The end of the year means new Census data being released. I’m saving most of my work until the Citizen Voting Age data is out, but here are the top lines for total population in Harris County, with previous ACS updates included to show the gradual change over time:

          Tot. Pop. '10 (%) | Tot. Pop. '11 (%) | Tot. Pop. '12 (%) | Tot. Pop. '13 (%) 
----------------------------|-------------------|-------------------|------------------ 
TOTAL     4,092,459         | 4,025,409         | 4,101,752         | 4,182,285
----------------------------|-------------------|-------------------|------------------ 
Anglo     1,349,646 (33.0%) | 1,353,868 (33.6%) | 1,354,869 (33.0%) | 1,361,568 (32.6%)
Hispanic  1,671,540 (40.8%) | 1,621,065 (40.3%) | 1,671,262 (40.7%) | 1,717,940 (41.1%)
Afr.-Am.    754,258 (18.4%) |   747,398 (18.6%) |   775,085 (18.9%) |   774,120 (18.5%)
Asian       249,853  (6.1%) |   246,924  (6.1%) |   257,467  (6.3%) |   262,251  (6.3%)
Other        67,162  (1.6%) |    56,154  (1.4%) |    43,069  (1.1%) |    66,406  (1.6%)

On a technical note, this is all based on the 5-yr dataset, which is the only dataset that provides CVAP details at the block group level. The one-year data at the county level, however, shows a more current snapshot of the county:

         5-yr ACS             1-yr ACS
----------------------------------------------
        4,182,285            4,336,853   
----------------------------------------------
Anglo   1,361,568 (32.6%)    1,376,670 (31.7%)
Hisp    1,717,940 (41.1%)    1,803,547 (41.6%)
AfrAm     774,120 (18.5%)      798,658 (18.4%)
Asian     262,251 ( 6.3%)      276,803 ( 6.4%)
Other      66,406 ( 1.6%)      81,175  ( 1.9%)

I asked some people smarter than me about how the five year set was calculated. I figured they may weight more recent years or do something fancy. Turns out, there’s no magic to it at all. Everything is weighted the same. What this means is that the “Pulaski Effect” leads to the 2012 and 2013 5-yr data sets closely tracking with the full 2010 Census data. That’s due to the aggregate of yearly data in, say, the 2008-2012 data set averaging somewhere toward the middle of that range – which is precisely 2010. I trust that everyone in the world was as curious as I was about that.

Again, CVAP data and mapping to happen as soon as the Census puts numbers online.

I’m gradually wading back into the annual update of Census numbers via the American Community Survey that just came out. For the sake of maintaining the bookmark I’m keeping on Harris County Population trends, here are the latest 5-year estimates covering 2008-2012 shown in contest of previous ACS releases:

         Tot. Pop. '10 (%)    Tot. Pop. '11 (%)    Tot. Pop. '12 (%) 
----------------------------------------------------------------------
TOTAL      4,092,459           4,025,409            4,101,752
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Anglo      1,349,646 (33.0%)   1,353,868 (33.6%)    1,354,869 (33.0%)
Hispanic   1,671,540 (40.8%)   1,621,065 (40.3%)    1,671,262 (40.7%)
Afr.-Am.     754,258 (18.4%)     747,398 (18.6%)      775,085 (18.9%)
Asian        249,853  (6.1%)     246,924  (6.1%)      257,467  (6.3%)
Other         67,162  (1.6%)      56,154  (1.4%)       43,069  (1.1%)


         18+ Pop. '10 (%)     18+ Pop. '11 (%)     18+ Pop. '12 (%) 
--------------------------------------------------------------------- 
TOTAL       2,944,624          2,893,717            2,956,297
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Anglo       1,085,630 (36.9%)  1,085,427 (37.5%)    1,090,375 (36.9%)
Hispanic    1,082,570 (36.7%)  1,049,076 (36.3%)    1,084,712 (36.7%)
Afr.-Am.      541,108 (18.4%)    540,203 (18.7%)      553,966 (18.7%)
Asian         194,956  (6.6%)    193,555  (6.7%)      200,401  (6.8%)
Other          40,360  (1.4%)     25,456  (0.9%)       26,843  (0.9%)


