I want to punch climate change in the face. A blog about the interactions between the built environment, people, and nature. - FAQs - Follow - Face - Ask - Donations - Climate Book Store - Submissions

Recent Tweets @climatecote
Posts tagged "Census"

On the one hand, Obamacare just got a boost. On the other, the U.S. tax base is about to implode (bad news for growth-economists). There are so many implications from this, like the suburbs will empty even further and the need for nursing homes will increase exponentially. There won’t be much new land development, which I suppose is good news for environmentalists.

Living to age 90 is a worthy goal Americans are increasingly meeting. The number of people age 90 and older almost tripled from 720,000 people in 1980 to 1.9 million in 2010, according to a new Census Bureau report. And the 90-plus population is expected to more than quadruple between 2010 and 2050. Here’s a look at what life is like in the United States after age 90.

More women. Between 2006 and 2008, about three-quarters (74 percent) of the 90-and-older population were women. In 2006, life expectancy at age 65 was 19.7 years for women and 17 years for men. Women also experienced more rapid improvements in life expectancy than men between 1929 and 2006. Over the past eight decades, older women have added almost seven years to their life expectancy, or a 54 percent extension, compared with 5.3 years for men, a 45 percent extension. Among the age 90-and-older population, there are just 35 men for every 100 women. After age 95, there is approximately one man for every four women.

Married men and single women. Most women who make it to age 90 (84 percent) are widows. Only 6.3 percent of women in this age group are married. On the other hand, 43 percent of 90-something men are married and about half are widowers. “Women tend to marry older men. Traditionally, there is a four- to five-year age difference,” says Wan He, a Census Bureau demographer and co-author of the report. “When they get to age 90-plus, older men are very difficult to find.”

Living alone. Just over a third (37 percent) of people in their 90s live alone. About the same number of people (37 percent) live in a household with family members or unrelated individuals.

Read the rest at USNews

A map of poverty in the US.

In 2010, “poverty” meant having an income of less than $22,113 for a family of four; 15.1 percent of Americans were below that line. As this map shows, some areas of the country fared worse than others between 2007 and 2010. While some counties saw their poverty rates increase only slightly, and some even saw them drop, the number of people under the poverty line in Oregon’s Malheur County doubled to nearly two-fifths of its population. And those “bright spots” that appear as dark blue? Look closer—a full 6-point improvement in South Dakota’s Ziebach County still left more than one-half its residents below the poverty line. And even the poverty rate itself understates the privation in the country.

Overall, teen birthrates remain highest in America’s most religious, politically conservative and blue-collar states.

Witness the death of American liberalism. Aging coastal states will be overwhelmed by conservative ideology very soon. Good luck America!

U.S. Teen Birthrates Are Down, But Still High in the Bible Belt

Teen birthrates are highest in Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Arkansas, and New Mexico, with slightly lower concentrations in the neighboring states of Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Arizona. New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, and Massachusetts have the lowest rates of teen births.

What factors lie behind this geographic pattern? […]

Teenage births remain high in more religious states. The correlation between teenage birthrates and the percentage of adults who say they are “very religious” is considerable (.69). The 2009 study posited that attitudes toward contraception play a significant role, noting that “religious communities in the U.S. are more successful in discouraging the use of contraception among their teenagers than they are in discouraging sexual intercourse itself.”

Teen birthrates also hew closely to America’s political divide. They are substantially higher in conservative states that voted for McCain in 2008 (with a correlation of .65) and negatively correlated with states that voted for Obama (-.62).

Class plays a substantial role as well. Teen births are negatively associated with average state income (-.62), the share of the workforce in knowledge, professional, and creative class jobs (-.61), and especially with the share of adults who are college graduates (-.76). Conversely, teen birthrates are higher in more working class states (with a positive correlation of .58).

Read more at The Atlantic Cities.[Image: Centers for Disease Control]

(via theatlantic)

New Orleans’ population has declined 30% since hurricane Katrina. Homes left abandoned are being ‘taken back’ by nature. Snakes and pests are moving in closer to the city, too.

