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Explore Tapestry by ZIP Codes

Help a college graduate move to Austin

A recent college graduate from Chicago has landed a job at a high-tech company in Austin, Texas. She knows little about the Austin area but wants to be within walking or biking distance of work. She also wants to live among fellow graduates and avoid high rent so she can pay down her college loans. Because her employer is located in ZIP Code 78753, she'll start there to find nearby apartments.

  1. Open the Esri ZIP Lookup tool.

    ZIP Lookup

    The tool is activated when you type a valid entry in the For ZIP Code text box.

  2. In the For ZIP Code box, type 78753 and press Enter.

    NeWest Residents

    The tool lists the top three Tapestry segments in each ZIP Code. In this example, the NeWest Residents segment is coded purple because it belongs to Next Wave, one of the 14 Tapestry LifeMode summary groups. For a broader view of markets, Tapestry segments are grouped into LifeMode summary groups that represent populations that share a common experience, such as similar ages, product preferences, or spending habits.


    The number under each segment name, listed highest to lowest, is the percentage of residents of each Tapestry segment in the ZIP Code. For example, 31.1 percent of the residents in ZIP Code 78753 are considered to be in Tapestry's NeWest Residents neighborhoods. If the graduate believes the demographics and lifestyles of these residents are similar to her profile, this information might help to influence her location decision.

  3. Read the description for NeWest Residents. For more information, including an age and gender breakdown, income summary, and market profile, choose Click for More Details.
  4. Click to read the descriptions for Bright Young Professionals and Metro Fusion.

    Are the descriptions in the last two boxes closer to her preferences? You could explore other area ZIP Codes to see whether she has more options.

  5. Click the Get More Details button.

    Get More Details button

    A new browser window opens that shows more information about Tapestry Segmentation.

  6. Scroll down to the Tapestry Segment summaries section.

    LifeMode is one of two Tapestry summary groups. The other group is Urbanization, which groups segments according to population density and affluence.

  7. Scan the LifeMode summary groups and match their bullet points to the preferences of your graduate.
  8. When you've finished, scroll to the LifeMode summary group 3, Uptown Individuals.

    Uptown Individuals

    The description appears to show a good fit for your graduate because Uptown Individuals neighborhoods reflect a population with familiar circumstances and values; namely, industrious, educated, and successful young singles paying down student loans.

  9. To the right of LifeMode summary group 3, click segments 3A Laptops and Lattes, 3B Metro Renters, and 3C Trendsetters.


    Each link opens a PDF document in a new window, containing a description of that Tapestry segment.

  10. Scan the three PDFs and find information that best matches the lifestyle of your college graduate.

    Of the three segments, Metro Renters might be the best option. Residents in Metro Renters neighborhoods prefer to live close to work, use public transportation, and are in their mid-twenties.

    Who Are We provides a general description of residents in Metro Renters neighborhoods. The description reflects a neighborhood appreciating the urban advantages of homelife and workplace proximity.

    Who Are We

    Our Neighborhood details characteristics of their circumstances. The description shows people who, like your graduate, also value getting around without a car.

    Our Neighborhood

    Socioeconomic Traits describes their interests and attitudes. The description mentions well-educated consumers, and your young adult would like to make friends among fellow graduates.

    Socioeconomic Traits

    With this new information, you have what you need to scan the Austin metropolitan area for Metro Renters neighborhoods near the graduate's new job.

  11. Close the three PDFs and the Tapestry Segmentation browser window.

    Below the ZIP Code is a drop-down that currently reads Tapestry. It can be switched to show Median Income, Median Age, Population Density, and even College Football Viewers.

    ZIP Lookup tool choices

    When you click on a ZIP Code on the map, information related to the active tab for that ZIP Code is available in the Data tab. When the Tapestry option is selected, the map will reflect the dominant Tapestry segment in that ZIP Code.

