Library Tutorials

Social Explorer

Step 1: Go to Then look under DATABASES and click on "S".

University of Mississippi Libraries homepage with Databases and S circled


Step 2: Scroll down the list of databases and click Social Explorer.

Social Explorer Link

Step 3: The landing page lists several popular maps. Most people begin by exploring the basic United States map.

Social Explorer Landing Page

Step 4: The default map displays population density. You can change this default by selecting "Change Data".

Population Density United States Map

Step 5: You can change both the type (categories) and date (years) of the data. Different data categories are available based on the years you select. Social Explorer provides data on the United States back to the 1790s. To see older data, select "Show All Years".

Types of Data in Social Explorer

Step 6: Here is example of education data. The map displays the percentage of the population (over 25) who obtained a bachelor's degree or higher. This data comes from the American Community Survey (ACS) of 2018.  Social Explorer allows the user to zoom in and out on the map, displaying statewide data as well as countywide data. In the example below, the data is displayed at the county level.

Educational Data for Mississippi

Step 6: Here is another example using Social Explorer health data. This particular variable displays the percentage of persons with limited access to healthy foods.

Health Care Data Mapped

Step 8: To learn more about the underlying data, click on the "i" icon. For further information, click on the "Open Data Dictionary."

Health Data Mapped

Step 9: In this example, the Data Dictionary provides additional information on the "Persons with limited access to healthy foods" variable. Data Dictionary

Step 10: Remember if you need help you can always Ask A Librarian via chat or email any of the Research and Instruction Librarians at the University of Mississippi Libraries. We're here to help!