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THE PROBLEM Organizations often make decisions about where to locate their facilities


Organizations often make decisions about where to locate their facilities by analyzing the characteristics of the population in a particular place. They try to locate facilities in areas where there are large concentrations of the kinds of people they are trying to serve.

In this assignment, you will be asked to advise two organizations about whether it would make sense for them to locate a facility in West Virginia; and, you will be asked whether they should locate in Huntington. The two organizations are:
a. Grandiose Foods – an upscale organic grocery store specializing in free-range grass-fed meats, organic dairy products, and local seasonal fruits and vegetables.
b. Down Markets – a discount store specializing in inexpensive, highly processed food-like GMO products from the cheapest, nastiest sources in the world.

For each store, you need to answer the following questions:
a. Would they be better off locating in WV or in another state (you may choose any state to compare with WV).
b. If they decide to locate in WV—should they locate in Huntington or in another city (you may choose any major city in WV to compare with Huntington).


Since each store has a particular set of customers in mind, it would make sense to locate the store near those kinds of customers. Grandiose Foods is looking for people with high incomes (to afford the specialty foods) and higher levels of education (they might know that fresh, local, organic foods are better for your health), while Down Markets is looking for people with low incomes and low education (unfortunately they have little choice in what they can afford, and perhaps less information on health effects). So, you need information about the income and educational levels of people living in WV and your comparison state, Huntington and your comparison city.

For our purposes we will define “High Income” as those making over $100k; “Low Income” as those making less than $25k; and “Middle Income” as those making between $35k and $99k.

We will be using data from the US Census, American Fact Finder website here:

A. First let’s look at the state data. In top left, under Community Facts, enter West Virginia then hit GO. Use the table below to keep track of your data. I did the WV column so you can check to see if you did it correctly and got the same answers.
1. enter the total population (from the 2010 Demographic profile
2. Under popular tables, select the 2016 American Community Survey (or the latest year available)
a. Fill in the table for the age questions, median age, % 65 and older, and % under 18.
b. now go back and select a comparison state (__________________) and fill in the data for it
[I suggest student A looks up WV data while student B writes it down, then swap and student B looks up comparison state while student A writes it down]

STATE DATA on population West Virginia Name of comparison state

2010 total population 1,846,092
2012 median age 41.9
% of population 65 & older 17.8
% of population under 18 20.6
B. Next we’ll look at statewide educational attainment. Select the education tab on the left.
a. Enter the % of residents who are a high school graduate or higher in table below
Now let’s look at the breakdown of educational levels. Select the Back to Community Facts button and click the Education tab, and select Educational Attainment.
b. For the population aged 25 or older, what percentage has a bachelor’s degree? What percent has a graduate or professional degree?

STATE DATA on education West Virginia Comparison state

% less than high school 15.7%
% High school grad or higher 85.3%
Population 25 and older
% with Bachelor’s degree 11.9
% with graduate or professional degree 7.7

C. Income data. Go back to the community facts page and select income on the left. Under popular tables, 2016 American Community Survey, select Income in the past 12 months.
Fill in the table below for households.

STATE DATA on Income West Virginia Comparison state

% with income of $100,000 and over 14.7
% with income of less than $25,000 30.1
% with income between $35,000 and $99,999 43.4
Median Household Income $42,644

D. Click the light blue 1 Community Facts tab to start over with your comparison state

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