Neighborhood Scout® uses the official government designation for neighborhoods - the census tract.
Census tracts are small, relatively permanent subdivisions of a county that are defined by the U. Census Bureau in conjunction with local authorities all across the country to define real neighborhoods that are bounded to contain areas with homogeneous population characteristics (including economic status, lifestyle, and living conditions).
If there was not a name available, we named the census tract by the largest street intersection in the census tract (e.g., Worcester, MA (Lincoln St/Plantation St) Zip codes were developed by the Postal Service for the purpose of delivering mail, but were never intended to define coherent neighborhoods.
In addition, Zip Codes can have as many as 10 distinctly different census tracts contained within them.
When distinct census tracts are blended together in a single Zip Code, the data reflects their average conditions and often gives a false sense of the area.