Interactive census maps at NYT

The New York Times has posted an interactive, zoomable census map. This is very useful if you don’t have access to a GIS or mapping software. Here’s a map of population change in my neighborhood (browns = loss, blues = gains).

Interestingly, it seems that the growth of Atlanta has been wildly exaggerated (the city, not the metro area). Estimates as recently as last year had it at over 500,000, but according to the census the total growth was only 3,500 in ten years, to around 420,000. This has shocked a lot of people, including the mayor, some of whom have questioned the census accuracy as a result. And indeed the results are surprising, on their face.

Geography may provide the explanation. If people were noticing growth in one area, especially among whites “returning” to the city after white flight, in other parts of the city there were dramatic declines, especially among blacks. Coupled with the city’s remarkable neoliberal project of eliminating all public housing and the dispersal of residents to far-flung neighborhoods, you could I suspect result in a balancing out of growth/decline.

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