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Three Random Tales of Demography

April 14, 2013 Politics-2013 No Comments

Three demographic signposts that I wouldn’t want a hectic schedule to keep me from slapping on the blog. As luck would have it, they all come from the same news outlet.

» NY Times: Breeding Pigeons on Rooftops, and Crossing Racial Lines

A new book, “The Global Pigeon,” by Colin Jerolmack, an assistant professor of sociology at New York University who spent three years hanging out with pigeon fliers, makes the point that pigeon breeding brought Italian-Americans and other ethnic whites “into contact with people of a different ethnic and age cohort with whom they were not voluntarily associating before.”

“African-Americans in Bed-Stuy who mostly hang out with other African-Americans, because they keep pigeons wind up being friends with these 85-year-old white guys they would not usually associate with,” Dr. Jerolmack said in an interview.

» NY Times: Centers See New Faces Seeking Test Prep

It’s no surprise to the average New York parent that so-called cram schools, once the cultural domain of Chinese-, Korean- and Russian-American students, have gained traction with non-Asian parents hoping to grab slots in competitive gifted programs and coveted middle and high schools by improving their children’s test scores.

But whereas five years ago owners of cram schools were surprised to encounter non-Asian students in their waiting rooms, now they are muscling one another for their business, handing out book bags with the names of their schools scrawled across the front, attending summer camp fairs in synagogues and school cafeterias, hiring receptionists who speak English, and aggressively pitting themselves against the Japanese cram school behemoth, Kumon, which dominates the local market.

Some are even changing their names. Horizon, a well-reputed cram school in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, known among Chinese-American families for funneling students into Stuyvesant High School and NEST+m, was recently rechristened Gifted Kids New York City. “It’s a little more appealing to Caucasian parents,” said the owner, Andrew Chan, who tells prospective parents from Park Slope and Williamsburg, Brooklyn, that he is offering “Chinese rigor” with Western-style teaching methods.

» NY Times: In Mexican Villages, Few Are Left to Dream of U.S.

All across Mexico’s ruddy central plains, most of the people who could go north already have. In a region long regarded as a bellwether of illegal immigration — where the flow of migrants has often seemed never-ending — the streets are wind-whipped and silent. Homes await returning families, while dozens of schools have closed because of a lack of students. Here in El Cargadero, a once-thriving farm community of 3,000, only a few hundred people remain, at most.

“It’s not like it used to be,” said Fermin Saldivar Ureño, 45, an avocado farmer whose 13 brothers and sisters are all in California. “I have three kids, my parents had 14. There just aren’t as many people to go.”

About Those Inversions

September 11, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

» Democracy Journal: Suburb Slickers (Ben Adler)

Stop me if you’ve heard this before …

If you live in the suburbs, you may have noticed a totally different demographic trend: the diversifying of suburbia. Maybe it’s the Vietnamese nail salons and pho joints that have filled up the old suburban strip malls, or the sudden emergence of Latino pedestrians walking home along busy roads or congregating in convenience store parking lots. Immigrants and minorities, from the working poor to the affluent, are arriving in suburbia. Some are following job opportunities that have been dispersed around the urban perimeter. Others are priced out of the city. Many are seeking the same virtues—space, good schools, low crime—that drove whites to suburbs throughout the twentieth century.

Alan Ehrenhalt’s new book ties these threads into one common phenomenon that he calls demographic inversion. Our metropolitan areas, he argues in The Great Inversion, are being turned inside out, with the wealthier white people living in the cities, while those who aspire to be the first generation in their family to achieve the American Dream—frequently immigrants and African Americans—move to the suburbs. Ehrenhalt argues that this constitutes a return to form for the modern metropolis, pointing to nineteenth-century Paris and Vienna as cities that invented the template. Major cities in developing countries, such as Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, already fit this mold. In fact, the United States, with the poor in cities and the wealthy in suburbs, has largely been a global exception. But that is ending. “The roles of cities and suburbs will not only change but will very nearly reverse themselves,” he predicts, in about 20 years’ time.

No doubt, I’m curious to read Ehrenhalt’s book, but I tend to be as skeptical about some of the details offered by proponents of the trend. With that in mind, it’s refreshing to read some of the critiques offered further into this review.