  12. Click the Map tab and click on ZIP Codes surrounding 78753 to see the top Tapestry segments nearby.

    Metro Renters is the top Tapestry segment in several of the adjacent ZIP Codes.

  13. Zoom out one level.
  14. Scan the Austin metropolitan area and look for clusters of light blue, ZIP Codes where Metro Renters is the dominant Tapestry segment.

    Metro Renters neighborhoods are dominant in five ZIP Codes nestled between the (Texas-based) Colorado River and the University of Texas. This area could be a good region to explore.

  15. Click ZIP Code 78703.
  16. Click the Data tab so the ZIP Code's top three tapestry groups show.

    Zip Code

    ZIP Code 78703 may be a good starting point for finding preferable places to live; however, you want to check its cost of living to make sure it's within a reasonable range.

  17. Click the Tapestry menu and choose Median Income on the ZIP Lookup tool.

    Income tab

    The tool shows the median household income for this ZIP Code is $114,754. This value is compared to the median household income of the county (Travis), state (Texas), and country (United States). The median household income is relatively high, so see if any of the nearby ZIP Codes offer less expensive alternatives. The ZIP Codes on the map change color to reflect median household income; higher income areas are shaded in darker green.

  18. Click the Map tab and click some of the lighter shaded ZIP Codes surrounding 78703. Click different ZIP Codes and click the Data tab to see their median income.

    Two ZIP Codes east of 78703 have lower median household incomes. These ZIP Codes are home to a university campus, so housing for the college graduate is unlikely here; however, some ZIP Codes northeast of 78703 seem to have more suitable median household incomes.

  19. Click ZIP Code 78722.

    Income reflection

    With a median household income of $65,258, income in this ZIP Code is closer to average and probably a better fit for a college graduate starting out at a high-tech company. Check the Tapestry segments to make sure its demographics are close to what the college graduate is looking for.

  20. Choose Tapestry from the menu.

    The Metro Renters segment comprises 49.5 percent of the population in this ZIP Code. This is a reasonable fit, so your college graduate might consider searching for housing in this area.

    Tapestry also provides valuable information about the demographic composition of residents in each ZIP Code, along with their product, service, and media preferences and favorite activities. Armed with this information, the graduate can make an informed decision about where she'd like to live. The next step would be to visit the area and check out available apartments.

Research issues for a political campaign

In the next scenario, you'll help a California candidate competing in a statewide election to research the demographics and lifestyles of voters at his next campaign stop in the historic mining town of Rough and Ready. Because of his busy schedule, the candidate has just a few moments before his appearance to study the demographics and lifestyles of his audience. He uses the ZIP Lookup tool for a quick summary of local demographics. Rough and Ready is in ZIP Code 95975.

  1. In the For ZIP Code box, clear the text, type 95975, and press Enter.
    The map extent changes to the ZIP Code's location in the mountains of northern California. The tapestry segment The Great Outdoors is approximately 99 percent of the population in the ZIP Code.

    The Great Outdoors

  2. Scan the descriptions for The Great Outdoors and Green Acres. Switch the Tapestry menu to look at other economic characteristics.

    The description for The Great Outdoors suggests a frugal, older rural population lives in the area.

    The next drop-down box shows that 1.2 percent of the ZIP Code's population is in Green Acres neighborhoods. These older, affluent residents are focused on financial issues and outdoor recreation.

    The information from these two summaries is helpful for a quick understanding; however, more specific information is available in the tool.

  3. At the bottom of the ZIP Lookup tool, click Get More Details.
  4. Scroll down to LifeMode summary group 6, Cozy Country Living.

    The first items you see are summary groups, Tapestry segments that can be used for broader views of a geographic area. Segments in the LifeMode summary groups share lifestyles and life stages.

    Some of the bulleted descriptions of this LifeMode summary group indicate interests that might be relevant to the candidate's agenda, such as home and vehicle ownership. The candidate is mindful of this interest because annual vehicle licensing fees and property taxes are always heated and controversial topics in California.

