Online Tools

At the APL, we have designed web applications that make complex and at times hard-to-find data publicly available in a user-friendly format. These applications fall into two broad categories: tools for data exploration and websites that present research and reporting.

Data Exploration


APL's flagship website, GetFacts, is an interactive data visualization and download tool for Wisconsin demographics. Explore by location - state, county, or county subdivision - and download both graphics and tabular data.

Wisconsin Food Security Project

The recently expanded Wisconsin Food Security Project provides an interactive website for exploring and documenting food security and food security infrastructure throughout the state. Key features include mapping and charting, PDF profiles, and tabular data downloads.

Example line chart from Net Migration website

Net Migration Patterns for US Counties

The Net Migration website highlights trends and patterns in where Americans are moving by providing reliable estimates of net migration broken down by age, race, Hispanic-origin, and sex for all U.S. counties each decade from 1950 to 2010.

Madison Neghborhood Indicators Project

By providing users with timely and detailed information, the Madison Neighborhood Indicators Project aims to support better understanding of the changing needs and assets within Madison neighborhoods. The website centers on an interactive map with charts and tables to describe changes in selected indicators over time.

The Neighborhood Atlas

Living in a disadvantaged neighborhood has been linked to a number of healthcare outcomes, including higher rates of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, increased utilization of health services, and earlier death. Health interventions and policies that don't account for neighborhood disadvantage may be ineffective. The UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health's Neighborhood Atlas website was created in order to freely share measures of neighborhood disadvantage with the public, including educational institutions, health systems, not-for-profit organizations, and government agencies, in order to make these metrics available for use in research, program planning, and policy development.

Mapping Rural Colleges

Mapping Rural Colleges, a project of UW-Madison's SSTAR Lab, explores the geography of college opportunity: where postsecondary programs are offered and the communities they serve. It focuses on diverse types of postsecondary programs and on rural areas. This tool is designed to allow you to explore "what counts" as higher education from a place-based perspective.

Wisconsin Risk and Reach Project

The Wisconsin Risk and Reach Project provides information about community risk factors and the reach of publicly funded programs designed to support children and families. The information and tools available here can be used to assess potential gaps in services by county and across the state. The aim is to promote constructive dialogue, better understanding, and data-informed decisions that improve the well-being of Wisconsin children. The information presented here is intended to inform state government, local advocacy agencies, and communities about areas of need for program expansion and investment.

Equitable Program Development Dashboard

Equitable Program Development Dashboard

Built in partnership with UW-Extension, the Equitable Program Development Dashboard is designed to build colleagues' capacity to understand their local context for expanding access and developing equitable programming. The dashboard provides county-based educators, program managers, and Institute Directors with a reliable means to visualize and analyze socioeconomic factors and community-based assets as they develop and implement programs that focus on the needs of populations who are underrepresented and underserved in Wisconsin.

Research and Reporting

Translational Applied Demography

Translational Applied Demography is a partnership of APL and Visit the site to learn more about the project and explore reports on key social issues affecting Wisconsin residents.

Geographic Access to Child Care in Wisconsin

APL collaborated with campus and state partners to identify childcare deserts across the state and published the results of that analysis in an online story map.

Population Trends in Post-Recession Rural America

Population Trends in Post-Recession Rural America

Population Trends in Post-Recession Rural America, a publication series of the W3001 Research Project, provides information about current trends confronting rural people and their communities in the United States. The briefs are available in an interactive format or can be downloaded as PDFs.

Local Demographic Profiles

Profiles that have been made by the APL are made publicly available here. To download a profile, simply select the geographical location and a PDF view will open in your browser.

Latino Population Briefs for Wisconsin Counties

Latino population briefs icon These four-page Latino population briefs depict basic demographic characteristics and changes in the each county's Latino population. They include details about population change since 1970 and, for more recent decades, information about changes in age structure and household composition.

Source Information

The above reports were produced by the Applied Population Laboratory with assistance from APL interns, Da Huo and Claire Gecewicz, who assembled and formatted the data. Support for the project was provided by APL and the University of Wisconsin Extension.

Other Sources of Data about Latinos:

  • The US Census Bureau offers a wealth of Census and American Community Survey (ACS) data about the Latino population through its web portal,
  • APL's web mapping and data extraction tool, GetFacts, allows users to access population data and maps by race and ethnicity for a wide range of Wisconsin geographic scales.
  • Net Migration data for all US Counties, including breakouts for the Latino population, can be found here:
  • Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction also offers some insight on Latino students in Wisconsin schools through their data portal:

Reports and Publications about Latinos in Wisconsin:

Wisconsin Counties' Historical Housing Density

Historical housing iconCensus data allow us to look back over 70 years of changes in housing density within Wisconsin counties.

Source Information

UW GIS Certificate Program Graduate Greg Grube produced these reports in conjunction with APL. Users will note a shift in geographic scale between 1980 partial block groups estimates and subsequent 1990 block level estimates. The sources of these estimates and the map production methods are described briefly here: WI Housing Density Report

1940 - 1980 Housing Density:
US Census Partial Block Group Data Hammer, R.B.S.I. Stewart, R. Winkler, V.C. Radeloff,and P.R. Voss. 2004. Characterizing spatial and temporal residential density patterns across the U.S. Midwest, 1940-1990. Landscape and Urban Planning 69: 183-199.

1990 - 2010 Housing Density:
US Census Bureau, Census block housing unit counts.

Census 2010 PDF Profiles

Census profiles iconAPL has republished the Census Bureau's print ready demographic profiles, making them easier for users to find and access: 2010.