Posts about Demographics
You may have heard that DC's population is increasing by approximately 1,000 per month. That's a true popular statistic. But it's not really true to say that 1,000 people are moving into DC each month. What is really driving this number?
In short: people being born and dying, and large numbers of people moving in and out of DC. On balance, if you add up all of these numbers, you get about 1,000 a month.
Births: Some of DC's new residents are babies. 9,593 humans were born in DC from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015, according to the US Census' 2015 "Vintage Population Estimates," or about 800 a month.
Deaths: Meanwhile, some people die. In that same time span, it was 5,218, or about 435 a month. Together, that makes the net "natural population change" 365 people a month.
Domestic migration: Other people move into or out of DC. The Census also estimates that DC had a net domestic migration of 311 people a month. In other words, the number of people who moved to DC from other parts of the US was 311 people more than the number who moved the other way.
International migration: Finally, people move to and from DC from other countries as well. There was a net of 379 such people a month from 2014-2015. As you can see from the graph below, that number has stayed more consistent than the net domestic migration:
This graph shows, with some variation, that roughly a third of the population change is natural, a third domestic migration, and a third international. However, it'd be very inaccurate to say the three are about equal.
That's because the net domestic migration number, in particular, conceals a huge amount of "churn." Remember how, above, we said that 800 babies are born a month and 435 people die. Since those are almost entirely not the same people, there aren't 365 people coming into the world a month; instead, 1,235 people total either enter or leave this life.
The corresponding number of people who moved between DC and another part of the US per was between 7,000 and 8,000 a month in either direction, based on data from the Internal Revenue Service and the Census's American Community Survey.
This graph shows the rough magnitude of the churn in each category. The domestic migration comes out to a net of about 400 a month over the last five years, but that's two large numbers balancing out to one small one. The size of those components is partly why the domestic number fluctuates more from year to year.
It also makes it hard to drill down. We'd love to know how many of the 8,000 movers per month are going to or from the immediate metro area versus elsewhere in the US. Unfortunately, according to Jeannette Chapman of George Mason University's Center for Regional Analysis (who provided the data for this post), the available public data sources have limitations.
The Census' American Community Survey uses a small sample that's only good enough to conclude that net domestic migration was somewhere between -13,000 and +7,500 in 2014.1 The IRS has data on people who filed taxes in one jurisdiction and then changed to another, but not everyone can be matched over two years and not everyone files taxes.2 Both of these data sources can tell us a lot about movers, but doesn't completely nail down "the" absolute number.
But the overall net population change numbers are more solid, and in the end, some more people are born than die, and more people come into DC from around the nation and the world than leave.
The people moving domestically and internationally, in general, need housing units; the people born don't right away, but most of their families eventually need larger housing spaces. DC has added approximately 10,000 new jobs per year over the last five years, and many of those job holders will live in the city.
How much housing DC is adding, and how much it needs to build to meet the need, will be the subject of a future post.
Had an 1861 proposal come to fruition, much of Virginia would have become Maryland, much of Maryland would have become Delaware, and West Virginia would have simply remained Virginia. Here's what their demographics would look like today if all that had happened, and a look at what that might have meant for the 2012 presidential election.
First, a look at these states' boundaries today:
This includes the population totals and some demographic information from the 2010 Census, as well as the electoral votes allocated based on that census.
What's below shows the "new" states, along with the current state boundaries.
With a population of over 11 million, New Maryland would be the 8th most populous state in the 2010 Census. Despite having a couple of hundred thousand less people than #7 Ohio, it would have the same 18 electoral votes as the Buckeye State. New Delaware's extra population would add an electoral vote to what Delaware has, and New Virginia would have two more electoral votes than West Virginia.
Even if the 23rd Amendment didn't limit DC (and presumably New DC!) to no more electors than the least population state, the almost-million residents in New DC would not be enough to get it an additional elector.
When it comes to race, Delaware and New Delaware (as well as West Virginia and New Virginia) have very similar compositions, and New Maryland's numbers are similar to Maryland. Clearly, Virginia's eastern population is racially similar to Maryland. With the addition of Arlington and Alexandria, New DC's racial population percentages are almost exactly swapped. (Although not shown here, New DC's Hispanic population would be double that of DC.)
