BLOG: The Data Mine: Foreclosures, Urbanization and More

By | March 27, 2012

(Source Mary Jo Webster Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn. (MCT) — There are lots of interesting reports out there today that I wanted to at least give a nod to and also pull out a few bits on Minnesota.

Here goes…

Minnesota Compass released its annual report on foreclosures in the state, comparing 2011 to previous years and breaking down total foreclosures and rates (foreclosures per residential parcel) for each county.

The good news? The number of foreclosures fell in 2011 compared to the previous year by 17 percent. The bad news? It’s still above the pre-recession numbers by a considerable amount.

One other thing that jumped out at me was a map showing the foreclosure rates. Counties to the north of the Twin Cities — what would be considered the far-flung suburbs– had the highest rates, all hovering around 2 percent. In other words, about two percent of the residential properties in those counties had a sheriff’s sale last year.

What’s most interesting is the geographic location of those counties with high rates. Those are the places where, during the housing boom, builders were rapidly turning cornfields into housing developments and offering relatively cheap housing to those willing to live a considerable distance from Minneapolis/St. Paul.

One last thing on the Minnesota Compass report. I’m a big fan of the work that organization does, but it’s annoying that they put these reports out as PDFs, forcing you to troll through tables that can’t be sorted. Why not release the data tables in Excel files?

Another interesting press release out today is one from the U.S. Census Bureau identifying “urban” areas based on the 2010 Census, including 36 new ones (among them: Mankato, Minn.) One of the more interesting things (to me, at least) is a table showing urbanization rates by state. It showed that about 73 percent of Minnesotans live in an urbanized area, making it the 28th most urbanized state in the U.S.  In other words, we’re pretty much average on that front (as we are on many fronts).  You can see the various data tables — in Excel! — here.

Finally, I’ll give a nod to my former employer, The Center For Public Integrity, and a report they put out in conjunction with the Investigative Reporting Workshop looking at broadband adoption rates.  The story includes a cool interactive map that allows you to change the image to various dates in time (December 2008 to December 2010) and see how the percentage of households with broadband increases across the U.S.

On the map, you can see that there are definitely some parts of Minnesota significantly lagging behind others in broadband adoption, but overall the state seems to be faring better than others (particularly those in the South).

 

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©2012 the Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minn.)

Visit the Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minn.) at www.twincities.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Source Mary Jo Webster Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn. (MCT)

One thought on “BLOG: The Data Mine: Foreclosures, Urbanization and More

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