District Factor Groups

The District Factor Group (DFG) is an indicator of the socioeconomic status of citizens in each district and has been useful for the comparative reporting of test results from New Jersey's statewide testing programs. The measure was first developed in 1974 using demographic variables from the 1970 United States Census. A revision was made in 1984 to take into account new data from the 1980 United States Census. The DFG designations were updated again in 1992 using the following demographic variables from the 1990 United States Census.

  1. Percent of adult residents who failed to complete high school
  2. Percent of adult residents who attended college
  3. Occupational status of adult household members: 1 = laborers

    2 = service workers (except private and protective)

    3 = farm workers

    4 = operatives and kindred workers

    5 = protective service workers

    6 = sales workers

    7 = clerical and kindred workers

    8 = craftsmen, foreman, and kindred workers

    9 = quasi-professionals

    10 = managers, officials, and proprietors

    11 = old and new professionals

  4. Population Density:

    persons per square mile

  5. Income:

    median family income

  6. Unemployment:

    percent of those in the work force who received some unemployment compensation

  7. Poverty:

    percent of residents below the poverty level

The variables described above were combined using a statistical technique called principal components analysis, which resulted in a single measure of socioeconomic status for each district. Districts were then ranked according to their score on this measure and divided into eight groups based on the score interval in which their scores were located. Eight DFGs have been created based on the 1990 United States Census data. They range from A (lowest socioeconomic districts) to J (highest socioeconomic districts) and are labeled as follows: A, B, CD, DE, FG, GH, I, J. Updating the DFGs has not changed any district's designation as Special Needs or not Special Needs.

Whereas the DFGs based on the 1980 United States Census resulted in 10 groups containing approximately equal numbers of districts, the DFGs based on the 1990 United States Census resulted in eight groups of different sizes depending on their score. The number of districts* in each DFG is now as follows:

DFG

Number of Districts

A

35

B

78

CD

75

DE

100

FG

87

GH

78

I

105

J

15

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*Includes all New Jersey's public school districts (regardless of school configuration or grade levels served).