Here's how I made the new map
I used current county/city jurisdictional boundaries when creating the new states. While these boundaries may be different from those in 1861, the general analysis presented here would be relatively unaffected. (The most noticeable boundary difference would be modern Alexandria, which has expanded beyond the original DC "diamond.")
The post that inspired mine states that the Blue Ridge Mountains would be the boundary between New Virginia and New Maryland. I georeferenced the 1861 map onto a current and geographically accurate map to determine which current jurisdictions would fall into each state.
Alexandria and Arlington would return (or "be retro-retroceded"??) to New DC. New Delaware would inherit all of the Delmarva Peninsula. And, the three counties in the panhandle of Maryland would move to New Virginia.
I re-calculated the electoral votes for each "new" state based on the populations shown in the second image (and assuming there are only 49 states since West Virginia is no more). Overall, the proposed multi-state area would lose two electoral votes, as there is one fewer state in the calculation.
2012 election would have been different, but not that different
I also decided to take a look at how the reconfiguration of the region may have impacted a recent election. The image below shows the 2012 election results (by county/city), along with the aggregated totals (and electoral votes) of the new states.
In the actual election, Obama took 29 electoral votes in the region and Romney took West Virginia's five votes. Under the new configuration, Obama would have received 25 electoral votes while Romney would have garnered New Virginia's 7 votes.
This very brief analysis doesn't show any earth-shattering differences between the current state configuration and the proposed one. It doesn't touch on economic issues like Gross State Product, employment, personal net worth, salaries, etc. Redrawing state boundaries would not have changed the result of the 2012 election, but can you think of an election where it might have made a difference?
Another point of interest: An overwhelming majority of Metro stations would be in New DC, so would New DC even bother trying to participate a multi-jurisdictional hydrid commuter-subway system like Metro, or would it have just decided to create a District-only system and had New Maryland feed commuters into the Metro via a New Maryland MARC?
What else do you think could be different, for better or worse, if these were our state borders?
Millennials are flocking to this neighborhood outside DC, where the percentage of adults 20-34 has more than doubled since 1980 to 71%, making it one of the region's youngest. What is it?
Repeat: it's not in the District. Can you guess? Post your answer in the comments.
This is an example of a question for the trivia contest at our 8th birthday party, Tuesday, March 8 at Vendetta, 1212 H Street NE in DC.
Most of the party will be a fun chance to mingle with your fellow urbanists, readers, commenters, contributors, journalists, government officials, and many more. Around 7:45, we'll have a short trivia game for those who want to play (and those who don't can keep socializing on the other side of the bar!). Participants can win prizes from Capital Bikeshare/goDCgo and Island Press, and we ask for a $5 donation to play.
If you can come to the party, please let us know here since there's a limit on how many people can fit at Vendetta.
And please help us hit our $25,000 goal for our reader drive before the party!
Thank also to our sponsors who are making it possible to throw the party and keep Greater Greater Washington going:
Meanwhile, I've hidden comments for this post so you can post your guesses there and not see spoilers. Everyone who guesses correctly gets a free ticket to the party! (And since it's a free party, so does everyone else, too!) But either way, you still need to RSVP. See you there!
Did you know that:
• Most millennials don't use Uber?
• Most millennials don't shop at Wegman's?
• Most millennials don't live in Austin?
• Most millennials in the Washington region drive to work alone?
• Most people may be misled by recent headlines about millennials?
Last week, the American University Kogod School of Business released a new Millennials Index based on an online-only survey of 300 people ages 20-34. Amid a lot of interesting findings, the report contained the above graph of transportation mode choices, along with this provocative statement:
While Millennials are often cited as heavy users of alternative transit options, like bike shares and car shares, the reality from our study is that 60% of greater Washington area Millennials are driving alone to work often or always. That's three times the number who are using the Metro to commute.While this data is interesting and useful, the reality is that, first, this is not a surprise, and second, this statement is misleadingly worded.
Yes, more people drive alone than take Metro. But, as Faiz Siddiqui wrote in the Washington Post,
Some needed context for the study: The proportion of millennial drivers in the transit-dense District pales in comparison to the nationwide figure. Census figures showed 76.4 percent of American workers commuted by driving in 2013. In the D.C. region, 75.7 percent of workers commuted by driving.Unfortunately, the Post put a headline on Siddiqui's article that glossed over this important point: "For millennials, commuting around D.C. means choosing 'the lesser of their evils'—
So, millennials drive. But they still drive at a lower rate than the overall population.