More at the NYTimes

Thanksgiving Day: Nov. 24, 2011

In the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims, early settlers of Plymouth Colony, held a three-day feast to celebrate a bountiful harvest, an event many regard as the nation’s first Thanksgiving. Historians have also recorded ceremonies of thanks among other groups of European settlers in North America, including British colonists in Virginia in 1619. The legacy of thanks and the feast have survived the centuries, as the event became a national holiday in 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November as a national day of thanksgiving. Later, President Franklin Roosevelt clarified that Thanksgiving should always be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month to encourage earlier holiday shopping, never on the occasional fifth Thursday.

248 million

The number of turkeys expected to be raised in the United States in 2011. That’s up 2 percent from the number raised during 2010. The turkeys produced in 2010 together weighed 7.11 billion pounds and were valued at $4.37 billion.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, cornell, cornell

46.5 million

The preliminary estimate of turkeys Minnesota is expected to raise in 2011. The Gopher State was tops in turkey production, followed by North Carolina (30.0 million), Arkansas (30.0 million), Missouri (18.0 million), Virginia (17.5 million) and Indiana (16.0 million). These six states together account for about two-thirds of U.S. turkeys produced in 2011.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, cornell

Culinary Delights

750 million pounds

The forecast for U.S. cranberry production in 2011. Wisconsin is expected to lead all states in the production of cranberries, with 430 million pounds, followed by Massachusetts (210 million). New Jersey, Oregon and Washington are also expected to have substantial production, ranging from 17 million to 54 million pounds.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, cornell

2.4 billion pounds

The total weight of sweet potatoes — another popular Thanksgiving side dish — produced by major sweet potato producing states in 2010. North Carolina (972 million pounds) produced more sweet potatoes than any other state. Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service usda, usda

1.1 billion pounds

Total production of pumpkins in the major pumpkin-producing states in 2010. Illinois led the country by producing 427 million pounds of the vined orange gourd. Pumpkin patches in California, New York and Ohio also provided lots of pumpkins: Each state produced at least 100 million pounds. The value of all pumpkins produced by major pumpkin-producing states was $117 million.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, cornell

If you prefer cherry pie, you will be pleased to learn that the nation’s forecasted tart cherry production for 2011 totals 266.1 million pounds, up 40 percent from the 2010 production. Of this 2011 total, the overwhelming majority (210.0 million pounds) will be produced in Michigan.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, cornell

2.01 billion bushels

The total volume of wheat — the essential ingredient of bread, rolls and pie crust — produced in the United States in 2011. Kansas, Montana and North Dakota accounted for about 33 percent of the nation’s wheat production.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, cornell

656,340 tons

The 2011 contracted production of snap (green) beans in major snap (green) bean-producing states. Of this total, Wisconsin led all states (258,320 tons). Many Americans consider green bean casserole a traditional Thanksgiving dish.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, cornell

$7.8 million

The value of U.S. imports of live turkeys from January through July of 2011 — 99.7 percent from Canada. When it comes to sweet potatoes, the Dominican Republic was the source of 60.1 percent ($3.2 million) of total imports ($5.3 million). The United States ran a $3.6 million trade deficit in live turkeys during the period but had a surplus of $41.7 million in sweet potatoes.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Statistics

13.3 pounds

The quantity of turkey consumed by the typical American in 2009, with no doubt a hearty helping devoured at Thanksgiving time. Per capita sweet potato consumption was 5.3 pounds.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture as cited in the Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2012, Tables 217 and 218,

The Price is Right


Retail cost per pound of a frozen whole turkey in December 2010.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as cited in the Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2012, Table 733,

Where to Feast


Number of places in the United States named after the holiday’s traditional main course. Turkey Creek, La., was the most populous in 2010, with 441 residents, followed by Turkey, Texas (421), Turkey Creek, Ariz. (294), and Turkey, N.C. (292). There are also 11 townships around the country with Turkey in their names, including three in Kansas.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census


Number of places and townships in the United States that are named Cranberry or some spelling variation of the acidic red berry (e.g., Cranbury, N.J.), a popular side dish at Thanksgiving. Cranberry township (Butler County), Pa., was the most populous of these places in 2010, with 28,098 residents. Cranberry township (Venango County), Pa., was next (6,685).
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census


