2008-12 CVAP Majority Map of Harris/Ft. Bend Counties

A cartographic update here in light of the Census bureau’s release of block group-level CVAP data. The change from previous years is obviously incremental. I’ve added Fort Bend, Brazoria, and Galveston to the mix for this map in order to see how demographic change looks across county borders.

For the uninitiated or those in need of a reminder, here’s the story this tells:

– The color-coding in this map notes which demographic group has a majority within a Census block group among Citizen Voting Age Population (CVAP). Red is for Anglos, Black is for African-American, Orange is for Hispanic, Green is for Asian, and Yellow is for no majority (in my terminology, “Multicultural”).

– At a precise level, it’s worth remembering that CVAP is an estimate and a few grains of salt should be taken for an individual block group’s change or specific counts. I didn’t include a boundary outline for blog groups for that reason. Perhaps more useful is seeing how the clusters of red, black, orange, green, and yellow move over time. And there’s a handy side-by-side comparison map for just that purpose. Professor Klineberg does a nifty job of demonstrating this over the last several decades.

With that, here’s what the map looks like this year:


full pageGoogle Earth file

And just to keep score on population counts within the specific clusters, here’s that information with a comparison to the 2007-11 counts. Also included is what the composition of the “Multicultural” cluster looks like.

Harris County

Share within:
-----------------------------------------------
            2007-11             2008-12
-----------------------------------------------
Anglo:    1,099,585 (48.3%)   1,094,795 (47.0%)   
Hispanic:   280,445 (12.3%)     305,100 (13.1%)   
Afram:      355,725 (15.6%)     368,940 (15.8%)   
Asian:        4,715  (0.2%)       4,620  (0.2%)   
Multi:      536,480 (23.6%)     554,510 (23.8%)   

Within Multicultural:
-----------------------------------------------
Anglo:      171,718 (32.0%)    175,193 (31.6%)
Hispanic:   161,174 (30.0%)    164,895 (29.7%)
Afram:      146,177 (27.2%)    150,568 (27.2%)
Asian:       50,373 (9.4%)      55,483 (10.0%)

Fort Bend County

Share within:
-----------------------------------------------
            2007-11             2008-12
-----------------------------------------------
Anglo:      155,760 (46.1%)     157,495 (44.6%)
Hispanic:    19,115  (5.7%)      19,265  (5.5%)
Afram:       43,005 (12.7%)      44,400 (12.6%)
Asian:        5,520  (1.6%)       8,230  (2.3%)
Multi:      114,440 (33.9%)     123,665 (35.0%)

Within Multicultural:
-----------------------------------------------
Anglo:       36,765 (32.1%)      39,960 (32.3%)
Hispanic:    21,625 (18.9%)      22,965 (18.6%)
Afram:       29,210 (25.5%)      31,055 (25.1%)
Asian:       25,430 (22.2%)      27,995 (22.6%)

I actually got the statewide counts uploaded into a database over the weekend (#partylikearockstar), so I’ll be revisiting all of the major population centers in Texas soon enough. Hopefully, I’ll invent some time to look at a few more major population areas around the nation that I haven’t done before. I haven’t done New York City yet, so there’s obviously some biggies on my to-do list. If there’s anything of interest outside of Texas, feel free to let me know.

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.

How Sylvia Garcia Sees Harris County Congressional Districts

Here’s Sen. Sylvia Garcia’s answer for how to do two Hispanic Congressional Districts in Harris County:


full pageGoogle Earth file

Remarkably similar to the MALDEF map from 2011. And possibly to no surprise given that Luis Figueroa is on her staff. Again, one key selling point is that it would make Gene Green my Congressman. For that reason alone, it clocks in as a personal favorite.

I don’t have election reports on this map right now, but the population reports show the new Northside-to-Alief CD29 as being 61.4% Hispanic voting age population and the “new” East End CD36 at 61.9% Hispanic voting age population. That means both of these are going to come in well under 50% CVAP majority. I don’t doubt the ability for either district to perform much differently than expected, though. The only question I guess I have is what the primary electorate looks like in the 29th. There’s plenty of strength on the Northside for those voters to get whichever candidate they prefer. But there’s enough of a mixture elsewhere to give a lot of other candidates a good feeling about taking a chance in the district.

