While I wouldn’t normally post census tract estimates because I really don’t know what their reliability is, I thought it might be an interesting exercise.
I only looked at those tracts that made up the original 1950 boundaries as well as some of the adjacent areas. I won’t go into too much detail, but…
In 2010, only 20 of the 78 tracts I looked at were growing. Well, specifically, only 20 grew during the 2000-2010 period, not just in 2010 alone. So several more could’ve been starting to recover in 2010, but since it measured the whole decade, it might still show up as a loss. In any case, the 2011 estimates are interesting just because they show a much different picture.
If I use the exact estimate used, 34 of the 78 tracts were growing in 2011, a significant improvement. However, some of the estimates were hard to understand where they came from. For example, they had Downtown tracts, which have had rapid growth the last decade, as declining in population for 2011, even while more and more residential units are built and more people move into the area. Also, they showed some tracts gaining population when the long-term trend is for significant loss and no reason to see that reversing.
So using the margin of error as a guide, I went back over them and did my own estimates. Of the 78 tracts, I only did my own for 14, as they were the only ones I felt didn’t match the reality on the ground or the long-term trends. With those changes, 38 of the 78 were growing, a slight increase of the official 34.
If we use the official estimates, the total population for the 78 tracts was 232,297, a loss of 2,285 since 2010. If we use my estimates, the population would be 237,806, or an increase of 3,224. So what’s the real story? Well, new 2012 tract estimates will be coming out soon. When they do, I will compare and see what, if any, updates should be made. The only real way to know, however, is to wait until 2020 with the next census. Still, until that time, it’s fun to look at the numbers and see if the urban core is recovering in the same way that cities and towns are in and around Franklin County.