Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Edmonton's Census Correlations

Back in May, a lovely website went viral that listed a number of spurious correlations between unrelated sets of data. It was loads of fun to read, and a lovely reminder that correlation doesn't imply causation.

Edmonton's 2014 census data was released last week, in a glorious Christmas-like occasion for people like me who are into that sort of thing. The census asked a couple fun questions and broke the results down by neighborhood, and I originally figured it might be a fun idea to comb through the data for ridiculous correlations like the Spurious Correlations website.

Unfortunately nothing super ridiculous stood out. Regardless, take a look at some of the more fun findings from the Census that maybe haven't been picked up on by other sources:

Married people don't like renting



I mean, really, nobody really likes renting, but it seems like married people especially don't.

Low apartments make you lazier



In general, living in an apartment correlates with transit alternatives that aren't driving, but people in high-rise apartments walk to work way more than people in shorter apartments. Sure, this is maybe because most of the people who walk to work live downtown and that's where the high-rises are, but it's more fun to think that short apartments compel people to bus...

This fun graph



Basically, as neighborhood populations change, people's jobs change too. For instance, the most common time to have a family member in preschool is when you have people in your house under age 5 (duh), but the second most common is when you have people aged 35-40. That double-peak pattern gets shifted over by 10 years and flattened out for grade 7 kids.

Other moderately interesting (but less pretty to graph) correlations include:


  • Full-time workers like driving their own cars, but only really post-secondary students bother consistently taking transit to work
  • People who've been in their house a long time tend to pay attention to the newspaper and radio more for their city info, but people who've been there for less than 3 years seem to prefer the city website
  • People who go to Catholic school seem to like driving more 
  • People working part-time are more likely to have lived in their house for more than 5 years than people working full-time (but less likely than if there are high school kids in the house!)
  • 25 to 40 year olds tend to move around the most, after then they seem to stick in the same house for a while

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