    Cozy Country Living

    The LifeMode summary group description offers helpful clues, but more specific information is available for each segment in the summary group.

  5. To the right of the LifeMode summary group, click Tapestry segment 6C The Great Outdoors.

    The Great Outdoors

  6. Scan the PDF document for descriptions of second-home and vehicle ownership.

    Real estate

    Who Are We indicates second-home ownership.

    Two vehicles

    Our Neighborhood notes that many residents own two vehicles and have time-consuming work commutes.

    Home improvement

    Socioeconomic Traits notes that these homeowners will tackle do-it-yourself projects to improve the appearance of their homes.

    Multiple vehicles

    The Market Profile data reveals civic-minded residents who might own powerful pickups and trucks.

    Home ownership

    Home ownership is significantly higher in this ZIP Code than the United States average.

    Overall, the PDF document for The Great Outdoors reveals key information about the concerns and attitudes of the audience.

  7. Close the PDF document and the Tapestry Segmentation browser window.

    Based on information about this Tapestry segment, the best way for the candidate to communicate with his audience might be to discuss legislation about proposed taxes on vehicles and homes. He'll also ask for donations and keep campaign contribution envelopes handy.

Find law school alumni in Atlanta

For the last scenario, you'll help a development officer of an Atlanta-area law school identify alumni who could contribute to the construction of a new library on campus. While conducting research, she learns that six alumni live in Atlanta-area ZIP Code 30338. She'll use the ZIP Lookup tool to research the lifestyles of these alumni to see whether they would be good candidates to approach for donations.

  1. In the For ZIP Code box, clear the text, type 30338, and press Enter.

    Metro Renters

    While Metro Renters probably aren't the audience the development officer is looking for, Top Tier and Exurbanites segments are both in LifeMode summary group 1, Affluent Estates. Nearly 40 percent of the population in this ZIP Code are in this summary group.

  2. Click Click for More Details.
  3. Scroll down to LifeMode summary group 1, Affluent Estates.

    Some of the characteristics of LifeMode summary group 1 indicate that alumni from these segments are wealthy and active in their communities, and they might help the development officer reach her fundraising goals.

    Affluent Estates

  4. Click the 1A Top Tier segment and look for more information that can help the development officer better identify people who might donate to her building fund.

    Charity dinners

    Who Are We reveals that Top Tier residents are the wealthiest of the Tapestry segments and donate to a variety of charities.

    Top Tier profile

    The Market Profile reveals that residents contribute to educational institutions.

    Median home value

    The median value of the homes suggests that residents in this area are wealthy.

  5. In the Tapestry Segmentation browser window, click segment 1E Exurbanites.
  6. Scan the PDF document for indicators that this group might be willing to contribute to the university's building fund.


    Who Are We reveals segment residents who are civically minded and charitable.

    Market Profile for Exurbanites

    Like Top Tier, the Market Profile for Exurbanites reveals residents who donate to charities and monitor their money.

    Now that you know that this group might contribute, you need to learn something about their wealth.

  7. Close the Exurbanites PDF document and the Tapestry Segmentation browser window.
  8. Click the Income tab in the Esri ZIP Lookup tool.

    The $94,561 median household income in this ZIP Code is nearly double that of surrounding DeKalb County and the state of Georgia overall. Residents in this ZIP Code might have the wealth to contribute to your law school. Based on the information revealed in Tapestry, the law school development officer has decided to organize a dinner at an upscale Atlanta restaurant so the university president can ask for donations in person.

In this lesson, you used the ZIP Lookup tool to help a college graduate find suitable neighborhoods in Austin, Texas; a candidate research voter concerns in California; and a development officer find potential donors in Atlanta, Georgia. In each case, you have made informed decisions based on the information you found with Tapestry Segmentation. As you have seen with these exercises, Tapestry Segmentation can be used effectively for a variety of analyses.

Finally, the ZIP Lookup tool and Tapestry have been profiled in many local and national publications as well as several prominent websites. Among them were the following: