I am gathering data for social equity/racial justice research. The ACS provides block group level data for race/ethnicity for persons, and also on poverty for persons. But it does not give “persons in poverty by race.” This information would be very valuable, but I was told by the Census staff that it cannot be distributed for privacy reasons. It is frustrating that we cannot locate “neighborhoods” (aka block groups) with low-income people of color. If we cannot locate them, that hampers our ability to target services to assist them. It seems like a Catch 22.
I was able to find municipal level data by HOUSHOLD which has income levels by race. That was somewhat helpful. But it seems like the existing census bureau practices are limiting our ability to do rigorous research on social justice, which is a very pressing issue.
Do any of you have any thoughts on this? Am I missing something? Is there some other means by which I can get neighborhood level data on poverty by race?
One way to try to do this us to use Small Area Estimation where you use a tabulation from a "large area" in your case say the county level (or larger), a statistical model for the outcome of interest, in this case poverty, and relate poverty to variables that you do have at the census tract or block group level. For the outcome poverty a lot of work has been done on this for different geographies as support for many benefit programs (Federal and State) depend on the poverty level in a particular geography. You may be able to find a reference where someone has done this analysis for the variables that you are interested in. To build a model from scratch requires a lot of statistics and a good feel for what the variables are telling you. The devil is in the details. Perhaps you can collaborate/partner with an organization or a statistician who can help out.
The UN does this type of analysis at larger geographies.