As for the Houston case, I tend to think that too much gets made of the small growth patterns we see in Downtown, Midtown, and EaDo while the real inversion has obviously been underway in the Heights. You could definitely stretch that out to consider the Heights as “inner city”. But I think it’s a definitional stretch and also confuses the causality since much of what we see in Houston’s inversion related to legislated price spikes in home values due to historic districts being created. Simply pricing out a good chunk of population from the market doesn’t do great things for diversification unless income distribution correlates with demography. And at present … it does not.

Still, I think it’s worthwhile to look at some of demographic patterns in other places and hear out some of the theories that hold those together. I’ve got the sample loaded up on the Kindle. But a fuller reading will likely have to wait until I’m done with Woodward’s latest.

Of Demographics and Friction

September 8, 2012 Politics-2012 No Comments

An interesting run of articles in one a single day here. Nobody said multiculturalism was always tidy and pleasant. These examples provide some interesting examples.

» NY Times: A Walmart for Chinatown Stirs a Fight in Los Angeles

Christilily Chiv, 24, said she worries that Walmart’s arrival in the neighborhood where she was born and raised could mark the start of a major transition in Chinatown, which remains a first stop for many Asian immigrants, into a historic district where immigrants no longer live and work.

“Chinatown is a cultural community,” Ms. Chiv said. “I want to preserve what is there. And I fear what’s going to happen is that by having commercial corporations come in, they are going to erase the cultural community and what it stood for in the first place.”

Still, the storefront where the Walmart Neighborhood Market plans to open has sat vacant for two decades, and many residents are eager to see it filled.

» NY Times: Islamic Poultry for Latino Tables (Yes, They Have Chilies, Too)

Customers like Mr. Flores are the lifeblood of Al Salam Pollería, a thriving shop that opened 28 years ago “by accident,” according to its founders. Abdul Elhawary and his brother-in-law, Safwat Elrabat, who died 12 years ago, opened the shop in East Los Angeles because the zoning there allowed the sale and on-site slaughter of live poultry, in accordance with their religion’s dietary requirements.

There were few halal butchers in Los Angeles in the 1980s, Mr. Elhawary, 60, said, so the family expected large numbers of Muslims from across the city to make the trek to buy halal poultry.

That never happened. Much to their surprise, though, Latino immigrant customers did show up, and in large numbers.

» NY Times: A Planned Mosque Inches Along, but Critics Remain

“If the area, suddenly, is like a suburb of some Muslim country, it’s not very pleasant,” said Alexandr Tenenbaum, who lives several blocks away. “I am always scared because you see these kind of people, but we can’t say it.”

The Muslims behind the mosque say they have heard it all before. They have fought the legal challenges with the hope that the anger will subside once the building opens. Even as the dirty looks continue, the level of opposition seems to have eased.

Last year, the back-to-school giveaway drew so many protesters, the police responded to keep order; this year, there were only two, which the mosque’s backers suggested is a good sign.

Another Irregular Aggrepost

July 14, 2012 Politics-2012 No Comments

Just another assortment of links I’ve been reading that might be worth a delayed recommendation for others. What’s known as “regular” blogging should resume a few weeks from now.

» National Journal: Southern Bellwether
North Carolina holds a fair number of parallels to Texas. For that reason, I’m hoping that Team Obama sees fit to put ample resources into winning the state a second time.

» The American Interest: The Democrats May Not Stay Long on Obama’s Chosen Path (Walter Russell Mead)
Mead’s take is a bit thin on the Judis/Teixeira understanding of the Democratic Party coalition. But it’s not without some merit. There certainly is some existing cleavage between Clinton-style Dems and the more current Obama-style iteration. But crackups of either party are generally overrated. At the end of the day, parties are in the business of getting elected, not conducting philosophical discourse. Newton’s laws of motion apply to politics, after all.

» Des Moines Register: Battling for every Iowa vote
Not surprising to me that Iowa would be a tougher battle. Should be interesting to see what the late polling looks like here.

