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Economy

What Restaurant Reviews Reveal About Cities

Where official census data is sparse, MIT researchers find that restaurant review websites can offer similar demographic and economic information.
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Thomas Peter/Reuters

Online review sites can tell you a lot about a city’s restaurant scene, and they can reveal a lot about the city itself, too.

Researchers at MIT recently found that information about restaurants gathered from popular review sites can be used to uncover a number of socioeconomic factors of a neighborhood, including its employment rates and demographic profiles of the people who live, work, and travel there.