The "Hard-To-Count" (HTC) maps are based on data is from the US Census Bureau. An HTC score is a prediction based on a number of criteria that have shown to make a tract more likely to be "hard-to-count." Such factors include foreign born parents, language isolation, income level (low), education level (low), and home renters versus home owners, among others. Tracts are shaded according to their “hard-to-count” score. The higher the HTC score, the darker the precinct tract.
The "Hard-To-Count" data is just as important as the "Mail Response Rate" (MRR). This is the rate to which people in each census tract interact or cooperate with the decennial Census. If the circle in each tract is filled, that means more people are mailing the Census form back in that particular tract. White circles mean less people are mailing the form back.
In each tract you will see:
A circle. The circle represents two pieces of data:
- the size of the circle shows visually the population of that tract. It can be compared to the circle on the key (a fixed number for that size)
- the MRR, a percentage number that shows what the black portion of the circle represents; such as "59.7%" if the circle is a little more than halfway filled in.
An "L" designates a “low income” tract. That is, families living on $50,000 or less and individuals living on $30,000 or less.
The Census tract number. This is a long number with a prefix for the county, and a 6 digit Census tract number.
The raw population number. This shows exactly how many people lived in that tract in 2000.
Color. The tracts are shaded according to the HTC score.
These maps directly show where to pin point efforts based on Census data from 2000. In many ways, districts have changed since then, and certain areas are probably now "harder" to count. If financial factors, such as foreclosure rates or gentrification, have changed neighborhoods in these districts, then some tracts could be darker or lighter after the 2010 Census. All considered, this is the best and most recent data to work with, once again proving how much we rely on data collected every ten years and the importance of replying to the Census.