Demographics shorts

1. Bill Frey from Brookings on how America is already transitioning to a multiracial society:

Over the last decade, the U.S. population under age 18 grew by less than 3 percent. But the 2010 Census also reveals an absolute decline of white young people over this period, as well a somewhat smaller decline of black youths. Hispanics, Asians, and to a lesser degree multiracial children, accounted for all of the net growth the nation’s under-18 population.

This, however, has troubling consequences with regard to the ever greater divide (see #6) between older, whiter, conservative voters and younger, browner, liberal constituents — in short, between America’s past and America’s future, except that the former is generally going to be in charge.

2. Speaking of America growing apart, an interesting way to look at Brookings Metro’s newest online datasets — showing that metro areas dominate many states in population, employment, and particularly in economic output — is to compare cities that lead vs. lag in GDP per capita within their respective states. For instance, right next door:
Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C.: 47% higher GRP/capita than state average
Burlington, N.C.: 25% lower GRP/capita than state average

Within the nation as a whole, the wide gap between the most and least productive regions is sharply growing: DC earns 5X as much as Mississippi, and that gap has grown 18% since 1990. By 2015, at PPP, Shanghai province will have a higher per capita income than Mississippi.

3. Wikipedia has some interesting bits on linguistics. For instance, the extra R in “char siu bao” (it’s pronounced “cha seew bow”) comes, of course, from the non-rhotic Englishmen who settled in Hong Kong. Also, something that I’ve noticed in England and New England alike — particularly in terms like street names — is a tendency towards plainer terminology, disposing of many of the euphemisms that American English has imported from French. This tendency has a term, since of course it was tied to the tension between upper and middle class Britons — “U and non-U.”


1. No, we cyclists don’t approve of how stupid riding, either:

The above video adheres to the bicycle messenger video style manual, which mandates that any video must include messengers talking about how dangerous their job is while simultaneously including footage of them doing their job in the most idiotically dangerous way possible…. I’d like to see a video from the IBEW in which electricians talk about how dangerous their job is, intercut with footage of them randomly stabbing at wall outlets with forks. – BSNYC

2. On the eve of the government shutdown:

Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) drew cheers by saying, “If liberals in the Senate would rather play political games and shut down the government instead of making a small down payment on fiscal discipline and reform, I say, ‘Shut it down.’” – reported by John Avlon, Daily Beast

I’d like to see these Ayn Rand-worshipping teabagger extremists survive a true government shutdown. End Social Security and Medicare payments, garrison the forts, abandon the airports and ports and border crossings, freeze defense contractors’ payments, stand down the poultry inspectors, turn off MedLine, rope off the Interstates. See how your constituents feel after a few days of living in the Stone Age. Those taxes we pay are (h/t Oliver Wendell Holmes) the price of civilization, and without them we’ll descend into anarchy — which ain’t pretty.

3. David Roberts says of a nifty LLNL flowchart of America’s energy consumption: “Holy sh*t we waste a lot of energy! Well over half of the raw energy that enters our economy goes to waste.” Less than 1/3 of the fuel going into electric plants actually ends up as used energy; generator losses and line loss accounts for much of the rest. (Smart grids and better transmission lines should go a ways to solving that.) Yet the huge waste is in transportation: just as much energy is wasted in transportation as is provided by coal. Only 1/4 of the energy going into the transportation sector actually gets used. Increasing fuel economy will surely help matters a great deal, but surely a great deal of that inefficiency stems from America’s overreliance on the 20%-efficiency internal combustion engine for almost all of its transportation needs.

4. DCentric’s Elahe Izadi reveals how (in DC as in Chicago, although less dramatically since gentrification led to net gains in DC vs. net losses in Chicago) suburbanization rather than gentrification actually explains much of the decline in both cities’ Black populations.

Yesterday we spoke with demographer Roderick J. Harrison, a senior fellow at the Joint Center and a Howard University associate professor, to get a better understanding of the city’s shifting demographics. He framed D.C.’s loss of 39,000 black residents in this light: gentrification wasn’t the major driving force in Wards 7 and 8, where population losses were the greatest. Rather, it was by-and-large classic suburbanization in which people left the city’s poorest wards “that are often considered the worst neighborhoods,” Harrison said.

“The force behind it probably is seen as a positive force. These are people who are some way or another, they are upwardly mobile, they are improving their housing and neighborhood conditions, they are making personal decisions that they see, on the whole, as an improvement,” he said.

