A population study of Houston and the Houston area



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A review of national, state, and local population trends is presented, indicating changes in the three fundamental factors of growth, births, deaths, and migration. Consideration is given to economic, political, social, and cultural trends as they influence population changes and movements; especial attention is given urban and rural growth changes, so intimately are these elements tied in with the evolution of the large city aggregations, the more particular subject of this study. Seven accepted population projection techniques are applied to data of Houston and the Houston area, six of which produce results that compare favorably, with the seventh method appearing to be inappropriate to the Houston data. The successful applications were by the following methods: (1) the Logistic Curve, (2) method by Analogy, (3) projection by use of Public Utilities and School Census, (4) projection by use of Probability Paper, (5) method by Proportion, and (6) the Age-Survival method. The seventh method, that of Least Squares, failed to produce results that could be considered as logical or reasonable. The theory and practice of these techniques is presented in sufficient detail as to be easily followed. Comprehensive illustrative materials accompany each of the procedures, and a generous number of tables gives many of the bases on which the computations rest as well as resulting figures of the various computations. An evaluation is made of each technique, with a presentation of individual as well as composite results. Indicated population changes and characteristics for Houston and the Houston area are considered in a summary fashion: (1) Total population changes for the next three decades in the light of economic, cultural and other variables that affect such changes. (2) Distribution of the total population with reference to the historical development of the city and to present and anticipated trends. (3) Population breakdown, with a forecast of the various five-year age groups through 1970, including estimates of each age, 6-17, inclusive (4) An analysis of color and nativity, indicating relative changes for the major groups, with some reference to national changes. (5) Delinquency, with reference to the areas of delinquency and to the factors that apparently make for delinquency. (6) Education and school attendance, with attention being given to changes in total school population, to school population changes in the large areas of the city, as well as to changes in the relative numbers of the age groups. Some reference is made to the educational level of different areas of the city. Some of the illustrative materials showing indicated population changes and characteristics are as follows: Density maps showing the distribution within the corporate limits as well as the distribution outside the central city; map of dwelling units showing increase for 1940-1948 within the corporate limits; age-sex-race pyramid, showing indicated changes, 1940-1970, with relative changes in age groups, for both whites and nonwhites; map, showing distribution of nonwhite population within corporate limits; map, showing distribution of foreign born; other maps, showing relative economic level of the different sections of the city, showing residences of delinquent children, showing areas of highest delinquency; a map, showing changes and projections for national school population; with respect to the various groups; a chart showing educational level in 1940 for the national population 25 years and older. Three recommendations are presented: (1) that the study be kept up to date; (2) that some means be found to make possible the transfer of the annual school census data to the federal census tracts; (3) and that the Social Science Department of some local institution of higher learning dedicate a portion of its program to a detailed study of population changes within the various federal census tracts of the city.