» The New Republic: New Data on Obama’s Massive Demographic Advantage (Ruy Teixeira)
More like this, please. I tend to be dismissive of tales about how demographics are going to totally alter the landscape in 2012 since much of what we saw in 2008 was the result of those very same demographics coupled with peak interest in a Presidential election. I’m not expecting to see many signs of turnout being the same as it was in 2008. So the decrease is likely to offset some of the change seen in the previous four years. That said, while Teixeira’s number crunching is of a great deal of interest, there’s still the reality that demographics don’t translate equally to votes right now.

» Washington Post: Chris Hughes, once a new-media pioneer, makes bet on old media with New Republic
Definitely not Marty Peretz’s ship anymore. And that’s a good thing as long as TNR maintains some of the ideological diversity they’re known for.

» Slate: Clotted Cream
I’ve been sorting through some reviews of Christopher Hayes’ “Twilight of the Elites” and this stands out as a decent one. So what if I missed it from six weeks ago or Hayes’ book didn’t jump to my attention because I’m not overly receptive to new lit from writers at The Nation? I’m sure there will be massive quibbles to be had if I follow through with a full read of Hayes. But it seems like a end-cap to a re-read of Robert Bellah’s “Habits of the Heart” and maybe Robert Putnam’s “Better Together”. I’ll give the book a preview in the Kindle before deciding to commit to a self-styled trilogy.

» Nick Clegg speech on social mobility
Another oldie. This one was referenced in a more recent David Brooks column. The speech is far more interesting than the column.

—–

One time-killer that I have still found a bit of odd time for:

pablo_pentatonics_2.mp3

Not a lot of time to spend learning cover tunes or extending some drills such as this into fuller ideas. But still more fun than it should be.

Demographic Evolution, Continued

April 26, 2012 Census Stuff No Comments

» 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.

The View of Demographic Change From Italy

March 26, 2012 Politics-2012 No Comments

» Eurozine: The tune of the future – Italy: old Europe, new Europe, changing Europe

An interesting snapshot of demographic change … from outside of the US.

Bari, in the far south of Italy, offers a very different picture from Venice. It is still warm. It is the end of September, but the holidaymakers have gone. On a Sunday evening in the Piazza del Ferrarese in the old part of town, the incidental tourist will find the locals perched on a low wall or sitting in little cafés drinking beer or strolling around the square, which serves as a kind of corso, a promenade. The several thousand people gathered in the square look as if they all know each other, children are playing tag at nine o’clock in the evening, teenagers are cooling themselves off with an ice-cream and their nicely dressed parents, and even grandparents, are standing around talking loudly, gesticulating, like in one of Vittorio De Sica’s black-and-white movies from the 1960s.

This is a lively town. If Venice is where old Europe is dying, then Bari is where new Europe is emerging. It is one of the entry points for immigrants to Europe.

The article goes on to give some more color to the situation in Bari – namely that more recent immigration has lead to a subclass of people who aren’t able to gain temporary residency status. I don’t think I’d say the US is anywhere near as bad as how Europe has dealt with immigration. But the differences are definitely getting narrower.

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.

Toure on “Post-Racial”

» NY Times: No Such Place as ‘Post-Racial’ America (Touré)

I suspect “post-racial” was born benignly from the hope that Obama’s electoral success meant that the racial problems that have long plagued America were over. Kumbaya. Surely Obama’s victory revealed something had changed in America, but it was not a signal that we’d reached the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s mountaintop world where race no longer matters and equality has been achieved. During the Obama administration “post-racial” and “race card” and “reverse racism” have run amok like gremlins in the language, obfuscating race and making discussions about it harder. America still has so much work to do regarding race and racism and “post-racial” is only making that work harder to do. That’s why “post-racial” and its cohorts must be stopped posthaste.

I’m sure this’ll qualify as a provocative take among some. I remember a brief conversation I had the pleasure of having with Congressman Keith Ellison. I mentioned to him that I was something of a fan of his predecessor, Martin Sabo. Sabo was as white a Lutheran as you could imagine coming out of a Minnesota Congressional district, whereas Ellison was not. The Congressman went on in good detail about how Minneapolis has a pretty good track record of being something close to the “post-racial” ideal. It wasn’t just that his district elected him or that there was a diverse population that could support a non-white candidate. At it’s origin, it seems to explain some of how a Hubert Humphrey could be political successful making civil rights a signature issue.