Number of places and townships in the United States named Plymouth, as in Plymouth Rock, the landing site of the first Pilgrims. Plymouth, Minn., is the most populous, with 70,576 residents in 2010; Plymouth, Mass., had 56,468. There is just one township in the United States named Pilgrim. Located in Dade County, Mo., its population was 132 in 2010. And then there is Mayflower, Ark., whose population was 2,234 in 2010, and Mayflower Village, Calif., whose population was 5,515 in 2010.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census

116.7 million

Number of households across the nation — all potential gathering places for people to celebrate the holiday.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census

Following is a list of observances typically covered by the Census Bureau’s Facts for Features series:

  • African-American History Month (February)
  • Super Bowl
  • Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14)
  • Women’s History Month (March)
  • Irish-American Heritage Month (March)/
          St. Patrick’s Day (March 17)
  • Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May)
  • Older Americans Month (May)
  • Cinco de Mayo (May 5)
  • Mother’s Day
  • Hurricane Season Begins (June 1)
  • Father’s Day
  • The Fourth of July (July 4)
  • Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act (July 26)
  • Back to School (August)
  • Labor Day
  • Grandparents Day
  • Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
  • Unmarried and Single Americans Week
  • Halloween (Oct. 31)
  • American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month (November)
  • Veterans Day (Nov. 11)
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • The Holiday Season (December)


Unlimited population growth.

Meanwhile, In New Delhi of the Day: Keeping the trains running on time in a country as overpopulated as India apparently requires the kind of cunning crowd control solutions that only the local police can provide.


Digging these new style of maps.

Population Distribution

(via fuckyeahcartography)

Growth seems to be a theme today. We commonly read and hear that population will top out at 9 billion mid-century. Oddly, we somehow find comfort in this. But, what if this number is wrong? What if the Earth hits 12 billion people?

What if population continues to soar, as it has in recent decades, and the world becomes home to 12 billion or even 16 billion people by 2100, as a high-end U.N. estimate has projected? Such an outcome would clearly have enormous social and environmental implications, including placing enormous stress on the world’s food and water resources, spurring further loss of wildlands and biodiversity, and hastening the degradation of the natural systems that support life on Earth….

But we must face facts. The assumption that all developing countries will see their birth rates decline to the low levels now prevalent in Europe is very far from certain. We can also expect the large majority of population growth to be in countries and areas with the highest poverty and lowest levels of education. Today, the challenge to improve living conditions is often not being met, even as the numbers in need continue to grow.

What does this mean?? Neat interactive graphic. I minorly research demographics, yet the below explanation doesn’t show why it’s done. I confess I don’t get it. Anyone have an idea why this is relevant?

The center is determined as the place where an imaginary, flat, weightless and rigid map of the United States would balance perfectly if all residents were of identical weight. In 2000, Edgar Springs, Mo., was announced as the new U.S. population center.


new center of population

Image description: This Census map shows the new center of the U.S. population, based on 2010 census data.

The new center of the U.S. population is Plato, Missouri, according to 2010 census data. With each new census, a new center of the U.S. population emerges. Over the years, it has…

(via npr)

China conducts panda census. 

China moves from human census — 1.34 billion — to panda census — 1,596 at last count. (Photo: Liu Jin/AFP-Getty Images)

China conducts panda census


China moves from human census — 1.34 billion — to panda census — 1,596 at last count. (Photo: Liu Jin/AFP-Getty Images)


The share of the population under age 18 dropped in 95% of U.S. counties since 2000, according to a USA TODAY analysis of the 2010 Census.

The number of households that have children under age 18 has stayed at 38 million since 2000, despite a 9.7% growth in the U.S. population. As a result, the share of households with children dropped from 36% in 2000 to 33.5%.

•Children make up 24% of the nation’s population, down from 25.7% in 2000. The kid population declined more precipitously in 58.6% of the country’ 3,143 counties.

•The number of counties that had a greater share of kids than the national average fell from 1,378 to 1,247.

