“The Decennial Census occurs every 10 years, in years ending in zero, to count the population and housing units for the entire United States.” –www.census.gov
The census data that I have been looking into is available through a web interface that the census website has provided. The American Factfinder is a great resource that I have found to dig into the data.
So far, I have been able to see how much growth Amarillo has in population, by race, age and sex. It is interesting that much of my observance of the community is reflected in the data. Amarillo is growing, yet it does have loss within certain population groups. The age groups of 18 to 24 are leaving Amarillo and not returning, while the elder group, ages 63 and up, are growing by natural immigration from the rural counties of the panhandle.
One of the main concerns of many West Texans are that our youth are leaving because Amarillo does not offer much in the way of gainful employment and our higher education schools are not producing the graduates that employers are needing.
Another concern is the health care of the elderly. The panhandle rural towns are shrinking and businesses are leaving ahead of the population loss. This includes rural hospitals and health care. Hospitals and clinics are leaving and opening in Amarillo. But there is just not enough care facilities or qualified care givers for those leaving the rural areas.
For answers to the data, I am going to interview higher education administrators about Amarillo’s higher education goals. Also, I am going to look at who will be providing the greatest amount of care for the immigrating rural elderly.