Transportation-based classifications of Minnesota's counties and metropolitan statistical area tracts using measures from the 1990 Census of Population and Housing : final report


John Adams , Melissa Loughlin , Elvin Wyly

July 1994

Report no. Mn/DOT 1994-25

Census measures are used to classify Minnesota counties and metropolitan area census tracts according to demographic, journey-to-work, and mobility characteristics in 1990. Counties differ regarding scores calculated with respect to Population Mass-reflecting measures such as numbers of persons, of commuters, and of vehicles available for personal use; and a general Commuting tendency-reflecting proportions of commuters traveling more than 30 minutes, average commute time, and average number of vehicles per household. Three other basic characteristics of counties-average Socioeconomic Status of residents, degree of Mobility Impairment of residents; and Solo Commuting tendency-provide scores further differentiating counties. County scores are used to group Minnesota's 87 counties into six diverse clusters: 1) Hennepin (Minneapolis); 2) Ramsey (St. Paul); 3) Anoka and Dakota (Twin Cities suburbs); 4) St. Louis (Duluth); Olmsted (Rochester), Stears (St. Cloud), Washington (Twin Cities); and 6) all others.

The second analysis examines 833 census tracts in the Minnesota's five MSAs, classifying them with the procedures used for counties. Resulting classifications illustrate that relationships between travel activity and socioeconomic characteristics vary considerably for different metropolitan contexts. As a demonstration of potentially useful methods applied to census data for Minnesota, the study provided results. On other grounds, its value is more limited.

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