Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: 2005 Census Update-City Populations Continue to Decline

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    Posts
    401

    2005 Census Update-City Populations Continue to Decline

    The US census released its American Community Survey 2005 update to the 2000 census. Since I do a lot of population analysis I was eager to see the new numbers and quickly checked a number of metro areas across the country. The results were surprisingly sobering.

    Despite the major building booms in most American cities since 2000, almost all cities saw population loss, and some places saw quite significant losses as well.

    Here's a brief list of cities, their 2005 population and 2000 population.

    Pittsburgh, PA: 284,366 - 334,563
    Baltimore, MD: 608,481 - 651,154
    Philadelpia, PA: 1,406,415 - 1,517,550
    New York City, NY: 7,956,113 - 8,008,278
    Boston, MA: 520,702 - 589,141
    Providence, RI: 160,264 - 173,618
    Washington, DC: 515,118 - 572,059
    Atlanta, GA: 394,929 - 416,474
    Cleveland, OH: 414,534 - 478,403
    Houston, TX: 1,941,430 - 1,953,631
    Dallas, TX: 1,144,946 - 1,188,580
    Denver, CO: 545,198 - 554,636
    Phoenix, AZ: 1,377,980 - 1,321,045
    Los Angeles, CA: 3,731,437 - 3,694,820
    San Francisco, CA: 719,077 - 776,733
    Seattle, WA: 536,946 - 563,374
    Portland, OR: 513,627 - 529,121
    Minneapolis, MN: 350,260 - 382,618
    Detroit, MI: 836,056 - 951,270
    Kansas City, MO: 440,885 - 441,545
    Buffalo, NY: 256,492 - 292,648

    Several of the cities' numbers seem off to me, based on other figures that come my way, but nonetheless, for all the talk about the dynamic urban real estate and growing urban population, at the end of the day almost all major American cities lost people between 2000 and 2005, noticeably Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Detroit, Philadelphia, *Boston*, DC, Baltimore and Buffalo.

  2. #2
    Suspended Bad Email Address teshadoh's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    427
    PennPlanner, do you place a lot of stock in the American Community Survey estimates as opposed to the regular US Census estimates. I know the Census Bureau is trying to phase in the ACS, but the estimates usually appear to be bizarre. In Atlanta's case the Black population is dramatic, over 20,000 in 1 year. Though that is a real pattern, but that type of drop is incredible.

    I'm just not sure yet how much I pay attention to the ACS numbers.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    City of Low Low Wages!
    Posts
    3,236
    Census estimates ahve always been pretty dodgy on a city-by-city basis. They don't use enough measures. They used to have a methodology document online that said that the only measure they use is new home start permits. For attrition they assume that buildings are abandoned at a constant rate influenced by their age. This, of course, heavily biases the numbers towards boom town suburban areas with new housing stock and lots of housing starts and away from areas with older stock with most new construction being infill.

    I think any change in methodology would be a good thing.
    Reality does not conform to your ideology.
    http://neighborhoods.chicago.il.us Photographs of Life in the Neighborhoods of Chicago
    http://hafd.org/~jordanb/ Pretentious Weblog.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    Posts
    401
    I have had more time to review the data from the Census, and a big part of the disparity between 2005 and 2000 is that the 2005 numbers are based on population in households, whereas the 2000 numbers is total population including group quarters (primarily college students in dormitories and prisoners in jails).

    Bit misleading to the average Joe, huh?

    In other words, while Baltimore lost population according to the 2005 ACS, its population loss wasn't quite as bad as it only went from a HH population of 625K in 2000 to 608K in 2005 (though it speaks volumes about that city's prison population and one can make a lot of inferences from that little bit of data alone). Also explains why Boston, with its very high student population, saw a big decline.

    Still, even a revised for only population in HH numbers, Pittsburgh saw a big drop from 311,749 to 284,366 in five years. Ouch.

    Altogether, most of the major cities in the midwest and northeast continued to lose residents despite the massive urban reinvestments the past decade has seen.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    City of Low Low Wages!
    Posts
    3,236
    I don't really think those building booms ever represented big population booms though. Mostly you have represented wealthy people displacing less wealthy people.

    So like, say you have a twoflat in Chicago with two immigrant families with 6 people each in them. The building gets sold off and torn down and a much larger 3 flat condo gets built in its place. But then the three units are all bought by wealthy DINKS. So you have the number of units go from 2 to 3 and probably each unit is a lot bigger, but the household size went from 6 to 2. So essentially you've halved the population of the building, from 12 to 6 people.

    If you look at European cities all had big postwar population declines in their urban centers as they gentrified. Now you take a city like Paris which is nearly 100% gentrified. Its population is way lower than it was 30, 40, 50 years ago.

    Chicago gained population in the 2000s but that population gain was almost entirely through immigration. Gentrified areas did gain a little population, especially where there was a lot of highrise construction, but the transition neighborhoods like Ravenswood or Wicker Park (both were transition neighborhoods at the time, not anymore) lost population.