              CVAP-09 (%)         CVAP-10 (%)         CVAP-11 (%)         CVAP-12 (%) 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
TOTAL       2,195,535           2,230,550           2,276,903           2,328,000
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
Anglo       1,090,624 (49.7%)   1,051,265 (47.1%)   1,048,230 (46.0%)   1,051,533 (45.2%)
Hispanic      494,695 (22.5%)     530,490 (23.8%)     560,416 (24.6%)     590,282 (25.4%)
Afr.-Am.      481,492 (21.9%)     506,150 (22.7%)     519,122 (22.8%)     531,518 (22.8%)
Asian         106,547  (4.9%)     120,660  (5.4%)     125,733  (5.5%)     130,291  (5.6%)
Other          22,177  (1.0%)      21,985  (1.0%)      23,402  (1.0%)      24,376  (1.0%)

A lot of the obvious trends are still in motion – growing Hispanic and declining Anglo population shares key among them. But here are a few other tidbits that jump out to me:

» If you look at the Under-18 data (or simply subtract VAP from Total Pop), I come up with a group that is majority Hispanic (51.2%), with Anglo (23.1%) and Afr-Am (19.3%) populations jostling for 2nd place. Even better, 91% of those Hispanics are citizen. This suggests a lot about what the peak potential is for each demographic. If we assume the numbers are static and evenly applied (neither of which I’d do in real life), that means the high-water mark for population generation among Hispanics is clocking in at about 46% CVAP (51.2% x 91%). Barring other changes, that means you would never see a CVAP Hispanic majority in Harris County.

» Fortunately, things do change. The 18+ group of Hispanics show signs of citizenship increase, going from 45.7% citizen in the 06-10 ACS, to 50.6% in the 06-11 release, to today’s 54.4% share today. That’s a far faster increase than you’d get from 17 year olds turning one year older. Simply put, this is among the most encouraging numbers I think you’ll find here. I’m not sure how sustainable that is or what factors drive that the most. But as long as Hispanic population is growing and the rate of citizenship is growing, that’s nothing but good.

» The Asian population doesn’t have much room for growth. At least not in Harris County. The Under-18 share of population is at 5.0% and the 18+ share is at 6.8%. That has all the earmarks of a ceiling that’s been hit. Don’t say you weren’t warned. There’s still ample room for growth in faster-growing suburbs and other areas with a low starting point for Asian population. But in Harris County … not likely. That makes Houston a very odd place to read about the growing Asian population meme, if nothing else.

Fair warning: there will be more maps and data with some excellent health insurance and educational data included in the release.

It turns out that, back in December, I posted the new numbers from the 2007-11 American Community Survey data that shows changes in the Citizen Voting Age Population in Harris County. What I never got around to was mapping out the results. So, now that we’re on the topic of redistricting again and the fact that there is new data out is a point of that conversation, here’s me making up for lost time.


full pageGoogle Earth file

To keep tabs on what share of the population lives in each section, here’s the math on that, below. The key finding of this is that, for the first time, the majority of Harris County residents reside in Census block groups that are majority-minority.

Harris County

Share within:
Anglo: 1,099,585 (48.3%)
Hispanic: 280,445 (12.3%)
Afram: 355,725 (15.6%)
Asian: 4,715 (0.2%)
Multi: 536,480 (23.6%)

Within Multicultural:
Anglo: 171,718 (32.0%)
Hispanic: 161,174 (30.0%)
Afram: 146,177 (27.2%)
Asian: 50,373 (9.4%)

Fort Bend County

Share within:
Anglo: 155,760 (46.1%)
Hispanic: 19,115 (5.7%)
Afram: 43,005 (12.7%)
Asian: 5,520 (1.6%)
Multi: 114,440 (33.9%)