Not "most millennials" or "many but fewer than the national average" (yes, that's hard to fit in a headline). The above statement in the millennial report and several other news stories on the same topic (such as ones in the Washington Business Journal and WTOP) also reinforced one or more common fallacies I've noticed in transportation discussions with statistics.
The "most millennials don't live in Austin" fallacy: As Siddiqui noted, while most millennials drive, many fewer do than other groups. A Nielsen study found high concentrations of millennials in certain areas (including Washington as #6). But most millennials still don't live in Austin, or Salt Lake City, or DC, just because there are so many other places in the US. They do, however, live there at higher rates than others.
This study polled millennials in the entire Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes part of West Virginia. Metro doesn't extend there, and even the closer-in-counties like Montgomery, Prince George's, and Fairfax are huge, including land far from most transit. As Arlington Transportation Partners notes, a ULI study of millennials found that inside the Beltway, only 26% commuted by car.
The "most millennials don't use Uber" fallacy: Just because something isn't the majority doesn't mean it's not growing. As Ben Freed pointed out in Washingtonian, "New transportation infrastructure and technologies are redrawing our mental maps of the region, but not overnight." Not many people used Capital Bikeshare in the survey, but it's a lot more than five years ago! Most millennials also still don't use Uber, but nobody questions that it's a fast-growing trend.
The "most millennials don't shop at Wegman's" fallacy: Just because something isn't the majority doesn't mean people don't want it. A lot of people would love to shop at a Wegman's: it's hugely popular. But there aren't many of them, so most people don't shop there. We've spent a century building car infrastructure to every single house, but not transit to even every town, let alone every neighborhood. In many parts of the region, transit is just not an available option. This doesn't make it undesired, just unavailable.
I'd also call this one the "Kotkin fallacy" after writer Joel Kotkin, who regularly argues that people prefer suburbs over walkable urban areas because most people live in them. That ignores the fact that there are few walkable urban neighborhoods compared to the many, many suburban ones (and the walkable urban ones are far more expensive).
Meanwhile, many millennials (maybe not all) said that housing prices were a top concern. They called housing prices "insane," "atrocious" and "unaffordable," and put housing cost as the second-highest concern, after finding a job.
What fallacies do you see in news coverage of studies like this? What other analogies can you think of?
The number of urban areas in the world with a population over one million has exploded since 1950. This map shows just how extreme that explosion has been.
On the map, from KPMG Demographics, you can see how in 1950 the world's scant million-plus cities were heavily concentrated in western Europe, the northeastern United States, and Japan. Since then, not many new ones have popped up in those places, but the rest of the world has caught up big time.
By the 1980s, China, India, and southeast Asia are challenging the west's dominance. By the turn of the millenium, the middle east and central Africa join the party. South America keeps up a slower but steady pace the whole time.
What jumps out to you?
Cross-posted at BeyondDC.
Thirty-two percent of black people born in DC still live there, but only 4% of white people born there do. Where they've moved to also differs greatly by race. This disparity arose from racial and racist policies in our history.
Last year, The New York Times created a set of fascinating charts that illustrate migration patterns between US states. The out-migration chart for the District showed that almost half of the people born in the city had moved to Maryland or Virginia.
The experiences behind these figures differ greatly for black and white Washingtonians. These two graphics attempt to break down the original chart to tell these two distinct stories, using data from the US Census Bureau retrieved through the University of Minnesota's Integrated Public Use Microdata Series. All numbers and percentages discussed only represent movement between the District and other US states; they don't represent migration out of the country.
Discrimination against blacks long kept them from moving to Maryland
White Washingtonians first began moving to Maryland in droves in the 1940s (that's the first big bump in the second chart), but blacks were excluded from this migration pattern for another three decades. Private housing developers and neighborhood associations used restrictive covenants to ensure that only whites would live in these communities (this practice was occurring within DC as well, and everywhere else, and had been commonplace for decades). Most public housing developments, like those developed in those in Greenbelt, Maryland, in 1937 for whites-only, were segregated too.
