Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Coastline Population Trends in the United States: 1960 to 2008

/PRNewswire/ -- Between 1960 and 2008, the population in coastline counties along the Gulf of Mexico soared by 150 percent, more than double the rate of increase of the nation's population as a whole. On the eve of hurricane season, this area now is home to nearly 14 million residents, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report issued today.

The report, Coastline Population Trends in the United States: 1960 to 2008, examines population trends along the country's saltwater edges - coastline counties - and their shares of coastline states during the period. Specifically, it analyzes trends in the growth and decline, geographic distribution and density of the coastline population. It also incorporates historical data on the trajectories of hurricanes striking the U.S. coastlines to gauge the coastline population's experience with hurricanes.

The Gulf Coast's population growth over the period surpassed that of coastline counties along the Pacific (110 percent) and Atlantic (56 percent). The region has experienced double-digit rates of population increase each decade since 1960. The Gulf Coast was home to six of the eight U.S. coastline counties with the fastest population increases over the 48-year period, led by Collier County, Fla., which grew by 1,900 percent (from 15,753 to 315,258). At the same time, the region contained six of the 11 coastline counties most frequently hit by hurricanes during that time, with Monroe County, Fla., leading the list with 15, and Lafourche Parish, La., tied for second with 14.

"Coastline counties along the Atlantic and Gulf, as well as the Hawaiian Islands, account for nearly two-thirds of the nation's coastline population and are home to four of the nation's 10 most populous counties," said Steven Wilson of the Census Bureau's Population Division, who co-authored the report. "As hurricane season begins, this report should put into perspective the number of Americans living along the coast who might be affected."

All in all, 87 million people, or 29 percent of the U.S. population, live in coastline counties, including more than 41 million in Atlantic and 32 million in Pacific counties. In 1960, only 47 million lived in coastline counties.

Other highlights include:

-- The number of housing units along the Gulf of Mexico's coastline
increased by 246 percent from 1960 to 2008, compared with 130 percent
in the Pacific and 98 percent in the Atlantic coastline regions and
121 percent for the U.S. as a whole. The number of housing units along
the U.S. coastline grew from 16 million to 36 million during this
-- On average, the 11 coastline counties that were hit by 11 or more
hurricanes from 1960 to 2008 increased in population by nearly 179
percent and had a housing unit increase of 255 percent. Among these
counties, only Hyde, N.C., lost population (-10.1 percent) and only
St. Bernard Parish, La., lost housing units (-2.6 percent).
-- The coastline share of Maine's total population climbed by 9
percentage points from 1960 to 2008. New Hampshire, Virginia and
Alaska also had increases of more than 5 percentage points. In
contrast, the share of Maryland's population in its coastline counties
dropped 14 percentage points and California's by 10 points.
-- Excluding Alaska, the average density of coastline counties increased
from 260 people per square mile in 1960 to 480 in 2008. On average,
they are twice as densely populated as noncoastline counties. Among
the coastline states, only the coastline sections of New York (between
1970 and 1980), Louisiana (from 1980 to 1990 and 2000 to 2008) and
Mississippi (from 2000 to 2008) had declines in population density
during any decade.
-- New York County (Manhattan), N.Y., is the most densely populated
coastline county, with nearly 72,000 people per square mile in 2008.
Between 1960 and 2008, Orange County, Calif., and Pinellas County,
Fla., joined the list of the 20 most densely populated coastline
counties, with Orleans Parish, La., and Westchester County, N.Y.,
dropping off.
-- Nearly half of the nation's coastline population in 2008 was in either
California (29 percent) or Florida (16 percent).
-- Most coastline counties (223 of 254) experienced population gains from
1960 to 2008, including all counties from the southern coast of North
Carolina through Mississippi, and all counties from California through

The report uses 100 percent-count decennial census data for the years 1960 through 2000, estimates of the total population for July 1, 2008, and the demographic components of change for 2000 to 2008.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Census Bureau News - The Next Four Decades: The Older Population in the United States: 2010 to 2050

/PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Census Bureau reported today that the dependency ratio, or the number of people 65 and older to every 100 people of traditional working ages, is projected to climb rapidly from 22 in 2010 to 35 in 2030. This time period coincides with the time when baby boomers are moving into the 65 and older age category. After 2030, however, the ratio of the aging population to the working-age population (ages 20 to 64) will rise more slowly, to 37 in 2050. The higher this old-age dependency ratio, the greater the potential burden.

The projections are not based on 2010 Census results. Rather, they project 2000 Census counts forward using components of population change -- births, deaths and net international migration.

The expected steep rise in the dependency ratio over the next two decades reflects the projected proportion of people 65 and older climbing from 13 percent to 19 percent of the total population over the period, with the percentage in the 20 to 64 age range falling from 60 percent to 55 percent.