5. I’ve previously despaired over whether Continental Airlines’ marketing strategy might win out over United Airlines’ — and yes, it seems that CO’s Kaplan Thaler is behind the new company’s branding. As Lewis Lazare wrote in the Sun-Times:

A golden age in the annals of airline advertising officially ended Tuesday when the merged United Airlines unveiled its first ad campaign from Kaplan Thaler/New York ad agency… does away with the elegant, illustration-centric print ads and television commercials that for the past four years were a hallmark of the United advertising created by the Minneapolis boutique shop Barrie, D’Rozario Murphy. Those print ads and story-driven commercials were always smart and sophisticated — the finest examples of airline advertising since the landmark ‘World’s Favorite Airline’ campaigns for British Airways from Saatchi & Saatchi/London in the late 1980’s… United’s ads from BDM helped elevate the carrier’s image even as the airline was struggling to right itself after a difficult bankruptcy filing… The new United advertising just now breaking incorporates much of the imagery associated with previous Continental campaigns, which have been handled for many years by Kaplan Thaler. It is certainly a functional campaign, if not hugely creative.

However, what worked for Continental might not work for the new United: the two competed in very different market spaces. Continental faced very little competition for its “hub captive” travelers, and has been able to profit immensely from that. That’s highlighted in Nate Silver’s recent analysis of airports with “unfair fares.” Legacy Continental’s hubs are #1, #2, and #6 on his list of most overpriced large airports, with megahubs IAH and EWR taking the top slots. Of United’s hubs, IAD and ORD are #7 and #8, but United’s other three hubs are apparently at least fairly priced — and United has at times been #2 to American at ORD.

Are they really “relocated Yankees”?

For an assignment last year, I crunched some numbers about migration to Wake County –as of this year, North Carolina’s most populous county thanks to plentiful in-migration. Three interesting findings:
1. Contrary to common perception, just under half of movers to Wake County are “Yankees” (moving from states north of the Mason-Dixon). Most out-state movers arrive from other largely suburban counties.
2. The largest sending counties to Wake are nearby rural or mill-town counties (consistent with “migration potential” theory), since the South in general is still rapidly urbanizing. North Carolina was still majority-rural until the 1970s. (Urban/rural population from 1900-1990 and 1990-2000 [xls], or 1970-2010 [html]. Note that North Carolina in 2000 was as urbanized as Illinois in 1910.)
3. Within the Triangle, the metropolitan migration dynamic (larger households flow to the periphery, smaller households towards the center) appears to place Durham & Orange at the center, Wake at both center and periphery, and the exurbs at the periphery.

Full presentation (1MB PDF)

Tidbits, 11 May

  • In a classic case of Manhattan myopia, Ed Glaeser makes an oversimplified argument that high-rises can spur economic diversity in Economix. Two crucial shortcomings to the argument: (1) high-rises have inordinately high construction costs per unit, due to expensive steel/concrete structures and elevators; and (2) their highly standardized units and interiors, and high ratio of communal-but-not-common space, resist any efforts to meaningfully mix price points within.
  • “The Deepwater Horizon spill illustrates that every gallon of gas is a gallon of risks — risks of spills in production and transport, of worker deaths, of asthma-inducing air pollution and of climate change, to name a few. We should print these risks on every gasoline receipt, just as we label smoking’s risks on cigarette packs. And we should throw our newfound political will behind a sweeping commitment to use less gas — build cars that use less oil (or none at all) and figure out better ways to transport Americans.” — Lisa Margonelli in the NYT (h/t Ryan Avent)
  • Brookings (via TNR) unveiled an interesting new metro-area cluster typology. Larger growing regions can be low-education “border growth,” better educated and whiter “New Heartland” (Charlotte, Columbus, KC, MSP, SLC), or diverse and highly educated “Next Frontier” (they bet on Albuquerque, Austin, DC, Denver, DFW, Houston, Sacramento, Seattle, and Tucson). The “rust belt” divides into stable, better educated “Skilled Anchor” (Hartford, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh) and declining, less educated “Industrial Core” cities (Memphis, New Orleans, Toledo).
  • Seems like I’m not the only one who’s disappointed by the New United Airlines’ adoption of Continental’s whiffleball clip-art logo. It offers some peculiarly ugly typography — notably the stem on the uppercase U, which appears to be, in a sad twist on the false small caps of UA’s 90s look, an inverted and enlarged n. Contrast that with the “Helvetica on fast forward” look of the current wordmark, so clean and detailed that it draws attention to the angles snipped into the T. What also worries me is that the new company seems, so far, to be taking its design cues from Continental’s graphically blunt advertising, which features all-caps headlines, underlines (more appropriate for emphasis on typewriters than in digital media), high contrast colors, and predictable visuals — quite different from UA’s almost too elegant, soft-sell approach of spare watercolor illustration, in greys and pastels, set against lots of whitespace. In fact, Continental’s ad agency deliberately says about its strategy: “forgo the flowery imagery and messaging of typical airline ads and focus on what really matters to business travelers: getting basic needs met with consistency. Our campaign… talks to travelers in a simple, straightforward style and voice…” The visual contrast is nowhere more evident than in comparing their recent TV spots; particularly the parting shot that introduces the logo:

