Newscruncher is a daily series that breaks down the characteristics of your town by the numbers. You can see more posts by clicking the Newscruncher link above the headline or by checking out our weekend roundups. If you see any technical issues with this map, or if you'd like to suggest ideas for future Newscruncher articles, please email email@example.com.
With Thanksgiving less than a week away, Patch is rolling out a series of maps to raise awareness about people in the area who are doing without. The map above shows a snapshot across town of the percentage of families living in poverty and the percentage of homes without heating fuel or heating equipment.
The amount of energy used to heat homes has been dropping as homes begin to adopt better insulation and more efficient windows. In 2009, 48 percent of energy consumption was for heating and cooling, down from 58 percent in 1993.
Energy costs for heating have continued to rise, affecting low income households the most. Even with federal assistance amounting to $3.4 billion, last winter low income households had to spend $35.1 billion in energy costs to stay warm.
An estimated 40 million Americans are often forced to choose between purchasing food or adequately heatings their homes.
The data in this map are from the United States Census Bureau's 2011 American Community Survey. These values are an estimate for 2011 taking into account 60 months of collected data. You can learn more about the survey here.
Using your cursor, you can hover over any census tract – the geographic region defined by the U.S. Census – and see in the box in the upper right hand corner of the map the percentage of families living in poverty and the percentage of homes without heating fuel or heating equipment.
What do you think explains the differences across town in the number of homes without heating fuel or heating equipment? Tell us in a comment or a blog post.
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