Within Multicultural:
Anglo: 36,765 (32.1%)
Hispanic: 21,625 (18.9%)
Afram: 29,210 (25.5%)
Asian: 25,430 (22.2%)

There are some subtle differences from block to block, so feel free to download the Google Earth files (06-10 map here) and kill a weekend. Here’s a snippet of SW Houston, with Westheimer as the northernmost street. The color-coding is the same style usage I’ve been using on these things (red = Anglo CVAP majority; black = Afr-Am CVAP majority; brown = Hispanic CVAP majority; green = Asian CVAP majority; yellow = Multicultural – no demographic majority)

I missed out on commenting on the Chronicle’s coverage of the recent update on Census data. This comes from the American Community Survey’s annual rolling update to their population counts.

I’ve only scratched the surface and updated some of my counts on how the total population translates down to citizen voting age population. Here are the topline numbers now. I owe it to myself to double-check these for accuracy, but there are some interesting notes for what turns up here. These are all taken from the 5-year ACS summary.

          Tot. Pop. '10 (%)   Tot. Pop. '11 (%)
-----------------------------------------------
TOTAL     4,092,459           4,025,409
-----------------------------------------------
Anglo     1,349,646 (33.0%)   1,353,868 (33.6%)
Hispanic  1,671,540 (40.8%)   1,621,065 (40.3%)
Afr.-Am.    754,258 (18.4%)     747,398 (18.6%)
Asian       249,853  (6.1%)     246,924  (6.1%)
Other        67,162  (1.6%)      56,154  (1.4%)
            18+ Pop. '10 (%)    18+ Pop. '11 (%)
-------------------------------------------------
TOTAL      2,944,624            2,893,717
-------------------------------------------------
Anglo      1,085,630 (36.9%)    1,085,427 (37.5%)
Hispanic   1,082,570 (36.7%)    1,049,076 (36.3%)
Afr.-Am.     541,108 (18.4%)      540,203 (18.7%)
Asian        194,956  (6.6%)      193,555  (6.7%)
Other         40,360  (1.4%)       25,456  (0.9%)
           CVAP-09 (%)        CVAP-10 (%)         CVAP-11  (%)
-----------------------------------------------------------------
TOTAL     2,195,535          2,230,550          2,276,903
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Anglo     1,090,624 (49.7%)  1,051,265 (47.1%)  1,048,230 (46.0%)
Hispanic    494,695 (22.5%)    530,490 (23.8%)    560,416 (24.6%)
Afr.-Am.    481,492 (21.9%)    506,150 (22.7%)    519,122 (22.8%)
Asian       106,547  (4.9%)    120,660  (5.4%)    125,733  (5.5%)
Other        22,177  (1.0%)     21,985  (1.0%)     23,402  (1.0%)

Did you notice that the raw number and percentage of total and 18+ Hispanic population decreased from the ’10 counts to the ’11 counts? Keep in mind that the ACS data isn’t the same as the Census. The methodology for counts isn’t the same. But it’s still interesting to see a drop in population share. Even more interesting is that they come as the Citizen Voting Age Population rose for Hispanics in both the overall estimate and the share of the county’s population.

At some point during football games tomorrow, I’ll get around to both mapping this out, double-checking my math and digging into more granular detail. My hunch for now is that much of the change seen here may be due to methodology changes as much as actual numerical growth patterns. I’ll update as time and findings permit. Here’s the full update I did from the 2010 results, if you’re up for some comparison.

» Washington Post: Census chief Robert Groves: We’ve got to stop counting like this

Robert Groves, on his way out the door at the Census …

“Because of the constitution, the country will always have a census,” he said in an interview Friday at his office in the bureau’s Suitland headquarters, already stripped of his personal belongings. “But how we do the census and surveys will have to change.”

Cost is a big reason. Even though it came in $1.9 billion under budget, the last census cost $13 billion, about $42 a head. The pricetag has doubled every decade since 1970.