One bit of light that this map sheds anew is that, if you fast forward to what may or may not happen after Gene Green decides to hang it up, it’s not difficult to see how these two districts could very well end up being represented by both Sen. Garcia (CD29) and Rep. Alvarado (CD36) at some point. But then again, our fair Sheriff also lives in this version of the 29th and I have to confess that’s another great prospect for being my Congressman.

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)

Unbeknownst to me …

I’m hoping to carve out a little time tonight to peruse Stephen Klineberg’s recent Houston Area Asian Survey and add whatever additional comments I might think of. But in the meantime, I notice that a bit of my work has found it’s way into a TedxHouston presentation that Prof. Klineberg did. That work makes its cameo just before the 8:00 mark (and also in the cover image for the video).

The time-series maps are from here. I knew we’d sent over the maps to someone at the Kinder Institute and I’d heard from plenty of others that they’d seen my work in previous Klineberg presentations. I’m just amazed that they’ve lasted as an element in Klineberg’s presentation on demographics.

More on Klineberg and the Asians to follow ….

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.

Actually, All Voters Are Important

» Scott Braddock: Stop Telling Me Latinos Are Important

So this caught my eye …

Campos says Democrats are only engaging voters in urban areas and completely ignoring the suburbs and rural Texas, where many so many Latinos now live. In fact, of the 360,000 Latinos registered to vote in Harris County, nearly 60 percent live in the suburbs. And they didn’t move there because the suburbs are Republican strongholds.

I’m not sure where the 60% number comes from since Braddock doesn’t source it. But I’m guessing that the ballpark guesstimate is also a function of what someone calls the “suburbs” within Harris County.

The bigger reason that this statement caught my eye was because I’ve generally been among those pointing out to my fellow Dems that the biggest bulk of Hispanic voters aren’t in what is traditionally known as Hispanic neighborhoods. Instead, they reside in areas less likely to be worked in a manner that appeals primarily on ethnic appeal. And if they were worked in such a manner, that would be prohibitively difficult … if not counterproductive.

Still, my analysis was that we’d just recently crossed over a tipping point where most Hispanic voters now resided in areas where they were far less likely to be targeted for political communication. Much of this has to do with the dissipation of Hispanics into the less traditional Hispanic areas of the county. To be sure, a good deal of that is the “Suburban Hispanic” point. But what’s being called “suburban”?

There was never any way that I’d arrive at a breakdown of Hispanic voters being 60% suburban, though. I’m in some need of updating some work done a little over four years ago along these lines. But I think even a moderately generous view of what constitutes “suburban” and within Harris County still gets you to a roughly 50-50 split of where Hispanic voters reside. The best/quickest guide that I have handy is the new State House district data. Here’s what that looks like, with my notation for what I’m calling suburban to show my work …

Dist    RV      SSRV    Sub
---------------------------
126   87,563   12,163    1
127   95,934   10,202    1
128   92,032   14,281    1
129  100,550   12,602    1
130   95,035    9,192    1
131   74,422   12,736    1
132   78,191   14,062    1
133  102,887    6,849      
134  115,512    8,879      
135   82,536   13,174    1
137   48,859    9,715      
138   75,869   14,486    1
139   87,660   13,386    1
140   54,249   27,527      
141   70,400    9,832    1
142   71,864   12,020    1
143   64,407   32,020      
144   57,234   27,591    1
145   60,091   31,092      
146   86,869    7,920      
147   95,970   13,510      
148   72,507   28,645      
149   76,373   12,031    1
150   90,813   10,525    1

Shorthand explanations are as follows: RV = Registered Voters; SSRV = Spanish-Surnamed Registered Voters; Sub = Suburban.