    (Interestingly, in choosing blue as the new airline color, it appears that US aviation is joining other duopoly markets that have coalesced around red vs. blue. Coke-Pepsi, Colgate-Crest, Labour-Tory, Republican-Democrat, TWA-Pan Am, and now Delta-United.) [originally posted to FT]

  • A recent article on “Chinglish” in the NYT reveals that the Shanghai government has been cracking down on poor English translations. That might explain why the amusing picture book cited in the article was one of the few English-language books widely available at most bookshops, gift shops, and the like — having it everywhere sure seemed strange given China’s strong aversion to embarrassment.

Chinatowns gentrifying even across the Pacific

I’ve written earlier on gentrification in U.S. Chinatowns (as with everything else, Manhattan gets more than its share of attention). Yet this is something new: gentrification (including, apparently, a shift to a whiter population) has occurred even in cities with large Asian majorities, like Honolulu, Vancouver, or even Singapore.

The broader context matters little: in these cities, Chinatown is the original ethnic neighborhood, offering vintage architecture (and, in both instances, unusually well-preserved) adjacent to the CBD. Just as in Los Angeles (where gentrification’s further along in Little Tokyo than in Chinatown), that proves an unbeatable combination for boutiquey businesses appealing to hip travelers or expats — who might find most local neighborhoods, with their preponderance of concrete apartments and enclosed malls, insufficiently “exotic” for their tastes.

Harlem “transition” missing the point

Sheesh, white privilege can result in such blinders. A NYT article by Sam Roberts bears a headline proclaiming that blacks are now less than half of Harlem’s population. Oh really? I hadn’t noticed the last time I was at 125th & Manhattan Ave. The article has the usual “experts” talking about gentrification and white-black relations, and the photo shows a white guy on a brownstone stoop. Yet an accompanying set of graphs shows a clear black majority in “central Harlem” (the area most residents would call Harlem) and a shrinking — but already minority — black plurality in “greater Harlem.” The “greater” area, it turns out, includes Spanish/East Harlem and much of Morningside Heights, neither of which have ever been majority black. Even within “central Harlem,” the graph shows a steep drop in the share of black residents beginning in 1980, long before the white gentry ever got to the neighborhood. In short, the graphs say that this was a poor neighborhood undergoing steady ethnic succession (by no means a new phenomenon; indeed, it’s the story of urban America) — from native-born black to Latino (a not-obvious shift, since many Caribbean immigrants blend the two categories) — and that minor gentrification has taken place over the past few years.

Basically, it’s not news (and we don’t even pretend to notice) until white people get there. This in spite of the fact that class, not race, is the real issue here and with gentrification in general; that households and not population are really the units of gentrification.

I’ll quote Brad Smith, who left this comment:

The Times places a photo of a white family at the top to suggest the displacement is because of whites. And most of the article concerns the influx of whites, suggesting the same cause. However, the accompanying graphs show the uptick in white families to be rather small, with “Other” constituting the real source of the population shift. Presumably, those are Hispanics but there is scant mention of them in the article… The loss of “majority” status has nothing to do with the influx of whites or the development boom of the past 10 years. So why is a white family featured in the photo and why is the demographic change repeatedly portrayed as a function of the influx of whites when the statistics and timeline say something else? The article is rather misleading and suggests an agenda.

Where there were no bad schools

Well, this is disappointing. I’ve always been proud of the fact that I went to integrated public schools in a Southern inner city — especially since moving up north and seeing the damage that de-facto school segregation wreaks upon city and suburbs alike. What seemed normal as a kid was, as it turned out in my social-policy classes, a national model of how to do the right thing.