That’s all fine and well. And there’s certainly some other datapoints that I can identify in the Minny/St. Paul metropolis. But it’s not the south, where my point of references come from. So I’m not thinking the topic of race is completely done away with just because we elected Barack Obama. There’s still discussion to be had and it’s a discussion that’s largely been avoided when not over-simiplified. Race and demographics still matter and the amount of change in each has shown that it’s not just a discussion of theory or other nebulous ideas.

The Other ID Missing from the Ballot Box

» Wash. Post: Virginia ballots skimp on party affiliation

The way they do it in Virginia …

Under state election law, ballots list party affiliation only for federal, statewide and General Assembly races. The idea is that omitting the party designation helps keep partisan politics out of local races.

But in reality, candidates for local offices file as Republicans and Democrats and tout party endorsements in campaign literature. By law, school board offices are nonpartisan, so those candidates must file as independents. Even so, school board candidates can and do collect and advertise party endorsements.

“That horse has already left the barn,” said Del. Thomas A. “Tag” Greason (R-Loudoun), who this year introduced a bill to list party affiliation for local races across the state. The bill died in a House subcommittee, even after it was amended to cover only Loudoun County.

“As I would go door to door during my campaigns, people will say, ‘Hey, how come there’s an R next to your name and a D next to [Sen.] Mark Herring’s name, but I have no idea what’s going on with the supervisors?’ ” Greason said. “It’s just more information. People can use it however they want to use it. Providing the information shouldn’t be a bad thing.”

Something to consider alongside the discussion of removing the option to cast a straight-party vote. I tend to favor items that help folks sort out information however they choose to. So the mythology of non-partisan races is certainly something I’m in favor of erasing.

Along those lines

Adam Harris, who left the Parker campaign in June, has not left the campaign account’s payroll. His new firm, Horizon Strategies, is getting about $2,000 a month from the Parker campaign, according to the mayor’s most recent campaign finance report.

But that doesn’t mean he’s back on Team Parker. Harris is not working on the campaign, both he and the campaign’s spokeswoman confirmed.

Instead, he’s the mayor’s liaison to the National Conference of Democratic Mayors.

Of course, Houston municipal elections are non-partisan. So they say. I look forward to Neil’s reaction toward this item.

Another tangent that the Post article mentions is the timing of elections:

Martha Brissette, policy analyst for the state elections board, noted that some parts of Virginia have historically tried to distance local races from state and national politics by scheduling municipal elections in May instead of November.

“Some cities and towns now have the option to move [elections] to November,” Brissette said. “People that like them in May express concern, ‘Well, that will make them partisan.’ ”

The reason you see so many states in general – and so many southern states specifically – with the legacy of midterm-year elections, is so that the disparity in electorates and the historical drag on Southern Dem fortunes when the national party dominates the election season were things that old-school Dems sought to avoid. What I’m curious to look more into, however, is whether we’re seeing a greater divide in the shape of the electorate from year-to-year. It may be beyond my scope to do some sort of deeper historical study on the matter, but I do think there’s something to suggest this is the case in areas where we’re in the limbo phase of “minority-majority” population yet not “minority-majority” electorate. I’ve certainly got enough numbers to crunch with an election season coming to a head and block-level Census data to dive into and an update on the 5-yr American Community Survey to look forward to. So it goes somewhere deep on the to-do list.

The Downside of Demographic Shifts

» Washington Post: Awkward moments at Baltimore anime convention as art form comes of age

The creepiest story on “demographic shift” that I ever hope to read. Also the only story involving anime that I ever hope to read.

This is a delicate time on the anime convention circuit, where a demographic shift has created an occasionally unseemly and sometimes dangerous dynamic.

The first Otakon, held in 1994 at a cozy Days Inn in State College, Pa., back before the Pokemon movies and “Spirited Away” and the Cartoon Network’s anime programming, drew just 350 people. Otakon is now the largest anime confab on the East Coast; this year, a record 31,348 turned out for the annual Japan-centric nerd-out at the 1.2 million-square-foot Convention Center.

Men have long been the foundation of the genre’s fan base, but they’ve been joined in increasing numbers by teen girls, whose embrace of the medium’s more fantastical side has helped launch anime to new levels of stateside popularity. Conventions that were once cult gatherings attended almost exclusively by VHS-trading college-age (and older) males are now overflowing with young females, many of them sporting various iterations of anime’s popular doe-eyed, scantily clad look.