In 1948, the Supreme Court ruled that the government could not legally enforce these covenants. Private parties, though, could continue to honor the terms, and they did.
In addition to being excluded from white neighborhoods, which included almost all communities adjacent to but outside of the District, black Americans faced other forms of harsh housing discrimination. Federal intervention in the mortgage industry revolutionized the housing finance system in the US starting in the 1930s and 40s by supporting cheap, long-term mortgages with low down payment requirements. But only whites were able to take advantage of these products.
In the National Capital area, two-thirds of these loans were made to homebuyers outside of the District's boundaries and almost all loans, everywhere, were made in predominately-white areas. Add to the mix the practice of racial steering and the reality of gaping income disparities between blacks and whites, and it is no surprise that before the 1970s, less than 10% of all District-born blacks lived in Maryland and Virginia (including all the cities in those states, not just the communities close to DC).
Trends started to change, especially in Prince George's
The Fair Housing Act of 1968 did not eliminate race-based housing discrimination, but did make it illegal, vastly increasing minority access to areas from which they had been previously excluded. In 1970, 8% of District-born blacks lived in Maryland. By 1980, that share more than tripled to 27%.
Black migration from DC to Maryland continued to increase from 1980 to 2000, but at a slightly slower pace. It has since plateaued, with approximately 44% of District-born blacks now residing in Maryland.
Most of the moves the District-born black population has made over the last four decades have been to Prince George's County. More District-born blacks live in Prince George's County than live in the entire District of Columbia, with 33% living in the county. However, that percentage seems to have leveled off and remained steady since 2000.
More and more DC-born blacks are heading to new destinations, both in nearby places like Charles County (70% increase between 2000-2010) and more distant ones like North Carolina (46% increase between 2000-2010). There are more District-born blacks in North Carolina than there are in the entire Northeast region of the country, and more than in the entire West and Midwest regions combined. Many are moving to other parts of the South too, with notable clusters emerging in and around Atlanta and Memphis.
For whites, the experience has been very different
Very few white people who are born in the District stay there, although that trend appears to be reversing slightly after reaching a low point in 2000, when the percentage was less than 3%. The history behind these figures has been partially described in the paragraphs above: whites enjoyed all of the opportunities blacks were denied.
Huge numbers of white Washingtonians left the city between 1940 and 1960. About 42% of those who left moved to Maryland, and 17% moved to Virginia. Small but growing numbers moved west and south, particularly to California and Florida. These trends continued, but after 1990 Maryland started to see its share of District-born whites decline as people continued to move increasingly West and South (a trend not unique to those born in DC).
The clear differences between how black and white residents born in the District have moved around the United States highlight important elements of our history. The steady flow of white Washingtonians out of the city, which accelerated starting in the 1940s, reflects a population taking advantage of public policies designed to help them build wealth.
Meanwhile, black Washingtonians' lack of mobility illustrates how policy makers discriminated against blacks for at least another three decades while their white counterparts solidified their middle-class, home-owning status. These charts tell the story of blatant institutional racism targeting blacks 40 years ago, not 400.
Access to education, employment, wealth, and safety are closely tied to geography. It's imperative that our current and future public policies foster access to these opportunities for black Washingtonians and other traditionally excluded groups so that the next version of these charts conveys progress rather than continued inequality.
Crossposted at R.U. Seriousing Me?
Between 2006 and 2012, incomes for DC residents born in another US state increased by approximately 12%. But for people born in DC, they decreased by more than 16%. A rising tide, it turns out, will not necessarily lift all boats.
These numbers come via the US Census Bureau's American Community Survey.
Some argue that the construction and service sector jobs brought on by the city's economic development will help compensate for the increased cost of living. But depressingly, the data below show that District residents who were born in DC are actually bringing in less income than in the past, despite a general upward trend in income for other groups.
On the surface, it's easy to say that life is good for the District: Families have earlier access to public education for their children and DC's schools are getting better, there are more transportation options and full-service grocery stores, crime is falling, and city's new recreational and civic amenities are amazing.
In the face of the rising housing costs stemming from all this increased desirability, the truth remains: if you don't make enough money, it's hard to get by in DC.
Cross-posted at R.U. Seriousing Me?