•Even in counties where the percentage of children grew, only 49 gained more than 1 percentage point — many of them suburbs on the outer edge of metropolitan areas such as Forsyth, Whitfield and Newton outside Atlanta and Cabarrus and Union outside Charlotte.

A University of Southern California analysis of the state’s shrinking child population found that Los Angeles County is at the center of the decline because of difficult living conditions for families facing high housing costs during economic hard times.

"The image of the white family living in the suburb is becoming extinct," says William Frey, demographer at the Brookings Institution. “It’s an endangered species.”

"When there are fewer kids in a market area, you’re going to have a variety of supporting services go away and essentially die," Silverman says. "When you have a variety of retailers going out of business and people getting older, pricing gets depressed … The way to keep a community going is to keep it young."

Housing needs will change as a result of fewer kids, says Armando Carbonell, chair of the department of planning and urban form at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.

"Lots of singles, lots of elderly, fewer kids … What this does really is free people in their location decisions to a certain extent if they’re not bound by school and safety aspects," he says. "It can mean growth in the central city where schools might have been a concern. More households will be able to locate to places without the attributes of the suburbs."

Click the above map to see population decrease/increases in US counties. Bottom line from this is that an aging population is very bad for prospects for job growth and that economic growth is either stabilized or trending downward. 

No wonder Penn and West Virginia are going all in on fracking, they’re shrinking and desperately need jobs. What a horrible dilemma.


This is not really about demographics of birth and death in the US. This is about urbanization, and migration. The people that used to live in these former manufacturing and rural areas have moved to the cities, and the Sunbelt. Meanwhile, young immigrants to the US do not move to rural Appalachia or northern Maine.

(via Mapping Birth Rates -

(via underpaidgenius)

One Chicago racial map challenges urban planners to re-think boundary decision making. Prof Bill Rankin shows why drawing sharp lines between neighborhoods can reinforce bad spatial planning decisions, especially in ethnic neighborhoods that bleed into each other. He exposes some basic flaws in modern urban planning that clearly need to change (segregation effect, for example). I’ll be thinking about this a lot today.


Thanks for the submission, Bill! Radical Cartography is a fantastic website. I urge all followers to check it out if they haven’t already.

I made a video explaining one of my maps for a mapping context in Switzerland.  Perhaps you’ll enjoy it.

USA is officially a majority conservative nation. Now what? Urban planners such as myself have to interpret Census data in order to make projections for cities we work in. Where will we build? What land should we conserve? How do we attract more business? Should we build more apartments, condos, or suburbs? For the east coast, it looks like we need consolidate, and shrink our cities. The era of No Growth has arrived.

Politically, it seems to me, the middle states will continue looking inward. With traditional shortsightedness, these states will build more sprawling suburbs, spoil their aquifers, and continue to curtail any gains (or potential gains) in the education system. Public services will continue towards for-profit privatization. And the most educated will continue to flee. The outcomes from these trends, of course, are unknown. In a few years, not long from now, I predict that higher demands for electricity and clean water will create some interesting regional infighting. These states will have to look to the coasts for creative planning models and efficiency solutions. And you know what? I’ll be there to help.

Conservatism, at least at the state level, appears to be growing stronger. Ironically, this trend is most pronounced in America’s least well-off, least educated, most blue collar, most economically hard-hit states. Conservatism, more and more, is the ideology of the economically left behind.  The current economic crisis only appears to have deepened conservatism’s hold on America’s states. This trend stands in sharp contrast to the Great Depression, when America embraced FDR and the New Deal.

Liberalism, which is stronger in richer, better-educated, more-diverse, and, especially, more prosperous places, is shrinking across the board and has fallen behind conservatism even in its biggest strongholds. This obviously poses big challenges for liberals, the Obama administration, and the Democratic Party moving forward.

But the much bigger, long-term danger is economic rather than political. This ideological state of affairs advantages the policy preferences of poorer, less innovative states over wealthier, more innovative, and productive ones. American politics is increasingly disconnected from its economic engine.  And this deepening political divide has become perhaps the biggest bottleneck on the road to long-run prosperity.

Source: Richard Florida @ The Atlantic