So there’s talk of relying more and more on private databases. At the basic level, there’s something to be said for that. But once you get beyond household utilities and tax records, I’m curious where that trend leads to.

» NY Times: In Years Since the Riots, a Changed Complexion in South Central
» Guernica: South L.A., Twenty Years Later

Two good reads from two different vantage points of demographics and the LA riots of 1992. Spare time comes at a bit more of a premium with only 5 weeks left until a Primary election is conducted. But these were worth a read, along with a re-read of an older link on Compton’s Latino voters as well as another link about some demographic evolution in NYC.

UPDATE: … and, of course, the 2010 demographics of Los Angeles and Orange Counties was mapped out here. That doesn’t give you a sense of the degree of change from 1992, but its still a helpful visual. Not sure what millenium I’ll get around to a 1980-to-2010 time series of those counties, but I don’t doubt that it would be interesting to see.

» NY Times: At the PTA, Clashes Over Cupcakes and Culture

An interesting snapshot here of demographic change at NYC’s PS 295 Parent-Teacher Association. In particular, it seems amazing how much of the issue can be distilled into a simple doubling of the price of a cupcake.

… [I]n a neighborhood whose median household income leaped to $60,184 in 2010 from $34,878 a decade before, the change generated unexpected ire, pitting cash-short parents against volunteer bakers, and dividing a flummoxed PTA executive board, where wealthier newcomers to the school serve alongside poorer immigrants who have called the area home for years.

“A lot of people felt like they really needed to be heard on this,” recalled Dan Janzen, a mild-mannered freelance copywriter with children in first and third grades who leads the school’s development committee and devised the price increase.

One mother expressed dismay at being blindsided, while others said they were worried about those at the school without a dollar to spare. Ultimately, the PTA meeting at which the issue came to a head was adjourned without a resolution.

Such fracases are increasingly common at schools like P.S. 295, where changing demographics can cause culture clashes. PTA leaders are often caught between trying to get as much as possible from parents of means without alienating lower-income families.

Sometimes, the battles are over who should lead the PTA itself: many of the gentrifiers bring professional skills and different ideas of how to get things done, while those who improved the school enough to attract them become guardians of its traditions.

It suddenly seems quaint to think of demographic culture clashes as instances of old-guard Anglos being displaced by minorities. But it also happens in areas where the reverse is happening. And it’s not just the rednecks, bubbas, and working class stiffs that act as the foil. The multi-degreed information worker serves as a useful substitute these days.

» Chron: Rice sociologist is star of Houston survey film

Kuff catches one that I missed …

David Thompson and his colleagues at ttweak are best-known for their work on the quirky “Houston – It’s Worth It” campaign, paying homage to the yawning potholes, soul-sapping humidity and all the other things that help to define the sprawling city.

But they may have found the quintessential symbol of Houston in the star of their new film, “Interesting Times: Tracking Houston’s Transformations Through 30 Years of Surveys.”

From the looks of it, Discovery Green on April 27th is the next best opportunity to catch the flick.

» Chron: Galveston County redistricting rejected
» Galveston Daily News: DOJ tosses county’s redistricting maps

Nice to know that the DOJ isn’t totally taking a pass at county-level redistricting …

The justice department found fault with the county’s redistricting process. The process did not set out clear criteria to follow, redrew a commissioners precinct map that put the Bolivar Peninsula into the traditionally minority Precinct 3 and minority representation of voters took a step back under the county’s plan.

The justice department also found fault with the county’s desire to reduce the number of justice of the peace and constable precincts from eight to five.

In doing so, the justice department said, the county reduced the number of precincts where “minority voters possess the ability to elect candidates of choice” from three to just one.

The GDN story notes that two counties in Texas have had their commissioners court plans nixed by DOJ.

[Galveston County Judge] Henry too called the rejection, “an (President Barack) Obama administration’s continuing attack on Texas.”

The only other county in the state to have its redistricting maps rejected, Henry said, was Nueces County.

“What do Nueces County and Galveston County have in common?” he asked. “They both went from Democratic control to Republican control in the 2010 election.”

