Boston Neighborhood Survey Data Now Available on the Boston Data Portal

BARI has published data from the Boston Neighborhood Survey (BNS) through the Boston Data Portal.
The release took place in conjunction with a Community-Based Training on the Boston Data Portal that was hosted at Northeastern Crossing on June 23rd. Remarks on the value and utility of the data were provided by Dan O’Brien, BARI Co-Director; Deb Azrael, Research Director for the Injury Control Research Center at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; and Kim Lucas, Civic Research Director for the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics.
The BNS asked respondents about topics including: (1) community norms and neighborhood resources, (2) respondents’ sense of community well-being and perceptions of community safety, (3) demographic characteristics, and (4) the well-being of neighborhood youth. It was conducted by the Injury Control Research Center at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health over three waves, in 2006, 2008, and 2010.
The data from the BNS are a rich resource for understanding the conditions and social dynamics of local communities, and we have organized the release to support their use by researchers, practitioners, and community members alike. The database includes: individual-level survey responses; measures describing neighborhoods at multiple geographical levels (e.g., census tracts, neighborhood clusters); and documentation describing all variables, methodology, and data processing.
In addition, neighborhood measures from the 2010 wave are available on BostonMap, where visitors can visualize 13 survey scales across the categories of Perceived Disorder and Crime and Social Dynamics and Relationships for both tracts and neighborhood clusters in conjunction with a variety of other data resources and map-based tools.

Data from the BNS depicting Collective Efficacy, 2010, Neighborhood Clusters. (Collective Efficacy defined as the ability to accomplish share goals, including the prevention of crime)


Data from BNS depicting perception of Physical Disorder, 2010, Census Tracts.

To explore the data on the BostonMap, click here, and to download the data from the Boston Data Library, click here.
To read a feature about the release in News @ Northeastern, click here.
If you have any questions, feel free to email us at

Published On: July 6, 2017 |
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