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Analyzing Correlations of Education and Income

Activity Description

Analyzing Correlations of Education and Income

Students will explore maps containing census data from 1950 through 2000. They will analyze how education levels and median household incomes have changed over time and determine how the two might be correlated. Students will also come up with ideas for policies that could help address issues related to income and education.

Suggested Grade Level


Approximate Time Required

120 Minutes

Learning Objectives

  • Students will be able to read maps to understand census data.
  • Students will be able to analyze data over time, making comparisons to identify trends and correlations in the data.
  • Students will be able to propose policies to address issues of income and education.

Materials Required

  • The student version of this activity, 18 pages; it contains images that should be printed in color.
  • Teacher computer with Internet access and a projector to display websites

A computer with Internet access for each student (or for pairs of students) is optional.

Activity Items

The following items are part of this activity.

  • Completed High School, 1950 Map
  • Completed High School, 2000 Map
  • Completed College, 1950 Map
  • Completed College, 2000 Map
  • Median Household Income, 1969 Map
  • Median Household Income, 1999 Map
  • Completed College, Largest Metropolitan Areas, 2000 Map
  • Median Household Income, Largest Metropolitan Areas, 1999 Map

Teacher Notes

Blooms Taxonomy

Blooms Taxonomy

Students will analyze choropleth maps containing census data to identify correlations between education and income.


High School Geography


  • Choropleth maps
  • Education levels
  • Income levels

Skills Taught

  • Analyzing a choropleth map
  • Comparing maps to identify correlations
  • Deciphering census data represented spatially


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