Census Bureau Releases New Local-Level Demographic Information from 2010 Census for Texas

Posted August 11th, 2011 in Census Data, Internship by brandoninfo

The U.S. Census Bureau today released new, detailed demographic information from the 2010 Census for Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey and Texas. To find out more about the release go to the census.gov site.

It is about time. This may change some of the figures I have been wanting to use.

Testing the Real Data versus local knowledge

Posted August 3rd, 2011 in Census Data, Internship by brandoninfo

While patiently waiting for the summary file 1 to be released I thought I would start looking at the projections based upon the data provided by the American Community Survey. This is a great Census Bureau dataset that few know about that can really show where people live and work in the community.

The Census Bureau program is called Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD). Basically, LEHD takes states’ administrative employer data (employer, employer address, employee names and addresses, wages, withholdings, etc.) and, after a lot of processing bells and whistles, sets up the data for Internet queries.

For me the map is answering the question of how many employees work within the metro area but live outside of the metro limits and how many live in the metro area but work outside of the metro limits.

Inflow/Outflow Job Counts (Primary Jobs)
Count Share
Employed in the Selection Area 107,059 100.0%
Employed in the Selection Area but Living Outside 22,336 20.9%
Employed and Living in the Selection Area 84,723 79.1%
Living in the Selection Area 102,127 100.0%
Living in the Selection Area but Employed Outside 17,404 17.0%
Living and Employed in the Selection Area 84,723 83.0%

This supports some of my own knowledge of many people who live in the outlying rural land and small towns around the Amarillo Metro area and drive to work within the city. I know many who own land in Bushland, a house in Canyon, Claude or Panhandle and drive into the city for their jobs. This also supports the large percentage of Amarillo residents who drive outside of the metro area to work at facilities such as Pantex or Bell Helicopter. Some drive even further to Pampa or Hereford to their jobs.

Race in Amarillo

Posted August 2nd, 2011 in Census Data, Internship by brandoninfo

One of the greatest points of contention of the census survey is the race selection. Race is defined by the Feds as one of, or a mix of, the following: “White,” “Black or African American,” “American Indian and Alaskan Native,” “Asian,” “Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander,” or “Some Other Race.” Then there is Hispanic origin, with countries listed if there were enough people in the geographic area to warrant their own tabulation (i.e. more than just a handful).

The difficult part is to clarify the meanings of race, Hispanic origin, ethnicity, nativity, tribe, foreign born, and ancestry. And, remember, all of these identity data are by self-identification.

America has a large diversity of ethnicity even though in the 2010 census there is no ethnicity per se.

Here is a look at Amarillo’s race demographic:

2010 Race Demographic for Amarillo

2010 Race Demographic for Amarillo

Technology to the rescue

Posted July 25th, 2011 in Census Data, Internship by brandoninfo

My lovely wife decided she wanted to turn off the screen to my Mac. The Studio Screen has one power button and she pushed it. The only problem was that I set up my Mac to turn off if that power button was used. So the machine turned off. It has not comeback on since.

Until I get that computer back up and running I will have to my EEEPC mini and my new HTC EVO to complete my internship. That means all the work I did with my database is useless and I will have to use the Factfinder interface to build my data.


Internship Time and Effort

Posted July 22nd, 2011 in Census Data, Internship by brandoninfo

I am putting in way more time than I am suppose to for this internship. Thirty-five hours was what I am suppose to clockin with, but the data has drawn my curiosity to a deep level.

When I compare the 2000 data with the 2010 data, I see growth, within certain groups. But overall I still see losses. Employment is a great example. There is growth with jobs overall in the healthcare, food services and hospitality sectors. But there is loss with financial, technical and science.

Job growth in the STEM sectors is spiraling down in Amarillo and the higher education facilities are not stepping up to stop the bleeding. STEM jobs are Science, Technology, Engineering and Math careers.

Decennial Census Information

Posted July 7th, 2011 in Census Data, Internship by brandoninfo

“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.

Census Data for Texas and Amarillo Metro

Posted July 5th, 2011 in Census Data, Internship by brandoninfo

The U.S. Census office has posted a file for the Texas Census data, but it is not complete, or rather it is version one. This means that the data is incomplete for the local level. I did find out that the media can get access to files on an embargo list, prior to the files being released to the public. I got signed up for the embargoed data, but this did not give me the information of when an update for the Texas data will be made available.
Since the census office is only releasing one file a month, this could be a while. So that will mean that I will need to compile my own database and start to sift through the data on my own.

Internship for WT

Posted July 3rd, 2011 in Census Data, Internship by brandoninfo

I have started a internship with the Amarillo Independent Newspaper.

Here is basically what the editor wants for a story or a series of stories:

Look for the profile for Amarillo, which may be in the Potter County and Randall County listings combined. Amarillo makes up the majority of population for both counties. See how the 2010 figures have changed from the 2000 figures. Do the same for Texas as a whole.

The story will address this question: Is Amarillo more like Texas now than it was 10 years ago, or is Amarillo more different from the state as a whole now than it was 10 years ago?
Whate are the implications — for instance, in education level has the percentage of high school graduates and college graduates in Amarillo increased over the past 10 years or decreased compared to the remainder of Texas? Is Amarillo younger or older than Texas as a whole and if there is a gap, is it widening or narrowing over the past 10 years? Is the ethnic composition of Amarillo closer to the ethnic composition of Texas now than it was 10 years ago, or is it much more different than it had been?

After pulling the data and making the comparisons he can get quotes on the education status from the 20/20 people (Annette Carlisle), views from the business community and on community and economic development. What opportunities are created if Amarillo is aging faster than the rest of Texas, or conversely, if it’s aging slower? What challenges face the community if it is different from the rest of the state in a pronounced way? Will it have different health care, education and occupational concerns than the rest of the state? What is the effect if Amarillo is richer or poorer on average than the rest of the state?