Maps and Interactives

A growing number of mapping tools, calculators and other interactive online tools around the web offer valuable information and perspective on poverty issues. Through the sites on this page you can examine different dimensions of poverty and related concerns by geographic area and to explore the relationships between income levels, poverty, and social policy.

Food Environment Atlas

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's new Food Environment Atlas, developed by the agency's Economic Research Service, allows you to explore and map several dozen indicators on food access, food assistance, food insecurity, health, and socioeconomic indicators including poverty down to the county level. The data can also be downloaded.

Here is a look at SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps) benefits by county (darker colors indicate higher benefit allocations). Detailed statistics are available by county. Click on the map to go to the Atlas.

Social Explorer

Social Explorer, funded in part by the National Science Foundation, offers a collection of interactive demographic maps that can be viewed, queried and manipulated to explore demographic change in the U.S. from 1790 through the present at a variety of geographic levels, including neighborhoods, counties, and states.,

Here is a look at 2007 unemployment rates in the Seattle area at the census tract level, showing rates ranging from less than one percent up to 20 percent (darker areas show higher rates). Click on the map to go to the site.


CensusScope is operated by the Social Science Data Analysis Network (SSDAN), a university-based organization that creates demographic media, such as user guides, web sites, and hands-on classroom computer material.

Here is a look at changing home ownership from 1990 to 2000. Click on the map to go to the site.

National Center for Children in Poverty

The NCCP website at Columbia University includes these interactive tools:

50-State Demographics Wizard creates custom tables of national and state-level statistics about low-income or poor children.

50-State Policy Wizardcreates custom tables with information about state and federal policies that assist low-income families and children.

Income Converter allows you to translate either annual income (in dollars), percent of the federal poverty level (%FPL), or percent of state median income (%SMI) into the other two values.