The magnet-school system in Raleigh not only provided remarkable education opportunities (my high school offered three orchestral programs, multivariate calculus, and Latin), but left me with enough street smarts to easily and respectfully navigate multiethnic city life. Getting bused across town for school also, in a way, taught me about educational opportunities across the entire city — museums, other libraries, the university. Although half of my peers lived in the lower-income, mostly African American neighborhoods of southeast Raleigh, nearly 90% of us went on to college. All this despite spending some 30% less per student than failing urban schools in the North.

The school system’s strong commitment to integration — suburban and city schools merged long after the courts had shifted away from forced busing — means that there are no bad schools, no schools worth fleeing or closing or “reconstituting,” in a county just shy of one million residents. Indeed, in Raleigh it’s the city schools which are better. This fact arguably played a huge role in making Raleigh one of the best-educated, most prosperous, fastest-growing cities in America:

For comparison’s sake, imagine that instead of merging in 1976, the Raleigh and Wake school systems had continued to be separate. And not only that, but Raleigh was one school district and every other town in Wake County had a separate school district of its own, like Wayne County [suburban Detroit]. Would Raleigh today be affluent? Or would the affluent people of Raleigh have long since moved to Cary, Apex and the rest of the suburbs, leaving a poor inner-city school system behind? [Bob Geary, Independent Weekly, writing about Gerald Grant’s new book Hope and Despair in the American City: Why There Are No Bad Schools in Raleigh]

And yet there are others who inexplicably see such policies as failures, who insist that geography should be destiny. A small minority, likely drawn to Raleigh by its reputation for great schools, has consistently railed about the constant churn of school reassignments — necessary for a district that opens several costly new schools every single year. Maintaining integration has become more difficult as sprawl marched farther afield and as patterns of socioeconomic segregation ossified. (In this regard, the spread of suburban poverty and inner-city gentrification have actually helped to maintain some integration.) The usual right-wing hue and cry over “socialist social engineering” (never mind the right’s continual insistence on deeply interfering with private lives) becomes double-speak for perpetuating segregation. One school board member wants to have his cake and eat it, too — disband the magnets and somehow offer their programs at every single school, while decrying the “high cost” of busing. (Is there demand for AP Latin at every school? Even if there were, who could afford it?) Yet busing costs much less than trying to rescue failed schools with vast infusions of cash.

I’m only writing about this since, of course, the fringe has won a crucial battle: apparent control over the Wake County school board. NC Policy Watch argues that only 3% of voters — just over half, largely in the suburbs, in a poorly attended election — have come to dominate the debate, and that the considerable achievements should be better marketed; “the school system itself could do a better a job telling its impressive story and acknowledging the work it must do to address its problems.” I can only hope from afar that Wake County doesn’t turn its back on one of its few progressive policy achievements.


There’s much, much more where I came from.

My ancestors, like those of many Chinese-Americans, hail from a pair of valleys about 100 miles west of Hong Kong. The conurbation rapidly rising between the two — standing astride the Pearl River Delta — is “the fastest growing region of the fastest growing country” in the world, with a population estimated at over 50 million. That’s akin to packing the population of the three West Coast states into an area smaller than the Phoenix metropolitan area. (That, in turn, is only a bit smaller than the three states of southern New England.)

(This reflection comes from the graphic comparison of metropolitan footprints in Peter Bosselmann’s book Urban Transformations.)

Of course, China’s vast population defies any attempt to put it into scale; after all, per Guinness, I share my last name with over 100 million Chungs. Just about as many people answer to just my last name as pledge allegiance to Mexico or Japan. Luckily, I’m the only living “Payton Chung” known to Google.

What does it all mean? We often hear about China becoming a larger economy, a larger polluter, a larger exporter, a larger whatever than [America, Europe, Japan, etc.] — meaningless statistics without accounting for the mind-bogglingly vast human resources that China has, both to offer and to support. Here’s a thought exercise: walk down the street and, for every single American you see, imagine an entire family of four. That might give you a sense of how crowded China is.

A great many narrow-minded observers from “the west” suffer from pot and kettle syndrome when pointing at China: “they pollute more, so why should we care?” Well, such observers sometimes neglect human rights in their own way: no human has greater rights to pollute than any other, and on a per-human basis Americans are still by far the greater environmental criminals.

Assorted collected

Recent quotables. No common theme.

