Ancestry: Who do you think you are?

Largest Ancestry: 2000

Census-2000-Data-Top-US-Ancestries-by-County 2

This is one of my favorite demographic maps. It was produced by the Census Bureau to show the most commonly reported ancestry for each county in the United States in 2000. Even though the data is over 13 years old, the map remains very popular.

Since a follow-up map for 2010 has not been produced yet, I thought it would be more than worthwhile to create this map using Census American Community Survey data.

Largest Ancestry: 2010

Including Unreported

The methodologies used in making the 2000 and 2010 ancestry maps are similar, but there is one important alteration in the 2010 map. Ancestries that can be logically grouped together were combined so they might be better represented on the map. For example, Scandinavian ancestries: Norwegian, Danish, Swedish and Finnish, are very common in the Upper Midwest. Individually, they are the most popular ancestries in only a few counties, but when grouped together, Scandinavian is the most common ancestry in over 70 Upper Midwest counties.

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Who are the 11 million?

With the recent push by Senate lawmakers and the White House for immigration reform, one number is being tossed around a lot.  It has been estimated that there are about 11 million illegal residents in the United States.  Where does that number come from and who exactly are these people?

These questions were highlighted in a recent National Journal article by Brian Resnick, which describes the work of Pew Hispanic Center demographer Jeffrey Passel, whose estimates of the illegal immigrant population have become widely used in the media.  The illegal immigrant population cannot be directly measured by any of the major national surveys.  Unsurprisingly, response rates for voluntary, and even legally-required, surveys are particularly low for the illegal population.   Instead, Passel and the Pew Hispanic Center rely on a methodology that indirectly measures this group of people.  Here’s how it works:

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Majority Minority by 2040?

Following the November election, much of the coverage focused on both the current and future impact of changing demographics. Changes in household structure and family formation, population aging, and increases in diversity are population trends that will continue to play out over the coming decades. Virginia’s demographic landscape, like the nation’s, is projected to shift substantially by 2040. Continue reading