Define Your Neighborhood


There are so many ways to define neighborhoods it can be a little overwhelming. The feeling of being part of a community of neighbors or the places a person visits on a regular basis can create a sense of “neighborhood” for many of us. When it comes to data, there are a handful of neighborhood boundaries that we can use to track changes over time with some degree of consistency. For example, dividing Detroit into census tracts, we have 297 relatively stable places with a large amount of data available over time.

Neighborhoods Matter

Opportunity Atlas

The Opportunity Atlas answers questions about how childhood neighborhoods impact individuals’ futures using anonymous data following 20 million Americans from childhood to their mid-30s. Now you can trace the roots of today’s affluence and poverty back to the neighborhoods where people grew up. See where and for whom opportunity has been missing, and develop local solutions to help more children rise out of poverty.

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The National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP) is a learning network, coordinated by the Urban Institute, of independent organizations in 30 cities that share a mission to ensure all communities have access to data and the skills to use information to advance equity and well-being across neighborhoods. Visit to learn more about organizations across the country making an impact on neighborhood research.

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Featured Project

Housing Information Portal

We’ve collected data and resources about housing and property in Detroit, Southeast Michigan, and beyond. Search by parcel or by various geographic levels from census block groups to state level.

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Screenshot of the Housing Information Portal home page

Find More Neighborhood Data

What Are We Missing?

Lived Experience

Understanding how residents are experiencing their neighborhoods can add nuance to knowledge from more traditional sources of data. For example, if the data shows there are plenty of new restaurants in an area, but the nearby residents don’t feel comfortable dining in them, this is information the business owners might want to know and act on.


Public and private investments in neighborhoods can cause dramatic changes in those neighborhoods. Our current understanding of the funding landscape is spotty at best.

Migration Patterns

Knowing who is moving out of a neighborhood and where they are moving to is kind of like the holy grail of understanding changing neighborhoods. Information like this could provide early insight into neighborhoods that might need additional support to avoid hitting a tipping point into instability.

Business Locations

Types of businesses, how many workers are at each location, a sense of how much business is being done – all of this would be helpful to understand what is happening in neighborhoods. Business data could be made available by the state, but instead most people rely on expensive third-party sources that we’ve found to be flawed on closer inspection.

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