Those Multiracial Coogs

March 8, 2011 Census Stuff No Comments

Via the inbox, here’s some interesting demographics of my alma mater, the University of Houston:

White            13,212   34.1%
Hispanic          8,641   22.3%
Asian American    7,561   19.5%
African American  4,869   12.6%
International     3,278    8.5%
Multiracial         627    1.6%
Other/Unknown       320    0.8%
Native American     129    0.3%
HI/Pac. Isl.        115    0.3%

 

There’s more numbers to ogle at the link above.

The Non-Citizens of Harris County

February 24, 2011 Census Stuff No Comments

An extra map here while I’m still nose-deep in data for clustering the “Total Pop. to CVAP” view of Harris County. This shows concentrations of non-citizen population in Harris County. Dark green is 40% or more non-citizen; green is 25-40% non-citizen; and light green is 15-25% non-citizen. The rest (in grey) are obviously under 15%. Additionally, I’ve broken out the data in the info-boxes to show citizenship by “Native” and “Naturalized.”

Reihan Rides a Bus

February 24, 2011 Census Stuff No Comments

» The Daily: The browning of America: Coming demographic shift is both a success and a challenge (Reihan Salam)

I spent my hours on Metro Rapid Line 733 daydreaming about a future in which brown, urban Americans will be in the majority. To get a sense of what that future will look like, it helps to contemplate the demographics of Americans under the age of 5. Barely half of them are, to use the infelicitous bureaucratic phrase, “non-Hispanic whites.” A quarter of under-5′s are Hispanic, as opposed to 22 percent of under-18′s, and many American children are the products of what we still call “intermarriages.”

History tells us that our familiar ethnocultural distinctions will eventually break down. Just as Americans of Irish and Italian and Jewish origin were once considered seditious and unassimilable aliens by native-born Protestants of northern European stock, one gets the strong impression that intermarriage will melt seemingly unmeltable ethnic groups. Asian-Americans, once victims of intense persecution, have by and large been embraced by the larger culture. Perhaps the most vivid illustration of this phenomenon is the fact that a large majority of Japanese-Americans born in the 1980s and 1990s have one non-Japanese parent, usually of European origin.

I’m not sure what bothers me more – agreeing with Paul Burka on something, or agreeing with Reihan Salam on anything. Be that as it may, this is a pretty good opinion piece on what the future may hold for our multi-ethnic future. It’s a future that others have been thinking about as well.

How Reliable is CVAP?

February 23, 2011 Census Stuff 5 Comments

I might normally save this point for when I have the data ready to roll out in the form of a blog post, but since it addresses a few issues that I’ve already blogged about, I’m having at it.

I’m putting together an aggregate-style map of the county, with clusters similar to what I did for this post on transportation. What I wanted to look at was how the Population in each cluster changed as we moved from total population, 18+ population, and the citizen voting age population. As previously noted, there are bound to be some issue that come up with the CVAP numbers since they’re required for use in preclearance, yet the data comes from the 2005-09 American Community Survey data. Among the issues I’m looking at are where and how severe it might be to adequately reflect a rapidly changing neighborhood when you’re relying on datapoints as far back as 2005.

There are certainly some highlights that I’ll have for that analysis, but one other issue jumps out as I do this now. Namely, that Anglos seem to have a systematic way of growing in raw population counts after you extract out non-citizens. Not percentages, mind you … total numbers.

Of the 19 clusters I’ve broken out so far, 12 of them magically grow Anglos from the 18+ count to the CVAP count. Five grow African-American population, and two grow Asian population. None grow Hispanic population.

On the whole, I’m looking at about a quarter of the county so far. And of that grand subtotal, Anglos drop 6%, Hispanics drop 54%, African-Americans drop 14%, and Asians drop 32%. Overall, those numbers strike me as “about right.” They at least make sense. But the clusters are hit and miss.

