Daily Archives: November 11, 2013

Updated Views of the Urban Landscape

The geography of the urban landscape has been updated with new 2010 vintage urban areas (Urbanized Areas and Urban Clusters).  Census 2010 data have been tabulated by census block, categorizing each census block as either urban or rural.  Thus, all higher level Census 2010 geography (block groups, tracts, cities, and on up to the U.S. national level) can be characterized as percent urban and rural. See more about urban population and geography.

The graphic presented below shows the 2010 vintage Los Angeles–Long Beach–Anaheim, CA Urbanized Area (UA) with red boundary superimposed on MapQuest OpenStreetMap tile layer.  Other contiguous urban areas exist but are not shown in this view.  In this case, the UA encompasses all of the geography within the red boundary except two small areas (see pointer) north of Burbank and west of Glendale.  This reflects the fact that UAs are defined on the basis of census blocks either being urban or rural. Viewing graphic with gesture/zoom enabled device suggested.

Los Angeles 2010 Urbanized Area

Los Angeles 2010 Urbanized Area

More than 80-percent of America’s population is urban, but far more than 80-percent of America’s geography is rural.  Census 2010 shows that America’s urban population increased by 12.1 percent from 2000 to 2010, compared to the national overall growth rate of 9.7 percent. Urban areas now account for 80.7 percent of the U.S. population, compared to 79.0 percent in 2000. Use this interactive table to examine Census 2010 Urbanized Areas and how they have changed since Census 2000.

2012 Urban Area Richer Demographic-Economic Measures
Census 2010 provides very limited demographic data for urban areas (age, gender, race/origin, households, housing occupancy).  The first richer demographic-economic data for the 2010 vintage urban areas became available in September 2013 from the American Community Survey (ACS) 2012 1-year estimates.  These data are for urban areas with population 65,000 or more.  These data enable us to, for the first time, examine Urbanized Area attributes such as employment, education, language spoken, income, housing value and costs among a wide range of other measures.

Among all 2010 vintage Urbanized Areas 65,000 population or larger in 2012, the percent population 25 years and over who were college graduates ranged from 7.0% to 70.6%. Demographic-economic characteristics of urban areas are constantly changing.  Use this interactive table to view, rank, compare selected characteristics of urban areas using these data.

Access Detailed Urban Area 2012 Demographic-Economic Measures
Use the APIGateway to access detailed ACS 2012 demographic-economic profiles for any selected urban area.  A partial view of the Los Angeles UA DE-3 economic characteristics profile is shown below.  Install the no fee CV XE tools on your PC to view extended profiles for the Los Angeles or any UA. See complete Los Angeles UA DE-2 through DE-5 profiles at  Los Angeles UA demographic-economic profiles.  Viewing graphic with gesture/zoom enabled device suggested.

Los Angeles UA DE-3 Profile

Los Angeles UA DE-3 Profile

Thematic Mapping & Visual Pattern Analysis
The graphic presented below shows a thematic map of 2012 median household income (MHI) by 2010 Urbanized Area centered on Pennsylvania and the Northeast U.S.  The legend to the left of the map shows the MHI interval color pattern.  The view was developed using CV XE GIS software with items shown this interactive table integrated into the 2010 UA shapefile. Viewing graphic with gesture/zoom enabled device suggested.

2012 $MHI by 2010 UA

2012 $MHI by 2010 UA

Profile of Morgantown, WV UA (at pointer in above view)
UA Code 59275
2012 Population … 74,342
2012 Percent High School Graduates … 92.5%
2012 Percent College Graduates …  44.3%
2012 Percent in Poverty … 27.5%
2012 Median Household Income … $34,996

Hundreds or thousands of variations on pattern views such as the one shown above can be developed using the 2012 demographic-economic data in combination with the 2010 vintage UA boundary shapefile.

Related Sections
113th Congressional District Urban/Rural Characteristics
Urban/rural demographics by 113th Congressional District

State Legislative Districts Urban/Rural Characteristics
– Urban/rural demographics by 2013 State Legislative District