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2009-13 ACS Update

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.


2008-12 Citizen Voting Age Population Update

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.


2007-11 CVAP Majority Map of Harris/Ft. Bend Counties

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)


2007-11 Citizen Voting Age Population Update

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.


Is New Math the Future of the Census?

» 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.


Demographic Evolution, Continued

» 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.


Demographic Food Fight

» 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.


An Inconvenient Demography

» 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.


Kinder Institute on Houston’s Diversity

» 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.


Jillson on Demographics

» Texas Tribune: "Lone Star Tarnished" [Excerpt] (Cal Jillson)

Jillson's conclusion ...

Between 1900 and 2000, the Hispanic share of the Texas population increased from less than 5 percent to 32 percent and by 2040 is expected to be 53 percent. Bluntly, the question now is — because Hispanic income and educational attainment are lower than Anglos — does this mean that an increasingly Hispanic Texas must be poorer, less educated, and less productive? The answer, some assure, is no; especially if Hispanics, or Texas, or some combination of the two, act to improve Hispanic educational attainment. Then Hispanic productivity and income will grow, and Texas will continue to prosper. Others worry that demographic change is outrunning improvement in educational attainment. As Texas State Demographer Lloyd Potter said in early 2011, “A [Hispanic] population that isn’t making enough money to fuel our economy, or ends up being a burden on the state — that is not indicative of having a higher quality of life in the future.”

Texas has two choices: It can either try to change these numbers, or it can try to change the social and economic attributes of the coming Hispanic majority. Over the first century and more of the state’s history, Texans and their political leaders took the first path; they tried to shape the racial and ethnic makeup of the state. During the coming decades, Texans and their political leaders will either commit to the second path, changing Hispanic social and economic attributes, or pay an unsustainably heavy price.

If any of this sounds familiar, its probably because former Texas demographer Steve Murdock has been laying the groundwork on this for over a decade. Heather MacDonald at City Journal offers another state's similarities. Her's is a more right-leaning ideological spin on the subject, but the diagnostic part isn't terribly dissimilar.

Murdock has obviously focused a great deal on economic issues, as Jillson does with the Trib excerpt. That's fine and well - there's certainly good reason to devote a lot of energy to that aspect alone. But I'm curious to see what, if any, treatment is given to the rise in non-citizen population over the past 15 years and what implication that has for matters economic and beyond.

MacDonald, for her part, notes " ... small, almost entirely Latino, cities in the Los Angeles basin have been politically passive toward local governance." In checking the three she mentions: Bell, Maywood and La Puente, all but La Puente are over 80% CVAP Hispanic with a CVAP conversion rate of under 50%. La Puente has a higher CVAP conversion rate of 61%. I know that's my dead horse to beat, but I've got to think that maybe, just maybe, the connection between low rates of citizenship are worth some more study. The "civic miscarriages" that MacDonald notes aren't necessarily unique to heavily Hispanic towns and the shell towns that seem to find innovative ways to maximize corruption with very little population at all are points that somehow go missing from the grander narrative of un-assimilated brown folk. Regardless of whose prescriptive takes you or I may favor, the broader dividing point seems to be who has the burden of assimilation - be it economic, cultural, linguistically, or merely preference in sports teams.

Jillson at least hints that the subject matter might go beyond economic with him and I'm hoping his book does. Those in power don't typically cede it easily. And we're obviously already seeing some of the early warning signs of shifting political fortunes. For a more national take on that, Bill King serves up a good tangent on this subject. Jillson's upcoming book is wildly over-priced for Kindle, but it's still a discount from the hard copy. And I'll still download a copy.