Are you curious about how your neighborhood is changing?
The U.S. Census Bureau is announcing a data-release program that reveals important demographic changes and trends that affect everyone.
For example, did you know that the Santa Clarita Valley has the highest population of veterans per capita, in all of California, which has the most veterans of any state in the nation?
This type of data is used by everyone from public planners who set bus routes to small-business owners who want to know how their target audience might be changing, said Scott Boggess, senior demographer for the U.S. Census Bureau.
“We encourage everyone to get in there and look at where they live, compare that to their neighbors and other areas in their neighborhood,” Boggess said.
The numbers are a result of processing data from the end of the 2010 Census release until Dec. 31, 2011, he said. The Census Bureau took those numbers and then continued to update them until the end of this past year, he said.
The data is constantly being collected, and the bureau is ramping up its efforts at data collection online.
Boggess cautions there may be a bit of a data lag in some areas -- Santa Clarita, for example, has a population of approximately 203,000 because in the last year, city officials have brought in thousands of residents within their jurisdiction. However, the bureau lists the figure at slightly more than 177,000.
Yet most of the projections, especially the figures as far as relative data, remain fairly unchanged, Boggess said.
“One of the big stories that came out of the last election was the large growth in the Hispanic population,” Boggess said. “THe ACS data will tell you who those people are. Are these people Cuban? Are they Mexican? Were they foreign-born? Are they on the move? Where are they going to? … (The data) will paint that picture of a community,” he said.
There’s no analyses, per se, on the site, Boggess said, but the numbers are out there and people may draw their own conclusions once they have accurate data.
“Our main focus here at the bureau is getting the data out the door, rather than the analysis,” Boggess said. “We want to make sure everyone has access and then we get it out so everyone can look at it.”
For a link to look at different areas by city or zip code, click here .
The site also has a “quick facts” section that can be accessed by clicking here .
Click here  for a more general search through the data.
For a search by topic, click here .