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National Equity Research Database (NERD)

The National Equity Research Database, Boston Edition

A product of the project

What is NERD Boston?

The Boston edition of the National Equity Research Database, or “NERD Boston,” is a product of the Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy’s flagship research project, It is a database of 286 socio-economic indicators on a wide range of subjects, including demography, education, employment, health, housing, earnings and ancestry covering the Boston metropolitan area.

Why use NERD Boston?

NERD Boston is unique in providing:

  • A wide range of indicators,
  • For Boston neighborhoods,
  • Broken out by race/ethnicity (160 of the 286 indicators),
  • Over time, from 2009 to 2016.

Beyond Boston neighborhoods, every indicator is also available for the Boston metro area, the City of Boston and all other municipalities in the Boston metro, as well as the Commonwealth, New England, and the nation so users can compare data across the metro area and benchmark findings against larger areas.

By providing data for racial/ethnic groups in neighborhoods over time, NERD Boston allows users to examine how socio-economic characteristics, living conditions, and opportunities are changing for different racial/ethnic groups across Boston neighborhoods and the Boston metro area. The level of detail NERD Boston provides brings into full view the large spatial and racial/ethnic inequities that persist across city neighborhoods and the metro area. Compared to census tract-level estimates provided by the Census Bureau, NERD Boston’s neighborhood-level estimates are more precise, especially when broken out by race/ethnicity, and capture information about socially and historically meaningful geographic entities.

NERD Boston is currently in beta mode. Data and documentation may be incomplete or modified in future releases. We anticipate leaving beta mode with the first major update in early 2019, which will add a new wave of data and additional indicators.

The project is supported by the WK Kellogg Foundation.

Where can I learn more?

The User Guide contains further details about the database, available indicators, and some sample analyses. It’s available here.

A set of interactive Tableau charts based on a subset of the neighborhood-level data is available here.

How do I get the data?

Please complete the short form, read the data use agreement, and click the button to access the data.

Fill out my online form.

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