"This rapid growth of the older population may present challenges in the next two decades," said Victoria Velkoff, assistant chief for estimates and projections for the Census Bureau's Population Division. "It's also noteworthy that those 85 and older -- who often require additional caregiving and support -- would increase from about 14 percent of the older population today to 21 percent in 2050."

The findings are contained in the report, "The Next Four Decades: The Older Population in the United States: 2010 to 2050," which presents information on how the age structure of the overall population and the composition of the older population in terms of age, sex, race and Hispanic origin are expected to change over the next four decades. The report provides an analysis of national population projections released in August 2008.

According to the report, minorities would comprise 42 percent of the 65 and older population in 2050, more than double the proportion they comprise today (20 percent). Likewise, among those 85 and older, 33 percent are projected to be minority in 2050, up from 15 percent in 2010. (In the report, the minority population refers to people who are other than non-Hispanic, single-race white.)

Other highlights include:
-- The percentage of the 65 and older population that is Hispanic would
rise from 7 percent today to 20 percent in 2050. In absolute terms, it
would increase more than sixfold -- from 2.9 million to 17.5 million.
At the same time, among those 85 and older, the Hispanic population
would increase more than ninefold, from 305,000 to 2.9 million.
-- Among those 65 and older, 12 percent are expected to be single-race
black and 9 percent Asian in 2050, up from 9 percent and 3 percent,
respectively, in 2010. In addition, 77 percent are projected to be
white alone, down from about 87 percent in 2010.
-- The least populous race groups are projected to see large growth
relative to their populations. The older multiracial population, for
instance, would increase from 278,000 in 2010 to 1.3 million in 2050.
-- The multiracial population will continue to be the youngest
population, as the 65 and older percentage would rise from 5.1 percent
today to 7.8 percent in 2050.
-- With the projected more rapid increase in the life expectancy for men
over the next several decades, women would comprise a smaller
percentage of older people: 57 percent of those 65 and older today, 55
percent in 2050. Among those 85 and older, the drop would be even
larger (from 67 percent to 61 percent).

This report is based on the projections released in August 2008. In December 2009, the Census Bureau released a set of four national projections supplementing the series released in August 2008, showing projections to 2050 by age, race, sex and Hispanic origin. These four scenarios assume either high, low, constant or zero international migration between 2000 and 2050. The August 2008 projections remain the preferred series for users.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

After-school Program Develops Mind, Character

/PRNewswire/ -- He's spreading the word, instilling hope, reaching at-risk youth through academic enrichment.

Tony Lowden knows what to do for the 800 students who participate in after-school programs at Campus Clubs in Macon, Georgia, because he was once on the receiving end of such support. Growing up in the Philadelphia ghettos, he lacked hope and, for a while, purpose.

His ticket out of the ghettos and onto a path of opportunity and success was delivered by his aunt, with an assist from above.

"My aunt saved my life. She basically saved me. She introduced me to Christ," says Lowden. "My walk with Christ became stronger as I watched more African-American males die from gangs and drugs. I wanted to one day be in a position to do more to prevent some of that."

Lowden's path to youth service was not a direct route. He enjoyed a brief professional baseball career and then fashioned a career as a successful businessman. Yet something was missing. That's when he rose from the comforts of his stable career and a top salary to become a youth pastor.

Eventually, he became Executive Director of Campus Clubs, which serves the academic and spiritual needs of Macon youth via programs that run from 3 p.m. to as late as 8:30 and include snacks and dinner.

"When they get out of school at three o'clock, their education stops," Lowden said of the way things used to be. "Most of their families can't afford computers. It is criminal to have 80 percent of kids in a city who don't have access to the information highway."

Campus Clubs' twenty-first-century learning centers are changing that. The centers are funded through donations and grants and offer training in the latest software and engaging curricula in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) from Pitsco Education. Several satellite after-school programs have sprung up in other parts of Georgia, but Lowden has his nets poised for casting over a broader area.

"We believe that the model we have could be the model for after-school programs across the country," he said. "We build robots and rockets and learn about math, science, and other subjects."

Engaging curricula is only part of the equation. Many children from broken homes and poverty aren't usually rooted in faith and morals, so Campus Clubs addresses that deficit with its church-based programs.

A firm believer that government and public education should not advocate the practice of faith, Lowden says those entities should not run from religion either. All parties can coexist with a common goal of raising up at-risk youth and empowering them to one day serve as community leaders.

"Eventually, the cities and government will say that Martin Luther King was right. Education is about intelligence and building character," Lowden says. "Character comes from a spiritual foundation."

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