Expand AU Menu

American Communities Project

US map

American Communities Project

A political science/data journalism effort that uses demographics to break the nation's 3,100 counties into
15 community types

The United States is remaking itself in the 21st century. Changes in technology and economics are redefining the social, political and cultural fault lines that make the country what it is. The American Communities Project exists to explore those changes with a massive data library and a demographic/geographic breakdown of communities that lets it understand where the country is going at the local level.

A combined political science/journalism effort based at American University, the ACP uses a vast array of data – from elections results and economic numbers to consumer survey and poling – to break communities into different types for analysis. The primary point: Even in the age of the Web, people in different places experience the world very differently.

Working with academics, the ACP used a wide range of different factors – everything from income to race and ethnicity to education to religious affiliation – and a clustering technique to identify 15 types of counties, everything from Big Cities to Aging Farmlands. It has mapped those types to show where the country’s political, socio-economic and cultural fissures are.

American Communities in the Media

Dante Chinni, director of the American Communities Project, spoke to U.S. News & World Report on July 20 about Donald Trump's rhetoric in the 2016 presidential race.

Dante Chinni, executive in residence, wrote an article for NBC News on May 25 that took a look at the statistical regional differences between families with a member who has served in the military and how the differences relate to urban and rural environments.

Dante Chinni, director of the American Communities Project, wrote an article for NBC News on April 21 which takes a statistical approach to considering the often ambiguous role gender plays in voter decision-making as Hillary Clinton begins her presidential campaign.

Dante Chinni, director of the American Communities Project, wrote an article for NBC News on April 19, which focused on analyzing the uncertain future of marijuana legislation.

Dante Chinni, director of the American Communities Project, wrote an article for NBC News on April 16 about the potential challenges Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz may face in garnering the Hispanic vote during their respective presidential campaigns.

Project Director

Dante Chinni

Dante Chinni
Practitioner-in-Residence
202-885-6421
dchinni@gmail.com