Saturday, March 29th, 2008

Census Bureau Releases 2007 County and Metro Area Population Estimates

The Census Bureau recently released its 2007 county-level population estimates as well as its metro area population estimates. These intra-Census estimates have become increasingly controversial as cities who are showing declines increasingly challenge the estimates produced. We’ll see what happens this year. The Census Bureau seems to have mostly gone along with challenges. I can’t really blame them. Why take heat when these estimates are low-stakes anyway? 2010 is coming soon, and if the Census shows that the original estimates were right, the Census Bureau can start taking a harder stand.

The United States as a whole gained 1% last year. Raleigh, NC was the fastest growing metro area last year, with a pace of 4.7%. Looking at Midwest large metro growth, we see the same pattern continuing as last year. Here are the one million plus metros ranked by annual population percentage growth, with their national ranking among all metros with more than one million people as well.

  1. Indianapolis – 1.5% (#19 tie)
  2. Kansas City – 1.2% (#24)
  3. Minneapolis – 1.1% (#25 tie)
  4. Columbus – 1.1% (#25 tie)
  5. Louisville – 1.1% (#25 tie)
  6. Chicago – 0.7% (#32 tie)
  7. Cincinnati – 0.6% (#35)
  8. St. Louis – 0.4% (#36 tie)
  9. Milwaukee – 0.3% (#38 tie)
  10. Cleveland – (0.4%) (#49)
  11. Detroit – (0.5%) (#51)

Note that there are 51 metros over one million in population.

Indianapolis, Kansas City, Minneapolis, and Columbus remain as growth champs, exceeding the national average and registering healthy if not stellar growth. Louisville joins them, which is an uptick in its trend. There’s a noticeable drop off after this group. And of course Cleveland and Detroit continue to struggle.

Interestingly, Indianapolis grew faster than some surprising cities, including Seattle, Tampa, San Francisco, San Diego, and Miami. It wasn’t even that far off from vaunted Portland (1.9%). But none of the Midwest cities matched up to the likes of Charlotte (4.2%), Phoenix (3.3%), Atlanta (2.9%), or Nashville (2.3%)

Here are the rankings by absolute population change. Note that the top absolute growth metro nationally was Dallas at 162,250.

  1. Chicago – 66,231 (#7)
  2. Minneapolis – 36,200 (#18)
  3. Indianapolis – 24,705 (#26)
  4. Kansas City – 23,745 (#27)
  5. Columbus – 19,774 (#30)
  6. Louisville – 13,311 (#35)
  7. Cincinnati – 12,550 (#36)
  8. St. Louis – 9,987 (#37)
  9. Milwaukee – 3,873 (#42)
  10. Cleveland – (8,848) (#50)
  11. Detroit – (27,314) (#51)

Another interesting view is by component of population change. There are two components: natural increase or decrease (births minus deaths) and net migration (people moving in minus people moving out). Migration can be domestic or international. Positive overall population growth can sometimes mask the fact that people are actually moving away faster than they are moving in. Here are the same metros by net migration, ranked by total absolute net migration with international and domestic migration in parentheses respectively. (Sorry, I am too lazy today to HTML-ize this as a table).

  1. Indianapolis – 11,350 (2,758; 8,592)
  2. Kansas City – 8,808 (3,852; 4,956)
  3. Louisville – 8,052 (1,554; 6,493)
  4. Minneapolis – 7,493 (9,689; -2,196)
  5. Columbus – 6,458 (4,035; 2,450)
  6. Cincinnati – 511 (2,316; -1,805)
  7. Milwaukee – (5,094) (3,107; -8,201)
  8. St. Louis (2,998) (3,560; -6,558)
  9. Chicago – (6,028) (51,257; -57,285)
  10. Cleveland – (13,597) (3,324; -16,903)
  11. Detroit – (45,848) (12,169; -58,017)

Only four cities in the Midwest have positive domestic in-migration. Again, Louisville makes a strong showing. I was really shocked to see Minneapolis has domestic net outmigration. Given that it has been high growth and viewed as one of the most successful Midwest cities, it is surprising to me to see that. Also, note that while Chicago had extremely large absolute growth, it had domestic outmigration comparable to Detroit and only strong international migration kept it from having an even worse total showing.

