NNIP Partners Analyze 2020 Census to Track Neighborhood Change

The Data Center   (New Orleans)
DataHaven   (New Haven)
Data Driven Detroit (D3)   (Detroit)
Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance   (Baltimore)

February 2022

Several NNIP partners analyzed population and demographic changes of their city's neighborhoods after the release of the 2020 redistricting census data, providing insights for local planning and policy. In Changing New Orleans Neighborhoods, The Data Center found that while New Orleans grew to 79 percent of the pre-Katrina total population since 2010, five neighborhoods still have less than 50 percent of pre-Katrina population. Four of these neighborhoods are where former public housing units are being redeveloped for mixed-income housing. In contrast, the Warehouse district, along with neighborhoods where university students primarily live, saw population increases after the city invested in economic development initiatives. This trend is consistent with Data Haven's findings in Demographic Change in Connecticut's Town and City Neighborhoods, which visualizes and discusses population changes from 2010 to 2020 for neighborhoods in Connecticut's four largest cities. While Bridgeport’s population grew overall by 3 percent across the decade, neighborhoods where public housing was removed or decommissioned saw a population decrease and the downtown’s population increased after investments in economic development. Hartford also experienced similar population loss in neighborhoods where public housing was replaced with less dense housing units.

Baltimore and Detroit, unlike the national trend, saw a decrease in total population in the past decade. Baltimore Neighborhood Indicator Alliance uses charts and maps in Population Data from the 2020 Census to show that the 5.7 percent population decline is concentrated in a few disinvested neighborhoods, while the neighboring downtown saw a 46 percent population increase. Data Driven Detroit (D3) aggregated 2020 census data for Detroit’s City Council Districts to show the disproportionate population decline in districts 3, 4, and 5. D3 also offers an accessible web map and raw datafile for Detroit.

In general, cities experienced an increase in people of color from 2010 to 2020. The share of Black people in New Orleans decreased (the total number increased), while the share of people identifying as Hispanic, White, and multiracial all grew by a few percentage points. The Data Center also identified neighborhoods where the racial and ethnic group representing the majority of the neighborhood changed. Like other US cities and New Orleans, Connecticut's four largest cities saw an increase in multiracial and Hispanic people. While New Haven, Hartford, and Stamford saw a decrease in the share of Black people, the share of Black people in Bridgeport increased by 5 percent.

Understanding the limitations of data sources is important when interpreting and demographic trends.  New Orleans’s report noted that the Census Bureau’s new use of Differential Privacy in small demographic groups (less than 100) in small geographies (tracts and blocks) could be inaccurate by more than 10 percent. Data Driven Detroit also summarizes 2020 Census Changes and Impacts by categorizing challenges into measurable and unmeasurable impacts. The Census Bureau continues to undercount people of color and children while overcounting homeowners and white people.

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