They were also both represented by former State Rep. Joe Nixon. So there ya go.

» Chron: Houston region is now the most diverse in the U.S (Jeannie Kever)

More research on the local demographics …

The Houston region is now the most ethnically diverse large metropolitan area in the country, surpassing New York City.

Two suburbs – Missouri City and Pearland – have become even more diverse than the city of Houston. Other suburbs aren’t far behind.

These findings are from a report released Monday by Rice University researchers, based on an analysis of census data from 1990, 2000 and 2010.

“We are a little United Nations,” Pearland Mayor Tom Reid said. “You go to one of our neighborhoods, and there will be a person from Nigeria living next to somebody from India, living next to somebody from Mexico and somebody from Louisiana.”

The report also found that while residential segregation has dropped over the past 20 years, it remains highest within the city of Houston; most suburban neighborhoods are less racially segregated.

You can dig through the Kinder Institute report here or just take in the overview video it here:

I’m curious how some other locations track with this. I’d have to think that there would be some similarities in Los Angeles, at a minimum. Obviously, some of what leads to remnant segregation of Houstonians is that you have major parts of town fully developed and that have had multiple generations living in close proximity. So it seems logical that some areas of Third Ward and River Oaks would remain as they are. And as you build up undeveloped areas around those parts of town, the pool of buyers is generally going to be more diverse. That’s why you see pockets of Hispanic neighborhoods near Katy and newer Asian home-buyers filling in the area between Alief and Sugar Land, as well as between Alief and Willowbrook Mall. The fact that there was plenty of open space to develop creates this, in other words.

How this compares to Chicago, New York, or other major cities where I’m less sure that you’ll see something comparable would be something that warrants a bit more study. If only to satisfy my curiosity. That Harris County, as a whole, has gone through a rapid pace of diversification is something that obviously fits well within my wheelhouse. For a visual, there’s always this time-series of demographic maps that I tend to rely on for making the argument easily understandable.

And as an additional reminder, there’s this snapshot of SW Harris County done with my standard-issue demographic color-coding down to the Census block level:

This, in short, shows the pattern of multicultural blocks (yellow) outside the city, but the remnant homogeneous areas within the city (red/Anglo, brown/Hispanic, black/Afr-Am). As a point of emphasis, this demonstrates that it’s not just the larger aggregates of population that are settling in different ways. Block level aggregates are generally as small as 8-12 houses. Seeing a mix of population with no distinct majority living that closely together is something we’ll definitely be seeing more of in the future.

I can’t imagine that the news has escaped anyone who stumbled onto this post, but new maps are out from the San Antonio Court. It basically starts the process of nailing down the primary elections, though there’s still a ray of light that CD25 may be restored by the DC Court as an Austin-centric district for Lloyd Doggett whenever they issue their opinion.

The stuff that matters for Harris County is as follows:

– Three competitive district: HD137 (really more of just an open seat than it is competitive for the General), HD144, HD149. HD134 is just after each of those in terms of competitiveness. I know that there’s an enormous core of activists from that area who will likely itch to see the seat go Dem again. As drawn, I think it’s just going to be tantalizingly out-of-reach for the decade … barring any kind of scandal, of course.

– The real losses in the region seem to be as follows: HD26 retains the Charlie Howard water faucet and hence remains prohibitively Republican.

– On taking the good with the bad: So I’ve been re-drawn into House District 137, as they’ve added more of Gulfton. I’ll happily be voting for Gene Wu in the primary. But I’m also drawn into Congressional District 7. Ya know, because all them Gulfton Hispanics really have a lot in common with Hedwig Village and Jersey Village. Draw your own landscaping/nanny/housekeeper jokes. But I don’t see any of those Village folks dining at the China Star Buffet or any of the numerous and wonderful taquerias in my neighborhood. CD7 starts the decade as 58.7%-40.4% McCain-Obama. We’ll see if the numbers move any during the decade.

