can also be helpful to select a particular dataset, which is also available as a Topic, especially to look at past years or to limit results to the same type of data (e.g. 1-, 3-, or 5-year estimates). In general, the data we publish is based on 1-year estimates in order to allow us to report on trends over time. 3- and 5-year estimates are better for areas with small populations or if you are interested in particular demographic characteristics.

What geographies do we use? 

Geographies are displayed in a nested menu and we usually report on three types of geographies – the entire United States, states and places.

What tables do we use? 

After you have selected a topic and a geography a list of relevant tables will appear. 

In the past we have used the B08006 – Sex of Workers By Means of Transportation To Work – table because it provides an estimate for the number of male and female bicycle commuters in most geographies. If you are interested in only the % of commuters who commute by bike you can use the S0801 – Commuting Characteristics by Sex – table, which does not provide estimates for the number of bicycle commuters.

This year we learned of the availability of the C08006 – Sex of Workers By Means of Transportation To Work – table, which compresses some categories of commuters in order to report on more places. In the past, bicycle commuters had been compressed with “Taxicab, motorcycle, or other means” in the C08006 table, and bicycle commuters continue to be grouped in this way for many of the other tables that deal with demographic characteristics. This compression or grouping occurs due to data quality reasons. 

The compression of certain categories in the C08006 table allows it to report on more geographies that the B08006 table, while providing the same type of data on bicycle commuters. For this reason we have chosen to use the C08006 table and issue a revision to our Where We Ride report. Sorry for any confusion. If your community is not in the current data, it may be in the 3- or 5-year estimates that will be released later this year

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