Thursday, September 11, 2003

You are Your Zip Code

We have no clue where to move. We just know that raising two kids in the city isn't working out, so we have to move. But where? I first looked at my old home town, because it has good schools. But ack! Housing prices are outrageous. So, we've been picking one town after the other and ruling them out. My sister's town? Too expensive. My brother's town? Too far from the city.

We want to live in a town with people like us. Everyone does. You want to live next door to the guy who watchs Buffy, reads books, and drinks lattes, if that's what you do.

Another reason for being so hyper about your neighbors is because school quality is tied to neighborhood demographics. Good schools are in wealthier neighborhoods. We have to move to a neighborhood where other educated people are just starting to move in. The SAT scores might suck now, but the kindergarten will be excellent.

One of the tools that I've been using to figure all this out is the Marketing Zipcode Thingy. Check it out. Plug in your zip code and it will give you 50 different demographic segments. Not only does it have the ages and income of people in that area, but it also can predict what type of magazines are read there and what major appliances are used. Marketers have us all figured out.

An example:
Blue Highways - On most maps, the interstates are colored red and the older highways are blue. Cluster 58 follows these remote roads through our mountains and along our coasts, deserts, and lake shores. Blue Highways families are young with lots of children. They hunt and fish, attend tractor pulls, and love country music and camping.

It's disturbing that I am moving from "Bohemian Mix" to "Home Sweet Home."  

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