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Loan Rates (loans/households)

This dynamic graphic identifies areas (by ZIP code) that have anomalously high loan rates. Loan rate is defined as the ratio of loans to households (percent).

Each ZIP code has a red or white circle. The size of the circle is proportional to loan rate. High loan rates are red. Scroll over a red circle to get details for that ZIP code.

The white circles are translucent, so metropolitan regions with many overlapping white circles appear brighter than rural areas with non-overlapping circles.

High Loan Rates

The default display shows a handful of red ZIP codes with anomalously high loan rates. Each one has an interesting socioeconomic story. For example, some of these are oil boomtowns, some are alpine regions undergoing rapid development.

The threshold for determining high loan rates (red circles) can be adjusted with the "Threshold" sliders or, equivalently, the "Sensitivity" buttons along the bottom of the plot.


This loan rate assessment is sensitive to the number of households per ZIP code. Loan rates in ZIP codes with a small number of households tend to be "noisy". You can investigate this sensitivity by adjusting the "Thresholds", thereby filtering the values displayed in the graphic.

The number of Households/ZIP is approximated as the number of tax returns (with data from, which ranges from 90 to 50,490. (The IRS does not provide detail for ZIP codes with fewer returns and those identified as a single building or nonresidential area.)


The sliders (lower right) determine two thresholds for displaying values on the map:

Loan rate by county

A heatmap of loan rate by county (below) fails to resolve the small scales that appear with ZIP codes.