More data, more connected: Dive into the updated Houston Community Data Connections dashboard

DATA :  Feb. 21, 2024

The Houston skyline reaches into the clouds.

After a year of planning, development and collaboration with our partners, the Kinder Institute for Urban Research is proud to release a significant update to Houston Community Data Connections, a long-standing initiative to make local data more accessible to the public.

Alongside research, engagement and action, data is a cornerstone of the Kinder Institute’s mission. Since 2016, the Kinder Institute has been part of the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership, a collaboration between the Washington, D.C.-based Urban Institute and partners in more than 30 cities across the country that facilitate public access to neighborhood data in local decision making.

Through the Houston Community Data Connections initiative, our goal is to make it easier for our research partners, community advocates, nonprofits, policymakers and others to access and understand a wide variety of indicators about the area at the neighborhood level.

First launched under the leadership of Jie Wu, the Kinder Institute’s former director of research management, and with initial support from Houston Endowment, this initiative has served thousands of users to date, and we hope thousands more will explore the data in the months and years to come.

As part of the relaunch of our data dashboard, we have redesigned the user interface, added new features and made over 120 indicators available across Harris County. All or most of these indicators can be mapped by ZIP code, community tabulation area (CTA) or school district. In addition to individual indicators, the dashboard also offers a “Community Overview” report for all 143 CTAs in the county, allowing for a deep-dive snapshot of an entire neighborhood. This report is also available in a printer-friendly PDF as well as a CSV that can be used to compile your own dataset.

A preview of the new Community Overview feature now available at
A preview of the new Community Overview feature now available at

A new feature of the dashboard is the ability to map your own data. Using the “Load CSV” feature, you can map data by ZIP code, CTA or school district directly on the dashboard and interact with it. All that is required is that your CSV file includes a column of ZIP codes or ID numbers that match the region ID numbers that we use, and at least one column of corresponding data. Any data mapped with this tool is not saved on our servers — after all, it is your data, not ours!

Our renewed efforts are just getting started. Over the next year, we plan to continue adding additional indicators from data sources beyond the U.S. Census Bureau. We also plan to expand the geographic scope of the dashboard to include ZIP codes in Fort Bend and Montgomery counties. As part of our long-term outreach efforts, we will also demonstrate the platform to nonprofit leaders and community members.

The Kinder Institute for Urban Research would like to thank previous staff members and Rice University affiliates who forged the way by setting up the initial dashboard, as well as current staff members who made this new version possible. We would also like to thank the United Way of Greater Houston, Spring Branch ISD and the Greater Houston Community Foundation for their input on our development prototypes.

Now it is your turn: We want to hear your feedback and requests for new data and features. We also invite you to subscribe to stay up to date on new data releases and other revisions to the dashboard.

Houston Community Data Connections
Houston Community Data Connections
Jul. 6, 2022

An interactive data platform, this initiative seeks to facilitate the practical use of data by city and community leaders for decision-making and capacity building in Houston's communities.



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