Where Barbershops Are Disappearing

Jeff Reichman on in Data, Maps

I read an excellent article on Gray Matters in the Houston Chronicle called Why Barbershops Are Disappearing.

The article points out that, culturally speaking, the barbershop is more than just a place to get a haircut. It’s a place where “men spend time with other men.” There are differences between barbershops that cut along racial and socioeconomic lines. And the traditional barbershop is disappearing.

To make that case, the Chronicle uses Census data from 1992-2013. I wanted to get a sense of what barbershops are on the brink of closing, and what impact that has on their neighborhoods. So I grabbed a dataset of barbershop licenses from the State of Texas, checked to see if their license is active or expired, and plotted them on a map:

Since the State of Texas makes this data available on their open data portal, I thought this was a good opportunity to use it.

Keep in mind that just because a license is expired does not mean that the barbershop is closed. Similarly, the data provided by the state is supposed to be current, but you never know.

My hope is that this map provides another way to look at the impact of these closings by neighborhood.

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About the Author

Jeff Reichman

Jeff is passionate about data. He founded January Advisors and Sketch City, and serves on the board of the League of Women Voters of the Houston Area. Read his full bio on LinkedIn.