Census 2010 State Stories: Week 8

The eighth and final (phew!) week of Census 2010 P.L. 94 redistricting data releases brought data nerds back to east coast states — including one of the largest, New York. Here’s my final roundup of interesting stories and data applications made by journalists for this round of the Census:

District of Columbia: With 39,000 fewer black people since 2000, the nation’s capital is on the verge of seeing blacks lose majority status there, The Washington Post wrote. Its story explained:

The demographic change is the result of almost 15 years of gentrification that has transformed large swaths of Washington, especially downtown. As housing prices soared, white professionals priced out of neighborhoods such as Dupont Circle began migrating to predominantly black areas such as Petworth and Brookland.

The Post offered a ward-by-ward graphic explaining the city’s population changes, and its interactive map was updated to include D.C. along with Maryland and Virginia.

Maine: The state, which is 94% white, lost population in its north and eastern counties, The Bangor Daily News reported. On that page, note the BDN’s use of a Census Bureau-provided interactive map — one of many cases where news orgs picked up a government-issued graphic.

Massachusetts: The Boston Globe had comprehensive coverage of the state’s demographic shifts. Whites continue to flee cities; Boston grew, but slowly. In Upton, the fastest-growing town in the state, officials think the growth rate is partially due to the Census’ missing hundreds of addresses in 2010. Meanwhile, the biggest percentage loss happened in the affluent Boston suburb of Lincoln. The Globe had an interactive dot-density map with data tables.

Michigan: Detroit’s 25% population drop was the lead for the Detroit Free Press and others who covered the state. The New York Times called it “the country’s most startling example of modern urban collapse” and noted that many blacks have moved to nearby suburbs.

New Hampshire: The state remained among the whitest in the nation and grew faster than neighboring Vermont and Massachusetts, USA TODAY reported.

New York: The nation’s third most-populous state also had the fifth slowest growth rate, just 2.1%. But New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to challenge the count, saying that he believes the city has more than the 8.2 million residents the Census Bureau counted, according to stories by the Times, WNYC and USA TODAY. A graphic from the Times showed changes in population and housing by tract. WNYC also pulled maps together (on his blog, John Keefe explains how he did it.)

Also from New York news orgs:

– Farther upstate, my pals at the Poughkeepsie Journal wrote about how Dutchess County was the fifth-fastest growing county in the state.
– Rochester lost population in the last decade, a 4.2% drop that was worse than other large cities in the state, according to the Democrat & Chronicle.
– Syracuse and other central upstate areas slowed or reversed population declines, according to the Syracuse Post-Standard.

Rhode Island: It had the lowest population growth rate among states — if you exclude Michigan’s decline. In addition to several stories, the Providence Journal mapped population change and legislative districts.

South Carolina: The state’s 15% growth ranked it 10th in the U.S. in the last decade, pushed by growth in minorities and people moving there for jobs.

West Virginia: An anemic 2.5% growth for the state had Charleston officials worried the city’s population would drop below 50,000, but it didn’t. “I guess we’re the only first-class city in the state,” Mayor Danny Jones told The Charleston Gazette. The eastern panhandle saw the most growth as it increasingly became distant suburbs for the Washington, D.C., metro area, USA TODAY reported.

National work: The issuance of the last states’ data, naturally, will lead to plenty of national-level looks at the data in coming weeks. Early work included stories on Hispanics passing 50 million. And the Times has a map of the P.L. 94 data for every county and tract in the country, though I hope someone will soon find a way to display Google maps in the Albers projection. The Mercator projection used by Google introduces distortion and always seems odd to me — it’s just not the shape of the U.S. we all grew up with.

So, there! That brings this round to a close. Eight weeks, 50 states and D.C., and plenty of amazing reporting, interactives and stories. I hope you’ve been as inspired as I have.

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