The Applied Population Laboratory (APL) is well rooted in the history of Department of Community and Environmental Sociology. Founded in 1965, the Applied Population Laboratory is widely respected throughout the United States for its strong research contributions in applied demography.
The APL is a group of research and outreach professionals that provides information solutions through a unique set of skills that unites applied demography; spatial information and analysis; community development and planning; and information applications. We seek to connect Wisconsin’s citizens, policy makers, public agencies, private organizations and other state residents with demographic, social, economic, and spatial data.
We do research and offer services in a number of areas including small area population estimates and projections; mapping and spatial analysis; community development and planning; and development of community information systems and other websites for accessing demographic data. A current project for the Eau Claire Area School District highlights a number of different research and expertise areas for the APL. A large piece of the project centers on a population analysis that will be used by the district for planning and strategic decision making, and it incorporates mapping and demographic profiles in addition to a set of school enrollment projections. The APL will also provide the school district with an attendance area analysis which will examine local demographic and housing market contexts of elementary attendance areas with supporting maps. The analysis will go on to explore patterns of economic status for school populations and make innovative use of data from disparate sources such as the American Community Survey, Local Area Unemployment Statistics, and the Local Economic Dynamics data system. The project with the school district analysis will feed into subsequent work with the city and county of Eau Claire to develop a comprehensive demographic profile. This is a great example of the range and flexibility of our research and staff skills as well as what can happen when school districts and local governments work together to help produce a streamlined product.
We recently updated our website to better highlight our research, expertise and services. Take a look for yourself: www.apl.wisc.edu.
–Dan Veroff, Director