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Boundary data for U.S. schools available for research studies

NSF Award:

Collaborative Proposal: School Attendance Boundary Information System (SABINS)  (University of Minnesota-Twin Cities)

Collaborative Proposal: School Attendance Boundary Information System (SABINS)  (College of William and Mary)

Congressional Districts:
Research Areas:

The School Attendance Boundary Information System (SABINS) is a data infrastructure project that collects, processes and disseminates digital maps of school attendance boundaries for thousands of U.S. school districts. The boundaries define the geographic areas served by each school. Developed by scholars at the College of William & Mary and the University of Minnesota, SABINS is freely available at

Researchers use digital maps and associated school and demographic data to study the impact of neighborhoods on educational outcomes, and to compare the racial and socioeconomic segregation of schools with these characteristics in their corresponding attendance boundaries.  SABINS data also enable researchers to explore the probability of private school enrollment for each student given the racial and economic characteristics of their school attendance boundary.

A National Academy of Sciences' panel is using SABINS data to examine whether it's possible to link school attendance boundaries with census data to determine the number of children in a school who are eligible for a subsidized meal. Annual updates to the SABINS database will permit the use of longitudinal data to investigate the dynamic interplay between demographic shifts in schools and neighborhoods. 

To create the database, the research team collected and processed thousands of attendance boundaries for the 2009-2010 school year and plans to update the boundaries for additional years in the second phase of the project. In addition to digital maps, the SABINS team has linked attendance boundaries to schools from the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data and generated demographic data for all attendance boundaries from the 2010 Decennial Census of Population and Housing and the 2006-2010 American Community Survey.


Images (1 of )

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  • percentage of owner-occupied housing units in st paul minnesota
Kindergarten school attendance boundary map for St. Paul, Minn.
Jason Borah, Minnesota Population Center
Percentage of occupied housing units within school boundaries.
Jason Borah, Minnesota Population Center

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