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History of the Neighborhoods
In this social economic analysis, I will focus on Austin city located in Texas as well as Harbor Hills in New York. Austin is the capital city of the US state of Texas. It has a population of approximately one million people according to US Census Bureau. Since its foundation in the 19th century, Austin has grown in an unprecedented rate to become eleventh most populous city in the US.
Besides, the city hosts a myriad of government operations and education institutions such as University of Texas. It is worth mentioning that the city has a cosmopolitan composition of population in the sense that many people living in the area come from different races, nationalities and ethnicities.
To that end, racial, ethnic and other demographic characteristics of Austin are of paramount importance in this analysis. Besides, the report will also analyze other variables including poverty levels in comparison to racial and ethnic belonging and background.
For the purposes of qualitative analysis and comparison, the paper will also focus on demography of Harbor Hills in New York. Harbor Hills has as modest population of around five thousand people. It reflects a hamlet and is located in Nassau County in New York. The city will provide important variables that will be of interest especially when making comparison of various demographic parameters such as poverty rates and racial background.
Fig 1: Racial Composition of Austin, TX
|Black or African American Alone||85,468||8.5%|
|American Indian and Alaska Native Alone||5,633||0.6%|
|Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander Alone||770||0.1%|
|Some Other Race Alone||133,673||13.3%|
|Two or More races||23,681||2.4%|
The motivation behind this analysis is the fact that Travis County is one of the most diverse counties not only in Southwest of the United States but also in other areas of the country. The rationale is that the entire state of Texas has experienced unsurpassed rate of immigration leading to a multiethnic population.
Most profoundly, Blacks and Hispanics have become significant races within Texas and its cities. Harbor Hills will serve as a point of reference when making comparison about poverty levels and ethnic belonging of the city residents. Besides, the demographic analysis will utilize both dependent and independent variables to arrive at a succinct analysis of the city.
Description of Variables
In this analysis, rate of poverty will stand out as of the major variable. It refers to the number of people living below certain threshold. According to the United States Census Bureau, poverty rate refers to the number of people living below minimum wage.
On the other hand, minimum wage is the threshold of income per person in employment that International Labor Organization (ILO) stipulates. It varies from time to time due to other factors such as the rate of inflation and jurisdiction. In Harbor Hills and Austin, analysis of poverty rates will provide us with vital statistics. Besides, analysis of rates of poverty will facilitate explanation of other demographic and external variables such as income and literacy levels.
Second, the paper will analyze the rates of poverty vis-à-vis ethnic and racial backgrounds of the residents in both neighborhoods. It is important to point out that rate of poverty is directly associated with level of education and race. Due to different cultures and demography, comparison of the two neighborhoods will reveal other characteristics that are pertinent to the analysis.
Empirical Profile of the Neighborhoods
Poverty rates in Austin vary greatly in accordance to race and ethnicity. The major races in the city are Whites, Black and African Americans, Hispanics, Indian Americans and other races. The Whites constitute approximately 69.4% of the total population while the Blacks and Africans constitute just above 8.5%. Other races constitute approximately 20% of the population.
According to 2010 statistics released by US Census Bureau, poverty rate in Austin varies with age. Poverty rate of children under the age of 18 years stand at 22.1% implying that at least two out of ten children living in Austin live under poor conditions. For the population of people between the ages of 18 and 64 years, poverty rate stood at 15.5%.
Above 64 years, poverty rate of the population seem to have reduced within the period of analysis. It stood at an average of 8.1%. On average, poverty rate in the city of Austin is just above 15%. According to the US Census Bureau, the rate of poverty remains high when compared to the national average that was 12% in the same year. Various factors are attributable to high rates of poverty in Austin.
At the outset, it is of importance to mention that level of education and race are major determinants of poverty rates in the neighborhood. On average, Austin’s income per household is around $88 thousands annually. In black households, the average level of income stands at just below $50, 000 annually.
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This is different from the average annual income accruing Whites’ households that stood at approximately $96, 499 during the same period. Consequently, the disparities that are apparent in terms of incomes also reflect in other aspects of Austin. For instance, poverty levels among the blacks stand at about 24.3% while that of Whites is a mere 13.3% (in the year 2010).
In addition, it is worth highlighting that other races residing in Austin record a significantly higher rate of poverty than the white population. Central to the rate of poverty is the level of education across the ethnic groups living in Austin. Apparently, over a quarter of the population has attained a bachelor’s degree while almost an equal proportion of the population has some college education.
Education is an important indicator of the likelihood of being absorbed in the labor market according to many social scientists. As such, its rate either increases or reduces the likelihood of employment and influences the amount of income accruing each household. To this end, it is important to pinpoint that that rate of unemployment amongst the white population stood at a modest 5.9% in the neighborhood.