The links are to the TXPoliticalAlmanac.com page for each district, so you can judge for yourself whether the district qualifies as “suburban”. I think the only dicey call here is HD144, which I give the benefit of the doubt and call suburban since it stretches all the way out to Baytown. But I guarantee you that HD144 will not be a district that suffers for lack of Marc Campos’ mythical “engagement” of Latino voters. And for whatever it’s worth, I don’t include HD143 in this chart despite the fact that the district picks up areas like Channelview. So, arguably, I’m splitting a bit of the difference here and I’d argue that it still tilts in favor of classifying more voters as suburban. Still, with HD144 included as suburban, the math adds up as follows:

                RV      SSRV   % of Hispanics
----------------------------------------------
Suburbs     1,236,476  198,283   (54.4%)
Un-Suburbs    701,351  166,157   (45.6%)

If I back out HD144 under the premise of measuring how many Latino voters live in areas where Dem “engagement” is generally lacking, the Suburban share drops to 46.8% … quite a bit more removed from “nearly 60%”. Bottom line: you have to have a very small view of what constitutes “Houston” to arrive at the conclusion that 60% of Latino voters live in the suburbs.

There are certainly issues with how Democrats appeal to Latino voters. Unlike Campos, I tend to place a bit less blame with the party than I do with candidates, however. There are just a lot of bad assumptions out there and politics is an astoundingly crappy industry that has never thrived on pristine, inarguable, scientific knowledge. And anyone waiting for any political party to remove the proverbial sword from stone is either playing a fool’s game or pitching a consulting contract to said party. Candidates close the sale with voters, not party organizations.

If you want to solve the problem, run good candidates in the districts where we need to touch those other half of Latino voters (and those of every other demographic stripe), even when you know the deck is stacked against them winning in November.

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.

2006-10 Citizen Voting Age Population Update

Time for some new data from the Census Bureau. As stated a couple of dozen times before, the counts for citizen, voting age population (CVAP) are no rolled out on an annual basis as part of the Bureau’s American Community Survey. It’s been a little while since this came out, but I seem to be stuck in work mode for a couple of clients waiting on a district to be finalized and approved for running in. Priorities and whatnot.

Anyways, here’s the Harris County view, with the 2005-09 CVAP counts left in and the 2006-10 CVAP counts tacked on for easy comparison.

          Total Pop. (%)     18+ Pop. (%)       CVAP-09 (%)        CVAP-10 (%)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TOTAL     4,092,459          2,944,624          2,195,535          2,230,550
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Anglo     1,349,646 (33.0%)  1,085,630 (36.9%)  1,090,624 (49.7%)  1,051,265 (47.1%)
Hispanic  1,671,540 (40.8%)  1,082,570 (36.7%)    494,695 (22.5%)    530,490 (23.8%)
Afr.-Am.    754,258 (18.4%)    541,108 (18.4%)    481,492 (21.9%)    506,150 (22.7%)
Asian       249,853  (6.1%)    194,956  (6.6%)    106,547  (4.9%)    120,660  (5.4%)
Other        67,162  (1.6%)     40,360  (1.4%)     22,177  (1.0%)     21,985  (1.0%)

If those seem like huge changes for one year on the two CVAP counts, there are a few things worth keeping in mind:

1. Some of this is obviously affected by natural demographic changes from the five-year period initially calculated to the new five-year period. I’m not inclined to accept that the majority of the change from the 2009 to 2010 CVAP counts is a result of true population changes.

2. An issue noted from the 2005-09 data is still relevant to keep in mind: there are datapoints from as far back as 2006 incorporated into the estimates. This post gives a fair snapshot of it. Basically, what CVAP captures something of a midpoint of the change from the 2000 Census numbers to the 2010 Census numbers. I doubt this has a huge impact on the year-to-year changes, outside of losing the 2005 datapoints in the 2005-09 CVAP data. But it’s definitely something worth checking before anyone gets too excited or too depressed over any particular change for any given column or row above.

3. The Census Bureau itself does a little bit of updating in how they calculate these estimates, so there’s bound to be a little bit of correction built into these numbers. I’m not sure how much of an impact this has on year-to-year changes. But the Bureau’s reporting of CVAP data has been an issue even beyond redistricting. I’ve not read any updates on specific changes, but I think it’s worth chalking up a not-insignificant share of the change to changing methodology.

With that, here’s the map of Harris County by Block Group, color-coded to reflect which demographic group has a majority within the block group. Standard coloring applies: red is for Anglo majority; black is for African-American majority; brown is for Hispanic majority; green is for Asian majority (this is actually a fairly new wrinkle for those keeping track at home). Yellow is for no majority, aka – multicultural.

