data

Where are we getting our population data from, and how are we defining race?

How are you defining race?

Race and ethnicity is complicated. People often conflate race and ethnicity in day-to-day conversations and discussions, but the Census uses very specific definitions for these two concepts.

We highly recommend reading their explanation of it. We will be using their definition and concept for this series of comparison posts.

The confusion typically happens when people ask why Hispanic or Latino is not a “race” option in the Census or when reading through Census analysis or data.

The Census defines Hispanic or Latino as an ethnic origin – meaning a person can be Hispanic (ethnicity) and White (race), for example.

Where did you get your data from?

For this series of posts, we are using the Census 2018 B03002 American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year detailed table, and then we consolidate the categories to match the C03002 simplified table.

Percent change

When we write about percent change, we are trying to describe the increase or decrease from comparing the 2013 and the 2018 dataset. For example:

If the African American population in the fictional Town of nextLI increased from 300 to 360, that is a 20% increase.

This means that there are more African Americans moving in.

2013 African American population 2018 African American population Percent change
300 360 20% increase

Percentage point change

When we write about percentage point change, we are attempting to describe the current percentage of a specific group. For example:

If the fictional Town of nextLI has 1,000 total population in 2013 and it increased to 1,500 in 2018, the percentage of African American population has actually decreased by 6 percentage points.

This means that even though there are more African Americans moving in, you are less likely to meet an African American in your day-to-day life.

2013

2013 population 2013 African American population 2013 Percentage of African Americans
1000 300 30%

2018

2018 population 2018 African American population 2018 Percentage of African Americans
1500 360 24%

Percentage point

2013 Percentage of African Americans 2018 Percentage of African Americans Percentage point change
30% 24% 6% decrease