When it comes to changes in population, the following cities did better than last year, adding more people or losing fewer people:

  • Columbus
  • Louisville
  • Minneapolis
  • Kansas City
  • Cleveland
  • Chicago

Of course that means the following did worse than last year:

  • Indianapolis
  • Cincinnati
  • Milwaukee
  • Detroit
  • St. Louis

Failing to keep up with the previous year’s pace was one troubling sign for Indy. Cleveland put in a much better showing, despite continuing to lose people.

And finally, here are the metros ranked by July 1, 2007 population:

  1. Chicago – 9,524,673 (#3)
  2. Detroit – 4,467,592 (#11)
  3. Minneapolis – 3,208,212 (#16)
  4. St. Louis – 2,803,707 (#18)
  5. Cincinnati – 2,133,678 (#24)
  6. Cleveland – 2,096,471 (#25)
  7. Kansas City – 1,985,429 (#29)
  8. Columbus – 1,754,337 (#32)
  9. Indianapolis – 1,695,037 (#33)
  10. Milwaukee – 1,544,398 (#38)
  11. Louisville – 1,233,735 (#42)

Note that Cincinnati is now bigger than Cleveland from an MSA perspective. However, a large county immediately adjacent to Cuyahoga County (Cleveland’s core county) is considered a separate MSA, which hurts that city’s figures.

Topics: Demographic Analysis

7 Responses to “Census Bureau Releases 2007 County and Metro Area Population Estimates”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I believe that the Indy MSA should actually be higher than it is due to Madison County being pulled from the MSA for this calculation. Up until last year, Madison was part of the MSA. This year Madison was reinstated as it’s own MSA. Now you have the MSA listed as Indianapolis – Carmel and included Brown County which was not included. The fact that the MSA lost over 130,000 in the Madison move yet still grew by 1.5% is amazing. BTW, a better measure is using Combined Statistical Area’s. Utilizing this method the Indy CSA is just under 2,000,000.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I haven’t looked at the latest reports. But I never thought Madison County had ever been a part of Indy’s MSA..actually I thought that had been a point of argument over the years that they wanted Madison county in the MSA and that it has always historically been considered separate. Including Brown County in Indy’s Metro in pushing the envelope a bit too, I think.

    As far as MSAs, CSAs are concerned; you have to remember that these numbers are produced by the government. The MSA model an outdated model at best…how the government splits these up is random at best…(Cleveland sited as a good example in the article) and is not looked at by any serious business interest in a region. Business usually look more at the private sectors more accurate way of measuring a market ADI (Area of Dominant Influence)or DMA (designated market area).

    Cities now usually pick which ever model makes them look the best which for some reason translates into biggest.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Both Madision and Brown counties have flip-flopped as part of the MSA. Madison was not part of the MSA in 1990. In the 2000 census it was. Last year it was once again removed and made it’s own MSA. I remember reading about it in a Star article.

  4. Anonymous says:

    hmmm was unaware of that…which goes to show the whole model really doesn’t make much sense.
    Madison/Anderson is more connected to the Indy economic/media and cultural influence, which is suppose to be primary factors when deciding what a metro is. I would say the Anderson/Indy are far more connected than Brown County/Indy…for that matter Madison County is probably more connected than even Shelby county is, except for the fact that Shelby County actually geographically borders Marion County but Madison doesn’t.

  5. Anonymous says:

    For that matter you could make a strong argument that Howard county/Kokomo is a part of Metro Indy.

  6. The Urbanophile says:

    Madison County should be part of the MSA now. I’ve been told that they specifically petitioned the Census Bureau not to be consolidated with the Indianapolis MSA, however.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The latest information I can find still has Madison excluded from the MSA. Obviously it should be added which would add around 130,000 residents to the MSA. From Anderson’s perspective, I’m sure there is some prestige in having your own MSA, although I think it benefits them more to align with the Indy MSA and economy than to their traditional base.

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