ZCTA-level population estimates for 12-15 year-olds

Hello! New to working with ACS data and new to this group.

I'm looking for ZCTA-level population estimates for 12-15 year-olds (for New Mexico only). 

Ideas? Thank you!

  • Table B09001 has data for 12-14 year olds and 15-17 year olds. This is likely the closest you can get for zip codes. I'd just divide 15-17 year olds by 3 and add to the 12-14 year olds to get 12-15. Zip data is only available off the 5-year datasets. Here's a link for the most current 2015-19 for NM and its zip codes - you'll have to download it of course.


  • David - thank you so very much!

    One more quick question - are these ZCTA-level age-specific population counts available by race/ethnicity?

  • To get more specific with the data, you'll have to make a tradeoff on another item. Beyond realizing that certain zip codes are not going to have many people of certain races/ethnicities and that some zips are just low populated overall, you're going to start to see suspect information (outliers both high and low) for a small geography like zip codes.

    Additionally, the race-based tables have their own structure, as can be seen in B01001B for Black, B01001D for Asian, etc. The age categories are 10-14 and 15-17, so trying to get this for 12-15 year olds starts to stretch the assumption that such ages are evenly distributed throughout the age category. So the data exists but it will both be a fair amount of work to download for each race as well as having some reliability issues for this specific narrow age range at the zip code level. A potential tradeoff would be to compile the race data for all children under 18, but even then in remote low-populated (rural) areas the data will be prone to error. ACS data from the sample would have to be used with caution. 2020 Census data on this should be out late this year or next spring, but no one is for sure how its accuracy will be impacted by the implementation of Differential Privacy controls. Best wishes!

  • You might try the NCHS bridged-race data. It's available by race/ethnicity and for single years of age, so you could just add up the numbers for age 12, 13, 14, 15. Unfortunately it's state- and county-level only, but you could then do a county-to-ZCTA allocation to approximate ZCTA results. 

    NCHS data is here: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/bridged_race/data_documentation.htm

    Geographic correlations / allocation: https://mcdc.missouri.edu/applications/geocorr.html 

  • Wonderful, thank you so very much for your prompt and helpful response, David! Indeed, population sizes are generally and relatively small in New Mexico, so I agree that further dividing the population counts into race/ethnicity may not be reliable. Thanks again!

  • Great idea, Glenn, thank you! I had forgotten about the NCHS data...