Here’s a trick for getting treats: Track housing density, concentration of kids and median income to find who’s likely to hand out the most candy.
Well, it’s your lucky day. We’ve done it for you, sort of.
Using an unscientific but arguably logical method of mapping homes that are close together, neighborhoods with lots of kids and the financial ability to buy bags (and bags and bags) of fun-size candy bars, we calculated which streets in the metro area have a high Candy Score.
Does that necessarily mean they’re Wonka-worthy? Not necessarily.
Use the interactive map below to look up your neighborhood's Candy Score. You can use the arrows below the map to walk through a short slideshow pointing out some specific areas, or type in an address (also below the map) to zoom to a specific location. As you type the address, it will give you some suggested address matches that may or may not be in Minnesota. Just keep typing your full address and eventually it will pop up. You can also put in a street name (i.e. Grand Ave., Saint Paul, MN) or a ZIP code or common place names (i.e. Loring Park, Minneapolis, MN).
Given a growing number of Halloween gatherings in community centers, schools, churches and even shopping districts, some neighbors find that doorbells rarely ring anymore, and so may have cut down on the candy cache.
But the Candy Score map offers strategic info. It also prompts the question of whether kids should tromp only in their home territory, or if it’s OK to roam farther for a good and plentiful haul.
Using an unscientific but arguably logical method of asking readers on Facebook, many respondents seem to feel that Halloween offers a great opportunity to get to know your neighbors, whether as kids or as accompanying adults. If you want to roam later, fine, but as one respondent said, “your own neighborhood should always come first.”
Kids in rural or sparsely populated areas often need to choose a treat territory, of course. Some parents enjoy taking their kids back to where they grew up, or where friends and relatives live.
“Just showing up to a random neighborhood seems a little odd,” wrote Kristen Schroeder. “That said, we certainly wouldn’t turn anyone away!”
“Not all kids have the luxury of feeling safe in their own neighborhood,” wrote Tamara Bachman.
For those who travel-and-treat, Becky Halko made a request regarding safety: If you’re going to drive your tykes to high Candy Score ’hoods, park and walk with them from house to house instead of rolling from stop to stop.
“I’ve seen too many close calls, kids in masks with decreased peripheral vision and a driver not watching the road.”
To come up with the Candy Score, we assigned each Census block group scores between 1 and 4 for each of the three data points: housing units per square mile, median household income and percentage of children under age 15 (all obtained from the American Community Survey 5-year data).
This is essentially a ranking – except we put them into quartiles – compared to other block groups within the same county. For example, a score of 4 on housing density meant that block group was among the top 25 percent in its county for housing units per square mile. Then we weighted those three scores and added them together to create an index. Housing unit density got the highest weighting (multiplied times 6), followed by percentage of children (multiplied by 4) and then income (multiplied by 3).