Bill McKibbenin Yes! Magazine:

The kind of extreme independence that derived from cheap fossil fuel—the fact that we need our neighbors for nothing at all—can’t last. Either we build real community, of the kind that lets us embrace mass transit and local food and co-housing and you name it, or we will go down clinging to the wreckage of our privatized society.

From the Baffler, “The flight of the creative class: a bohemian rhapsody” (satire), Paul Maliszewski and Thomas Frank:

“Creative people do have certain needs, however, They require hip entertainment, organic street-level culture, and artistic environments—from restaurants serving mind-boggling fusions of world cuisines, like Thai and Tex-Mex or Indian and Australian, to experimental theaters, avant-garde galleries, and authentic coffee shops with mismatched cups and saucers and deteriorating couches. Creative people crave lively street scenes and late-night music venues serving up pricey energy drinks in test tubes. In short, creative people insist they lead the sort of lives that feed their creativity, inspiring them.”

Thomas Geoghegan, “The Law in Shambles” (Prickly Paradigm, 2005), excerpted in same Baffler:

“In a plutocracy, we don’t trust the government. Why should we? It does nothing for us, it is underfunded, and it’s unreliable. This attitude, in turn, makes the problem worse. The more arbitrary and unfair we think things are, the more we drop out. We don’t simply stop voting. We stop reading the paper. Stop following it at all…

“Remember the teaching of the great law professor Clyde Summers: ‘It costs a lot of money for people to have “rights.”‘ […]

“Where I live, in Chicago, I’m in a ring of nuclear power plants. I’d be in terrible danger if we ever successfully muzzled the trial lawyers. It’s only the tort system that saves us from another Three Mile Island. Yes, I agree, it might be nice if we had more nuclear plants. We could cut down on Mideast oil. We could slow down global warming. And if I lived in France, with all its nuclear energy, I might think it was a good thing. So why do I oppose it here?

“Because France has a real administrative state, a real civil service, and the best and brightest do the regulating. In America, we can’t even keep the trains on the tracks. And so, sure, as a citizen, Id like to curb the trial lawyers.

“But I also want to live.”

Some bits from the January 2007 SMARTRAQ report, about the market demand for sprawl vs. walkable neighborhoods, for my future reference:

page 9. Residents of the least walkable neighborhoods generated 20% more CO2 from travel then residents of the most walkable neighborhoods, about 2 kg more CO2 per person per weekday.

Residents of the most walkable areas are 2.4X more likely to get the level of daily activity necessary to maintain health (30 minutes): 37% vs. 18% in the least walkable neighborhoods.

page 10. About a third of metro Atlantans living in conventional suburban development would have preferred a more walkable environment, but apparently traded it off for other reasons such as affordability, school quality, or perception of crime in addition to lack of supply. It is likely that this mismatch between community preference and choice is due to an undersupply of walkable environments.

page 32. 55% of survey respondents preferred a shorter commute, even if residential densities were higher and lot sizes smaller. 33% of respondents preferred such an option, but did not currently live in this type of neighborhood.

56% of respondents would prefer a neighborhood where they had easy travel choices, even if it meant a smaller house, over a house in a neighborhood where they had to drive for everything. 37% would prefer such an area, but did not currently.

Smash society

From Michael Tomasky’s review in The New Republic of Jonah Goldberg’s latest waste of a tree carcass:

Here is where Liberal Fascism gets simply ridiculous. For Goldberg, the fact that Progressivism and totalitarianism shared certain traits–a belief in the possibility of collective action through the state, basically–tells him all he needs to know about both creeds. Ipso facto, any totalitarian impulse must therefore have leftish origins. Never mind that there actually was a totalitarianism for which the left was responsible–the one called communism… [O]nce you start implementing public pension systems, well, how far away can the execution of political opponents really be? Government, planning, centralized administration, social engineering, fascism, totalitarianism: for Goldberg they are all finally the same. Why isn’t he an anarchist? And when you get to this point, what isn’t fascist?

So, for a leading scribe of today’s neo-nihilist (dare I say “libertarian”?) Right, the mere acknowledgment that there is such a thing as “the public” (much less “public interest”) amounts to totalitarianism, a term he thinks equivalent to Fascism. Forget “smash the state,” today’s right really does agree with Maggie Thatcher: “there is no such thing” as society, except perhaps when it comes time when “we should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.” Now, that sort of talk (from one of Goldberg’s former esteemed colleagues), through is use of that most totalitarian of pronouns (beginning with W) pronoun, seems to suggest belief in some kind of common project. Hmm.

