Module 17 Assignment: Population and Urbanization

For this assignment, you will use census data to compare two American cities. You can pick any two cities, but they need to be at least 100 miles apart.

STEP 1: Go to the U.S. census website. Using the census website, dive into Quick Facts ( and American Fact Finder ( to look up information about your two chosen cities.

Use the data to compare the overall population, the population by age, the population by ethnic group. Also look at all of the data on education, work, housing, income, and poverty. Pick the data you find to be most insightful and create a chart that shows a comparison of the 10-15 pieces of data that you find to be most interesting. It should something look like this, although you can pick the most interesting criteria for your first column:

Selected Criteria (this will vary) City A City B
Median age
Median gross rent
Persons per household
Households with a computer
Percentage of the population in the labor force
Persons in poverty
Women-owned firms
Minority-owned firms
Hispanic or Latino

STEP 2: Write a 300-500 word letter to a friend who is considering moving to either one of these two places. The friend doesn’t know much about the areas and your job is to write to him or her to explain the two cities, and provide a list of pros and cons of living in each one. Provide an argument as to why your friend may want to choose one city over the other. Your analysis should include any interesting things you notice in the data. Are these communities diverse, and in what ways? Do you notice any trends?


Criteria Rating Points
Census Data Census data is accurate and chart is completely filled with at least 10 data points to compare between two cities Chart partially compares data between two cities Chart is incomplete or does not accurately compare data between two cities __/10
Letter to friend Student writes a convincing letter to friend weighing the pros and cons of living in each of the two cities. The letter includes references to the data and trends gleaned from the data. Student writes letter to friend but the letter only partially pulls from the data and does not reference pros and cons of each city. Student does not include data in argument to the friend or does not weigh the pros and cons of each city. __/10
Total __/20