– Southeast Texas’ CD14 remains pretty much as-is/was. It hasn’t changed dramatically since the Lege passed their version of the district. Which means good things for Nick Lampson. The average Dem in both Federal and State races in 2008 got 47% in the district. And none of those candidates polled like Lampson has in Jefferson County. I traveled to the Texas City and Beaumont leg of the Campaign Kickoff on Monday and the crowds at both were impressive. Kuff riffs off of the Chronicle’s report on the Texas City event.

– Two long-distance district to note. First, the I-35 district (conveniently enumerated as CD35) that covers part of south San Antonio and SE Austin. I’m assuming Doggett runs there for the time being. We know that the Bexar County Tax-Assessor, Sylvia Romo, is running. And we have no word on Ciro Rodriguez, but I don’t see him challenging Doggett. I’ll refer you back to the post I did with the primary numbers when we had the Lege’s iteration of the district. Doggett may gain a bit by not having to run against a better-known candidate, even if Romo’s nothing to sneeze at. But given the fact that no Anglo candidate has ever beaten a Hispanic candidate in the prior version, I’d expect to see a similarly tough road for Doggett with this district as well.

– Secondly, CD33 in the DFW Metroplex. It’s definitely an ugly duck in terms of geography and demographics. But anything that undoes the single biggest injustice of the 2003 map is progress. No client work going on there, but I’m a fan of State Rep. Marc Veasey. It could get real interesting if a strong Hispanic candidate from Dallas gets in, though.

– For anything else concerning this phase of redistricting, you’re just not doing it right unless you read Michael Li’s blog. I’ve got all the raw data hacked for the Almanac and offer no guarantees for how soon before I have the pages updated for each.

» TX Redistricting: Q&A about the lay of the land

Michael Li points to an ETA on maps for being available by the end of next week. That fits a couple of needs that I think the San Antonio court may be looking to fulfill: a) having the mother of all detailed writeups for a redistricting map ever written to appease the Supreme Court, and b) giving some opportunity for the DC Court to rule on the Section 5 merits before completing work.

A couple of things known so far for the Houston area, some of which are good for the dayjob, are as follows:

1. It looks like there will be two different districts in SW Houston – essentially undoing the pairing that the Lege did with HD137 and HD149. Whether the new HD137 has part of Alief or Meyerland or some other add-on remains to be seen, though. Likewise, whether HD149 is a safe Dem seat or a swing district remains to be seen.

2. HD26 probably stands as a bellwether for how the judges see Fort Bend as a Section 2 issue. Locally, it’s one of the keys to watch for how successful the plaintiffs are. I’m not in the speculation business for this one … just hopeful that there’s a good district drawn that allows Asian voters to send candidates of their choice. The Lege certainly didn’t do that, though.

3. HD144 is another district to watch. I think this is more of a guarantee that there will be a district that doesn’t retrogress Hispanic population, but whether it’s created in the form of a safe or swing district is still up in the air. I can see this being the poster district for OHRVS, or I can see it as being a more solidified Hispanic district electing Dems by about 55-60% each year.

4. HD133/HD136 … based on the “settlement” proposals, my hunch is that Abbott & Co knew they were going to lose trying to keep these as separate districts. What the judges do with them, of course, doesn’t have to be the same. I’d think that the judges could point to the settlement options as validation for folding Woolley’s old seat into Murphy’s and Bohac’s current seat. But that doesn’t strike me as a necessarily “proper” basis to draw the map. I’m assuming that the court is going to have to justify anything edited from the original Lege map. So, unless there’s some justification in the slew of briefing memos they’ve sought out, I’m just not sure.

5. As far as Congressional Districts go, CD14 is the only non-incumbent district out there. I don’t believe that its been drawn significantly different in any map during the court process. Each one has Jefferson & Galveston counties whole, with slightly different versions of southern Brazoria County added on. Given the SCOTUS strictures to hew to the Lege map where possible, it won’t change.

Hopefully, we’ll see within a week’s time whether any of this happens.