Among the blacks, the rate of unemployment is more than twice when compared to that of the white population. It stood at 12.4% according to the statistics released by Census Bureau in 2010. This helps us to draw a conclusion and deduce that average white population is more literate than respective black population in Austin. This is reflected in the disparities of income per household and the rate of unemployment between the two major races living in the city Austin.
In Harbor Hills, New York, poverty rates are relatively low when compared to Austin. Particularly, the number of poor children stood at five in 2001accounting for 0.8% of children under the age 18 that live in abject poverty. This number has grown in a period of 10 years to peak at 3.2% in 2011. For ages between 24 and 64 years, the rate of poverty has increased from 5.1% to 7.1 between 2001 and 2011 respectively.
Nonetheless, the rate of poverty among the senior citizens has reduced marginally from 5.3% in 2001 to 4.8% by 2011. On average, Harbor Hills has one of the lowest rates of poverty in Nassau County. It is important to highlight that poverty levels vary considerably in line with racial belonging and education attainment of the residents.
Unlike in Austin, Harbor Hills has one of the lowest rates poverty accruing the black population and other minority races. According to the US Census Bureau, the rate of poverty among the black population stood at 0.5% in 2010, which was a lower rate of poverty than that of the majority white population. In fact, the rate of poverty among white residents of the neighborhood stood at 6.8% in 2011.
The mean income accruing every household in Harbor Hills was approximately $83,275 in 2010. While the statistics for the annual income accruing black households was unavailable by the end of 2010, every white household recorded an average annual income of about $83, 451. This implies that the households had a higher per household income than all other racial groups in the neighborhood.
While income per household is a strong exogenous variable that influences poverty rates within a community, other factors such as education attainment contribute significantly to the welfare of the residents. US Census Bureau records that an average of 48.7% of the population has attained a bachelor’s degree with well above 20% of the population having achieved a graduate degree.
This implies that a considerable majority of the residents is able to access employment opportunities in both military and civilian institutions. Due to high level of educational attainment, it is critical to highlight that Harbor Hills has a different social economic profile than Austin. In addition, the number of people living in the neighborhood is relatively low when compared to the residents of Austin.
It therefore follows that population density of the two neighborhoods vary greatly despite similar variables typifying the communities. Besides, seems to be ‘an above average’ suburb in terms of socio-economic parameters that are provided by US Census Bureau.
In essence, Austin and Harbor Hills neighborhoods vary greatly. On the one hand, Austin is located in Travis County, Texas in Southwest of the US. It is the capital city of Texas and hosts myriads of state institutions and departments. Due to its geographical location, Austin has different social groups belonging to various races, ethnicities and nationalities.
White and black races are the predominant races although there are other races in the city. According to the US Census Bureau report of 2010, poverty rates among the white residents are lower than poverty rates among the black residents. Consequently, there is a higher level of average annual income accruing white households than black households.
This is due to the average levels of unemployment and educational attainment that are skewed in favor of the white population. On the other hand, Harbor Hills is located in Long Island of New York. It is a relatively affluent suburb of New York City in the county of Nassau.
Unlike Austin, Harbor Hills has a low population of about five thousand people. However, the residents have different ethnicities, races and nationalities. Moreover, the rates of poverty are relatively lower than in Austin. The levels of income and unemployment are more favorable for Harbor Hills; residents than for Austin dwellers.
From the above demographic analysis, I have learned various lessons that are valuable to my social research and inquiry skills. At the outset, I have learnt that the level of income accruing every household is an important indicator of poverty level and status. However, households’ income is a dependent variable that correlates with levels of education attainment, unemployment and racial background.
It is not surprising therefore, that black population in Austin suffers from the highest rates of unemployment and the lowest levels of educational attainment. This in turn has led to high number of black residents living under conditions of poverty and subsequently, low incomes accruing their households. Second, I have learnt that Austin has a higher number of residents (approximately one million) than Harbor Hills (five thousand).
This has had a significant influence on the statistics that US Census Bureau released in 2010. For instance, it is absurd to purport that no student dropped out of high school in Harbor Hills since the statistics indicate a figure that is well below 1% in 2010. Indeed, the percentages do not reveal the actual number of people highlighted by various variables.
Third, I have understood that Harbor Hills is relatively affluent than Austin. The rationale is that the neighborhood has a population of black residents who are comparatively wealthier than white residents are. Besides, it seems that only the wealthy blacks can afford to live in Harbor Hills.
This is reflected in the high level of educational attainment in the neighborhood. It is commendable that the rates of literacy in the area are above 95%. Finally, I have learnt that Austin city is of strategic importance for the state of Texas. The reason is that the city has a rich diversity that can be used to draw general conclusions about the demographic characteristics of other cities.