By Jenny Connelly-Bowen, CBN Community Development Specialist

This week, we’re looking at workers employed in computer, engineering, and science occupations in the St. Louis region. The maps below cover St. Louis City and St. Louis County in Missouri and Madison and St. Clair Counties in Illinois. They were compiled in QGIS using 2011-2015 American Community Survey (ACS) Five-Year Estimates (Table S2402, Occupation by Sex for the Full-Time, Year-Round Civilian Employed Population 16 Years and Over).

Here’s how ACS defines occupation (see page 101 of their most recent Subject Definitions PDF):

Occupation describes the kind of work a person does on the job. Occupation data were derived from answers to questions 45 and 46 in the 2015 American Community Survey (ACS). Question 45 asks: “What kind of work was this person doing?” Question 46 asks: “What were this person’s most important activities or duties?”

Occupation statistics are compiled from data that are coded based on the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Manual: 2010 (, published by the Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget. Census occupation codes, based on the 2010 SOC, provide 539 specific occupational categories for employed people, including military, arranged into 23 major occupational groups.

These maps look at full-time, year-round civilian workers employed in computer, engineering, and science occupations, a subset of the broader management, business, science, and arts occupations category. The first map looks at total workers in these occupations by standard deviation. Green tracts have an above-average number of workers in computer, engineering, and science.


The next map looks at the relative importance of computer, engineering, and science occupations among all worker occupations in a given census tract. In brown areas, a lower percentage of all employed workers work in computer, engineering, and science jobs (0-6 percent); in dark green areas, between 12 and 28 percent of all employed workers work in computer, engineering, and science jobs.


The last map breaks down the distribution of workers in computer, engineering, and science jobs by sex. Among workers in computer, engineering, and science occupations, blue areas are tracts where men outnumber women by at 2:1 or more; purple areas are tracts where women outnumber men by 2:1 or more; and orange areas are tracts where the distribution of men and women is more evenly split (that is, somewhere between the two ratio measures listed above). Gray tracts had no workers in these fields.


Interestingly, some of the census tracts with the lowest concentration of computer, engineering, and science workers (both by total and at the tract level) are also tracts with high percentages of women employed in these fields.

To access maps from previous editions of the Community Builders Exchange, click here.