Thursday, May 27, 2010
Well, I just discovered the awesome Webfoot Maps, which, while still not everything I want, allowed me to make much better maps of key demographic variables. In this post I am going to do the San Francisco Bay Area (where I currently live, so I have some idea of ground truth). After that, we will tackle a few other major US urban areas with a view to developing some stronger intuitions for economic geography.
All these maps are from the 2000 Census. So, in the SF Bay Area in particular, that was the height of the Dot Com boom, and represents a particularly overheated condition of the local economy (albeit with housing prices not as ludicrous as they have since become). All these maps can be clicked on for a larger version in another window (so you can compare side by side, etc).
First up is median household income (in 2000, $30k-$100k)
Next up: education (fraction of population over 25 with a college degree, 0-70%).
You can see that for the most part, education and income correlate (no surprise there...). The poorer neighborhoods in the East or South Bay, or Daly city and South San Francisco are also less educated. The wealthy neighborhoods in the VC belt of Los Gatos to Menlo Park, Marin County, and the nicer more rural parts of the East Bay are also well educated. There are some exceptions - for example a lot of San Francisco itself is educated, but not that high income. That's because there a lot of young single renters in the city.
Here is median age for the area (25-45):
Poorer areas tend to skew younger. The wealthy areas are older (full of middle-aged power brokers).
Next up, home prices (median, $50k-$500k - 2000 prices remember).
Again, the home prices mostly correlate with income and education. Again, the city is an anomaly (it has a relatively low ownership fraction, but the owner-occupied houses that are there are very expensive.
Here is the home-ownership fraction (0-80%):
Again, for the most part, wealthy, high-income neighborhoods have a high fraction of home-ownership. Again, the city is something of an anomaly as a center for the young, free, and single, with a small admixture of high-income homeowners.
Finally, and probably more controversially, here's some maps on racial demographics. I'm not going to make any comments on causality here, but the correlations are pretty pronounced.
First up, the fraction of the population identifying as black (0-50%):
For the most part, the black population is clustered in a subset of the lower income areas.
Next up, hispanic (0-50%):
The hispanic population is mostly clustered in a larger subset of the poor areas. For the most part, areas with a significant black population also have a significant hispanic population, but the converse is not true.
Then, asian population (0-50%)
This is more complex - folks of asian origin tend to cluster, but some such areas are high-income, high-education, whereas others are not.
Finally, where are the white people (0-100%)?
Some of the wealthy areas are very white, but there are white people in poor areas too, though the poorest areas are likely to be overwhelmingly black and hispanic.