Numbers and whatnot are included in the info window for those who want to poke, zoom, and click. Knock yourself out.


full pageGoogle Earth file for all of Southeast Texas

There’s definitely some interesting finds here. One really nice change from last year is that the data is collected with 2010 block group boundary definitions instead of those from 2000. That might not mean much for those just using a visual overview of the map below. But the change makes it easy to stack this data up against 2010 Census data.

A cursory look at some CVAP Conversion ratios shows that 52.5% of adult Hispanics in Harris County are citizen. For Asians, the countywide ratio is 64.4%. Anglos and African-Americans are 96.6% and 96.2% respectively. That’s taken straight from the ACS survey data’s count of 18+ and CVAP. Interestingly, if you look at the combined Census Tract 4214 in Gulfton (bordered by Hillcroft, Gulfton, Renwick, and Bellaire), the 2010 Census counts 6,718 18+ Hispanics and the ACS counts 1,180 Citizen and Voting Age. That’s a conversion rate of 17.6%. Welcome to Gulton, ya’ll.

If you want to look around more of the data for Harris County and see some side-by-side comparisons, the combo map page is updated with the new map. As noted, the Google Earth file includes not just Harris County, but also Fort Bend, Brazoria, Galveston, Chambers, Jefferson, and Montgomery counties. It’s fun for the entire family.

The Other Dissent on the State House Map

» Chron: African-American lawmakers don’t like legislative maps

The local African-American State Rep delegation doesn’t seem happy with their districts …

At a news conference at the Julia C. Hester House in Fifth Ward, Turner noted that he and his fellow lawmakers – Reps. Borris Miles, Harold Dutton, Alma Allen and Senfronia Thompson – had no objections to maps drawn for the state Senate and for Congress.

They objected to the House map, he said, after an analysis of the numbers led them to believe that predominantly African-American districts in Harris and Dallas counties were being diluted and historic communities of interest were being divided.

This has come up since the lines started getting drawn in the Lege. The core of it is that anytime you show a district that has a high-30s for African-American population share and a low-40s for Hispanic population share, you’re almost guaranteed to get one frantic incumbent from the African-American delegation crying over it. And given the way demographics have unfolded in the past decade, it’s increasingly common. Barbara Mallory Caraway, for instance, made an issue of her HD110 being drawn at one point to be 39.6% Afr-Am and 50.7% Hispanic.

Now that the politicians have been removed from the process, the districts aren’t quite to their liking. Here’s one instance, with what is apparently now MY State Rep district:

Rep. Borris Miles, who represents House District 146, said that he will lose 60 percent of his African-American district. “They split Sunnyside right in half,” he said. “It’s obvious to me that the three court judges did not know what they were doing when they came in and drew these new lines.”

As luck would have it, Borris gave his nickel version of this complaint at the same Meyerland Dems meeting where I was invited to speak at. He talked briefly about the numbers in the new district, as proposed by the San Antonio court: 41.6% Hispanic and 41.5% Afr-Am. He pointed to Gulfton in the district and said while he knew he could win the district because Gulfton had a lot of “non-voters”, he said his concern was for the person who came after him … or after the “sleeping giant” of Hispanic voters finally woke up.

I like Borris. I’m proud to have been a part of the team that got him elected in 2006. I’m looking forward to giving him all sorts of grief as my State Rep starting in January 2013. But he’s flat out wrong on this. The reason should be obvious if you’ve read more than a handful of posts here during the past year. It’s not that Gulfton has a lot of “non-voters” who might “wake up” and finally start voting. It’s that Gulfton has a lot of non-citizens. Who can’t vote. Period. In fact, by the time, you get to viewing the district’s Citizen Voting Age composition, it turns out that HD146 is 55% African-American. That’s better than HD131 and HD147, both of which are over 50% as well.

Another part of the complaint with the drawing on the south side is that Sunnyside is carved up like a Thanksgiving turkey. What’s odd about this being a complaint from Borris is that he’s not won Sunnyside once in the three times he’s been on the ballot. Shedding a bit of Sunnyside might not be the worst thing in the world for him. There’s also the fact that the other two Afr-Am State Reps in the area reside in adjoining precincts to HD146 – Coleman to the north, Allen to the south. So if the concern is keeping Sunnyside whole, someone would likely have to be drawn out of their district. I’m fairly certain that there are no volunteers for this.