Many of the examples may be explained by the fact that ACS data includes a margin of error. I wouldn’t be shocked if all of them are within the margin of error. But the systemic bias of the results is what bugs me. It also highlights and magnifies the fact that ACS data is problematic in comparing with Census data in smaller scales. That’s a point that the Census Bureau alerts us to in how to use the data. So I guess the real question is whether a State Rep district is too small for the comparison to be meaningful. And let’s not forget that there’s a lawsuit going on that suggest we do redistricting by nothing but that ACS/CVAP data.

By way of example, here’s the breakdown for my “Southwest 2″ cluster which is roughly bordered by the Beltway, Westpark Tollway, and the county line.

          Total Population    18+ Population          CVAP        |  [18+]-[CVAP]
          --------------------------------------------------------|------------
Total     116,391             85,668              73,685          |
Anglo      37,552 (32.3%)     30,849 (36.0%)      35,205 (47.8%)  |  + 4,356
Hispanic   36,459 (31.3%)     23,830 (27.8%)       9,490 (12.9%)  |  -14,340
Afr. Am.   32,252 (27.7%)     23,357 (27.3%)      24,385 (33.1%)  |  + 1,028
Asian       8,163  (7.0%)      6,442  (7.5%)       4,185  (5.7%)  |  - 2,257

 

The numbers I use for CVAP are the total numbers they list by tract. I don’t include the margin or error for anything. I’ll probably take a closer look at that, at least for an example or two. I don’t doubt that the numbers for this cluster might fall within the margin of error. But given the large percentage of examples “mysterious Anglo growth,” I’m pretty sure there’s an example or two that can be found outside of the MOE.

Any of the commenters want to shed some more sunlight on this topic?

Three More Views of Harris County Demographics

Three visualizations of Harris County demographics that pivot from the broadest, overall view to one that reflects more of the political reality. The first is a repeat of the map I ran yesterday.

Total Population:

18+ Population:

Citizen Voting Age Population:

If you want to dig into the details, here’s the link for a side-by-side map view that lets you choose which two maps you want to compare. The default is Total Population (left) and CVAP (right). For good measure, I’ve also got a version of the side-by-sides for Fort Bend County, also. By all means, poke around.

The grand total numbers, so you can see the aggregated total is as follows:

            Total Pop. (%)      18+ Pop. (%)            CVAP (%)
-----------------------------------------------------------------
TOTAL       4,092,459            2,944,624             2,195,535
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Anglo       1,349,646 (33.0%)    1,085,630 (36.9%)     1,090,624 (49.7%)
Hispanic    1,671,540 (40.8%)    1,082,570 (36.7%)       494,695 (22.5%)
Afr.-Am.      754,258 (18.4%)      541,108 (18.4%)       481,492 (21.9%)
Asian         249,853  (6.1%)      194,956  (6.6%)       106,547  (4.9%)
Other          67,162  (1.6%)       40,360  (1.4%)        22,177  (1.0%)

 

The CVAP numbers are going to get very interesting this time around. In the last Census, citizenship was asked on the regular Census form – the one that got asked of 100% of people (give or take) one in six Census surveys. This time around, the question was not on the Census form, but it was on the Census bureau’s American Community Survey questionnaire. That is essentially a 2.5% sample that’s used to get a number that also has a +/- margin of error. So that’s how you get the statistical anomaly of Anglos in Harris County gaining nearly 5,000 people after backing out citizens from the 18+ universe. In areas that are undergoing significant demographic change, the measurement also uses datapoints from the middle of the decade. As we saw in the Pulaski County, Arkansas example … it understates the current reflection of demographic change.

The bad news is that CVAP data is required as part of the Voting Rights Act. As an example of it’s uses, it is designed to show that a majority-Hispanic district does not lose enough voting strength for Hispanics to elect a candidate of their choosing. That’s the point that commenter Mainstream has been berating me for since delving into demographics and redistricting.

I’m not yet to the point of looking for more info on how the Census vs ACS matter might be resolved, but it’s pretty clear that other people have spotted this glitch and I can’t imagine that the Justice Dep’t will be completely flat-footed on it. In September of last year, David Hanna of the Texas Legislative Council noted some of the issues that may come up as a result of it with the Senate Redistricting Committee. So it’s at least on the radar, along with all of the other redistricting laws, rules, customs, and guidelines that sometimes conflict.