Pick up and go [updated]

[I’ll be traveling for the latter half of December, perhaps without benefit of computer or phone! The horrors!]

A few assorted things from the past few weeks of being away:

* “If I lived 17.5 miles from work, I wouldn’t bike to work, either — I’d move. Remember, location and locomotion are two halves of an equation where neither is constant.” [posted at updated metrorider link]

Todd Litman calculates that every nonmotorized (active) trip displaces about seven vehicle miles traveled — not because active trips are seven miles long, but because they’re associated with smarter patterns of development.

“Not every walking or cycling trip causes seven miles of reduced driving. The lower vehicle mileage in cities with relatively high nonmotorized mode split reflects various land use and transport system factors, such as density, mix, street design, parking supply, and pricing which affect the relative attractiveness of motorized and nonmotorized travel. But programs that increase nonmotorized travel tend to create such communities, which is to say that smart growth supports nonmotorized travel and nonmotorized travel supports smart growth.”

* The Pacific Northwest spends more on oil and gas — 100% of which is imported — than on public K-12 education in 2006 or hospital care, and more than 3.5 times total spending on prescription drugs. [Sightline Institute] All that goes “up in smoke,” as they say. Interestingly, Idaho is separated on that counter — an interesting point of comparison, since as many people live within 10 miles of my house than in all of Idaho.

* An interesting “List of Privilege Lists” — ways of “unpacking the invisible knapsack” that accompany those of us with unspoken social privileges, whether racial, sexual, class, religious, gendered, or ability.

* Jay Mouawad in the Times notices that the oil producers fear the geo-green agenda:

“What we are worried about is for industrialized countries to use climate policy as a pretext to discriminate against oil,” [said Mohammad al-Sabban, a senior Saudi government adviser on climate change].

Over in the UK, $100/bbl oil has led gasoline across the magic 1.00 line: one pound per litre. That translates to about $9.50 a gallon, so really, quit whining about gas prices in America already.

* While in Toronto, I picked up a brochure distributed by Alphabet City — not the Chicago Humanities Festival, not an academic symposium, but rather something in between — outlining a program of events around local food in the Toronto area. (Ongoing online discussion hosted by the Walrus.) It opened up first to a manifesto (er, open letter) that posits food distribution as another problem of internalized profits and socialized costs, principally because “healthier, tastier” food is not necessarily more profitable. Indeed, it’s often less so. As such, it calls for market intervention and political action:

Ontario’s working landscapes, farms, rural communities, and cities are linked in a web of complex exchanges. But our food policies to date have usually ignored that web, dividing rather than connecting. If we are going to build a healthy and sustainable village, we have to make the connections… [W]e believe that food is connected to every major problem being raised in the current provincial election campaign—rising medical costs, poverty and hunger, declining farm incomes, the paving-over of farmland, wildlife protection, urban sprawl, youth unemployment, and communities at risk.

These problems will only be solved when we connect the dots.

Local farmers markets, community and school gardens, food co-ops, urban gardens, food access centres—all of these emerging possibilities support healthier, tastier food for all villagers. As this happens, everyone benefits and communities become stronger and more inclusive.

Post-collegiate in extremis

young and restless Originally uploaded by Payton Chung

The first set of charts, graphs, and illustrations has come back from the planners examining Wicker Park & Bucktown on behalf of we, the people of WP-B (or at least our special service area). The most astonishing finding, in my view, is here: our neighborhood’s people are defined by a stunning — indeed, almost statistically improbable — self-segregation of young people.

Nearly 52% of the population is between 20-39, compared to just 29% nationally. 45.4% even fall within that most marketer-coveted of all age groups, the 18-35s. Maybe we could make a lot of money selling sidewalk billboards.

Perhaps even more quizzically, young men significantly outnumber young women in most age brackets: 9.4% (nearly one in ten!) neighborhood residents are (like me) men in their late 20s, nearly three times the share in the American populace. It’s not even an appreciably gay neighborhood, either.

Almost all other age groups are underrepresented (relative to their national shares) in the neighborhood by about 30-50% — except for preschool aged children. Sure enough, the kids leave at school age — although not nearly to the “total” extent that is sometimes claimed by alarmists. Why, there are about as many grade-schoolers living here as 60-somethings.

(Produced by Interface Studio for Wicker Park Bucktown Special Service Area #33)