Where there is something of a complaint is the manner in which Garnet Coleman’s new district would take in parts of the Fifth Ward in order to bolster the Afr-Am numbers in a sixth such district in the county. The current HD147 picks up a fair amount of Montrose, but doesn’t go significantly north of Washington Ave and downtown at it’s northern-most border. Here’s the new northern wing of HD147:

The challenge that both creates and vexes all at the same time is that if you were to simply calculate the number of districts in the county that the Afr-Am population would warrant based on total population, it comes to 4 districts (24 total districts x 18.4% population share = 4.4). At a Citizen Voting Age Population level, it comes to 5 districts (24 x 21.9% = 5.3). There are, at present, six African-American districts electing African-American State Representatives. In order to sustain that, either one district has to be made as thin as possible, or a district has to go. Again, volunteers seem to be at a premium.

The math for sustaining six African-American districts will get thinner and thinner each decade. But the districts won’t hit a tipping point for Hispanic electoral viability this decade … and likely not even by the end of the decade to follow, barring some more dramatic demographic shifts among the African-American population.

Addendum from an 80-20 PAC Presentation

To those of you who might have witnessed a presentation given at the Houston 80-20 PAC dinner Sunday night, the links below should help send you deeper down the rabbit hole of maps and demographics. It’s always a pleasure to hang with one of my favorite local political groups and the interest in demographics by several of the folks at 80-20 events is always a relief. Enjoy the further reading and if there are other areas of interest that you’d like me to look into, I’m usually game for learning a little more about my favorite part of the world.

This post on Asian population by Houston-area neighborhood is the basis for the neighborhood-by-neighborhood number crunching. For some further reading on how Alief’s population (Asian and otherwise) is expected to change over the years, this may be some interesting reading. For some further reading on a part of the state that ranks 5th in terms of Asian population share, here’s an intro to Moore County, which is north of Amarillo.

– The big spaghetti-mess of an image that I talked about is the one below (click to enlarge). Its a block-level view of the maps done here (and the interactive/comparison views here) at the block group level. This update just takes things to a more granular level and reveals some interesting differences in southwest Houston and Alief from other parts of the county. I’ll talk about this more tomorrow in a separate blog post. For now … enjoy the sneak peak.

The color-coding is as follows: red represents an Anglo majority within the block; brown, a Hispanic majority; black, an African-American majority; green, an Asian majority; and yellow means that there is no majority. I’ve made a few tweaks to the code that generates this, so a few quirks are being ironed out and I may have something for more interactive viewing tomorrow.

– It occurs to me that I never bothered to break out the full Asian nationality breakdown here on the blog, so here’s that:

Harris County

Total Asian Population - 256,862
Vietnamese      87,693  (34.1%)
Indian          48,184  (18.8%)
Chinese         42,244  (16.4%)
Filipino        17,045  ( 6.6%)
Pakistani       16,821  ( 6.5%)
Korean          12,829  ( 5.0%)
Cambodian        4,118  ( 1.6%)
Japanese         4,022  ( 1.6%)
Taiwanese        3,715  ( 1.4%)
Bangladeshi      3,038  ( 1.2%)
Thai             2,865  ( 1.1%)
Laotian          1,846  ( 0.7%)
Indonesian         597  ( 0.2%)
Malaysian          587  ( 0.2%)
Sri Lankan         500  ( 0.2%)
Other Asian     10,758  ( 4.2%)

Fort Bend County

Total Asian Population - 101,213
Indian          37,318 (36.9%)
Chinese         22,481 (22.2%)
Vietnamese      15,517 (15.3%)
Filipino         9,218 ( 9.1%)
Pakistani        7,219 ( 7.1%)
Korean           3,179 ( 3.1%)
Japanese           779 ( 0.8%)
Malaysian          722 ( 0.7%)
Taiwanese          676 ( 0.7%)
Thai               252 ( 0.2%)
Indonesian         243 ( 0.2%)
Bangladeshi        190 ( 0.2%)
Cambodian          111 ( 0.1%)
Other            3,308 ( 3.3%)