National and Subnational Population Data and Maps from US AID and US Census Bureau
As readers of this blog and our book are aware, when a geodata portal is confusing or inadequate, we are not afraid to say so. And conversely, when a resource comes along that contains a wealth of content and is actually intuitive to use at the same time, we share that as well. An example of a new, useful, and intuitive resource comes from the Demographic and Health Surveys of the US AID program and the US Census Bureau. The site provides detailed demographic data primarily for countries that receive assistance via the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The data are available for single countries and also multiple countries through a data package, all of which the user chooses and customizes. Through the site, the US Census Bureau has added to and updated the online collection of subnational population data linked to maps.
To access the maps and data, begin at the main website for the project, select Data, select countries, select indicators (variables), select the format (shapefile or geodatabase), and indicate whether you want to download it now in a browser or receive an email when the package is ready. You can choose up to 25 variables at a time to be included in the package. I tested it and it worked marvelously. Also, in the near future, the US Census Bureau will release a seamless global map containing population estimates for tens of thousands of subnational administrative areas globally. Wouldn’t it be grand if all sites were this simple to use?