    Personally I'm growing less and less convinced that gentrification is even on the whole a good thing because I'm becomming less convinced that the European model of having the historic core be a playground for the wealthy while the poor are cast out into the fringe is a good one, especially given that life is already much harder for the poor in America.
    Reality does not conform to your ideology.
    http://neighborhoods.chicago.il.us Photographs of Life in the Neighborhoods of Chicago
    http://hafd.org/~jordanb/ Pretentious Weblog.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Clayobyrne, CB
    Posts
    2,581
    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    Personally I'm growing less and less convinced that gentrification is even on the whole a good thing because I'm becomming less convinced that the European model of having the historic core be a playground for the wealthy while the poor are cast out into the fringe is a good one, especially given that life is already much harder for the poor in America.
    Well, you don't have to worry. This scale of gentrification is only happening in a handful of U.S. cities. The majority of central cities continue to stagnate.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Southern Antarctica
    Posts
    1,001
    I don't doubt that many of these cities have shrunk but I think your data may be overstating the case. According to wikipedia, the population of NYC has gone up since 2000, and currently stands at 8,104,079.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Intervention
    Posts
    4,475
    The American Community Survey 2005 is junk science.
    A guy once told me, "Do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."


    Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro): Heat 1995

  9. #9
    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    Personally I'm growing less and less convinced that gentrification is even on the whole a good thing because I'm becomming less convinced that the European model of having the historic core be a playground for the wealthy while the poor are cast out into the fringe is a good one, especially given that life is already much harder for the poor in America.
    Why not build more historic cores then?

  10. #10
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where the weak are killed and eaten.
    Posts
    6,183
    Only one grower among the bunch. All that tells me is central cities are built out, and the population is getting older with fewer kids. There sure seems to be a lot of major cities missing, no Chicago, Columbus, Miami.....
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  11. #11
    Quote Originally posted by Rumpy Tunanator
    The American Community Survey 2005 is junk science.
    Explain please.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jun 2005
    Location
    erie pennsylvania
    Posts
    43
    So much for the"Rise of the Creative Class"! I might have thought that Pittsburghs problem might have been that when they gave Richard Florida the boot and he moved to D.C. they followed him. Judgeing from D.C.s numbers. They did not. Or are the all living in Virginia? Or Maryland?

  13. #13
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2003
    Location
    at the neighboring pub
    Posts
    5,279
    The ACS is pretty worthless, IMO. They can't even input the data correctly that the cities supply. We do not use their data and I don't know of any others in my geographic area that do.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Plus
    Registered
    Jun 2003
    Location
    De Noc
    Posts
    17,703
    Is the ACS really believeable when for my fair city they show a Margin of Error of +/-3,699.

    That is greater than or equal to a census tract's population.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  15. #15
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where the weak are killed and eaten.
    Posts
    6,183
    It is junk science because people move around alot. It extrapolates based upon births-deaths and trends that indicate population loss or gains. This cannot and does not include immigrants groups or migration from one urban area to another.

    A case in point, the City of Hamtramck, a small inner-city suburb of Detroit was projected to decline. When the numbers came out, its population increased by fifty percent. Why? One immigrant group of older folks was dying off and being replaced by an immigrant group with lots of folks in child bearing years.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  16. #16
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Sep 2003
    Location
    near Baltimore, Maryland
    Posts
    200
    These numbers seem way off base. I find it extremely hard to believe that Dallas, Houston, and Denver shrank at all, and last time I saw the regular inter-Census estimates NYC, Atlanta, Portland, and Kansas City at least had also shown (slow) net growth since 2000. The Census Bureau itself just released a correction of D.C.'s regular (non-ACS) pop. estimate that also showed net growth since 2000, to 581,000. The Bureau has consistently underestimated Baltimore by 10,000 or more between censuses since at least the 1980s: the 1989 prediction for 1990 was 720,000, but the actual count showed 736,000; the predictions for 2000 hovered around 630k, but the actual count showed 651k; and twice since 2000, the Bureau has been challenged on its estimates, gone back to both its data and the city's data, and made corrections upwards of 10-15k. Interestingly, both corrections were followed by the next year's estimate promptly dropping to what the previous year's estimate had been before correction, as if there was some instinctive drive to get the number's back "on-track" to whatever the formula said they "should" be. I put little to no stock on estimates of large cities or counties between censuses.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
    Registered
    May 2005
    Location
    The Fox Valley
    Posts
    4,666
    Blog entries
    1
    While, I do think the American Community Survey estimates could definitely be better (and I also think a 5-year Census might be more appropriate than a 10-year one) and are not quite as accurate, I do think the trends could very well exist.

    As jordanb mentioned, wealthy displacing the non-wealthy, and building populations being cut in half.

    I've been noticing a tremendous amount of minorities and first-generation immigrants moving into my once-redneck, out-in-the-boonies exurb just in the last couple years. Blame it on suburbanization, but I think a lot of poorer people are coming directly from the city to the outer burbs, the only place where housing is affordable any more and where a lot of the service jobs are.

    So, these trends very well could be accurate (however the numbers still seem a bit drastic) as older apartments and two-flats are condemned in the urban cores, the yuppies with no children move in to their spacious lofts, and the displaced former residents seek affordable housing in mass subdivisions out in the sticks.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 3
    Last post: 20 May 2008, 11:32 AM
  2. Census LUCA update
    Information Technology
    Replies: 13
    Last post: 13 Apr 2008, 4:30 AM
  3. Replies: 1
    Last post: 09 Aug 2007, 4:20 PM
  4. World city MSA populations?
    Cities and Places
    Replies: 2
    Last post: 11 May 2005, 12:15 AM
  5. 2005 Death Pool Update #1
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 1
    Last post: 05 Jan 2005, 6:40 PM