As a sidenote and interesting algebra crunch from the data above, here’s what the Under-18 population looks like in Harris County:

            >18 Pop. (%)
-----------------------
TOTAL       1,147,835  
-----------------------
Anglo        264,016 (23.0%)
Hispanic     588,970 (51.3%)
Afr.-Am.     213,150 (18.6%)
Asian         54,897  (4.8%)
Other         26,802  (2.3%)

 

Meet your future, folks. Those younguns are more likely to be voter-eligible when they grow up.

The Scope of Harris County’s Demographic Change

February 22, 2011 Census Stuff No Comments

Here’s a snapshot of the demographic change underway in Harris County. The maps below show which demographic group has 50% or more in a Census tract. Red for Anglo, brown for Hispanic, black for African-American, and yellow for areas where nobody has over 50%. If you want to look at an interactive version of each map side-by-side (handy for looking at individual tracts or neighborhoods), here’s that.

Harris County 2000

Harris County 2010

The Most Important Cultural Moment in Houston You (Probably) Never Heard Of

February 21, 2011 Census Stuff No Comments

Pertaining to the previous post on the changing demographics of the Houston suburbs …

Everything you ever needed to know about the changing demographics of Harris County, summed up in one image. For those of you familiar with the Houston area, note the location of the event below.

 

I happened upon a pushcard for this event at one of the Asian-American groups I happened upon back in 2007 (ya know, like we all do). This jumped out at me for one thing and one thing alone: it wasn’t taking place in Sugar Land or southwest Houston. Instead, it was taking place in Cypress. Since I was unfamiliar with the show, I asked around and was told that it was a tour spun off from what is essentially an Indian-style “American Idol” show.

Again … Cypress.

Census Stories: The Suburbs of Houston

February 21, 2011 Census Stuff No Comments

» Chron: 3 spots tell story of changing suburbs

Good reading here on the changing demographics taking place along the outer rim of the Houston area. I’ve not seen the printed version of the paper, so maybe there’s a graphic to go along with this. I’ve added a map below the fold if you want to explore what’s going on in each of the areas that this article cover.

The bulk of what gets noticed here is the Katy area, with one Census tract in Harris County and two in Fort Bend (which were split for the 2010 Census). On the Fort Bend side, it’s the Asian population growth that gets noted. On the Harris County side, it’s the Hispanic population growth that gets noted. Another datapoint is offered in the Greenspoint area as having the largest drop in Anglo population.

On the whole, I’ll call this a must-read for background on the changing nature of the suburbs. On the margins, I’ll point out two minor quibbles that I think flesh out the fuller story a bit more:

- The article seems to focus on a numerical calculation of “biggest increases/biggest decreases.” That’s fine and well, but I think it portrays the bigger story in terms of triviality. The overall growth of the Asian population in the Northwester part of Harris County is enough to devote an entire story to. The Asian share of the population in southwest Houston (the area most commonly associated with that population) was nearly stagnant from 2000 to 2010. But the growth in the northwestern region that includes the HP/Compaq campus and the growing medical centers in the Cy-Fair area. The overall size of the Asian population there is between 1/3 to 1/2 that of the southwestern area. I’ll have some more findings on this later in the week.

- The “biggest decrease” example, while numerically interesting, doesn’t seem to highlight the fact that the entire Census tract is comprised of about five apartment complexes and one trailer park. I don’t have the precise numbers, but I think it’s fair to point out that residence in apartments are more shorter-term than those in houses. That allows for demographic change to be fast-forwarded. The fact that the tract is surrounded by high concentrations of minority population may also have a role to play. Having lived just north of the area, I’m more surprised that the Anglo population there was worth mentioning to begin with. But it would be interesting to see what the second or third biggest decrease might have been if it allowed for more of an apples-to-apples comparison with the two Katy examples.

I mention those two points not to detract from the value of the news report, but merely to note that the story is bigger than a few datapoints. That strikes at least me as much more interesting. I still run into people that are convinced that Cypress is inhabited by nothing but rightwing crazies and any Fort Bend population outside of Missouri City is equally as whacked out. But the way those areas are changing will have a big impact on how we understand opportunities politically, commercially, and beyond.

As stated, there’s a Google map of the three areas mentioned in the story below the fold. I invite you to switch over to the satellite view of the map and zoom in to see what’s going on.

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