New Data Points Issue Paints A Better Statistical Picture of College Towns

Nov 21, 2019
Summary: The term 'college town' may cause some of us to have a moment of nostalgia but statistically, college towns are deemed poverty-ridden, with unaffordable housing and low incomes. In this issue of Data Points, authors Dennis W. Jansen, Carlos I. Navarro and Yuanhang Wang show how government statistics for college towns can be misleading with respect to income, poverty, and housing affordability. The paper also describes ways in which college towns are not so different from other areas with respect to statistics on crime or unemployment rates.  

Data Points is an occasional paper series that aims to inform policymakers and the public of the facts that bear on contemporary policy matters. Ideally, a better shared understanding of these facts will lead to less disagreement on policy.  The Data Points series gives undergraduate and M.A. students the chance to perform first-hand research and data analysis, as well as the opportunity to develop their writing skills, all in collaboration with PERC staff.

Click here to read the full issue, "College Towns: Handle Data With Care."