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Old 01-16-2011, 01:07 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX/Chicago, IL/Houston, TX/Washington, DC
10,180 posts, read 4,692,767 times
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Hypothetically Jim attends a party where there are 10 people in total. 2 people are of Romanian, so 20% of the people there are Romanian. In my opinion percentages in some cases tend to sound way more dramatic than they really are.

Numerical figures tell how many there are in general, the overall count, whether its a large or small share. Anyone can figure if its a large scale or small scale factor, if San Francisco's population is 800,000 and it had 230,000 Chinese people (another hypothetical situation) everyone here by looking at both numbers can easily tell Chinese people make a strong impact on San Francisco without looking at the percentage for that.

Now if someone couldn't access the numbers, and saw percentages of say Fargo, ND, where apparently a population total has 16% Chinese people (hypothetically again), what is the actual number? See we don't know that because it can be 300, it can be 3,000, it can be 300,000 for all we know.

I had this debate last month with someone over Economic Output (GDP) where I posted the size of every city's GDP, and he told me it was outdated information when it was the very last time they released information for that metric and I had it accurate to begin with. He linked me to Brookings site and it said as of Q4 2010 the GDP's of "New York, Los Angeles, & Chicago are above 6% of the national GDP". And that's all it said, now my questions were, as of Q4 2010 what was the national GDP (numerically) and what were those cities GDP's (numerically again). Personally I like seeing numbers, when the new GDP figures come out next month I will be very delighted to see NUMBERS of what they are, it would really frustrate me if they show it in percentages like "Dallas is 4% of USA's overall GDP". My reaction would be "what the devil?!"

In a few weeks they release the US Census 2010 reports for Metropolitan Area, I will be delighted to see how many NUMERICAL French people there are in the city of Dallas as opposed to the amount from 2008 or 2009. I do not care for the percentages, they can make up 0.03% of the population or a whopping 30.0% of the population and I still wouldn't care then. I would like to see how much my city gained by raw numbers and not percentages. Numbers tells me exactly how many people, percentages just tell me the rate of increase.

I do agree that a person should look at all of the information both numbers and percentages, but I personally put numbers ahead, its something I anticipate and long to see way more than percentages. I'm going to be real about it, everytime I make a population thread, I am wayyy more excited about sharing the numerical gains and losses than I am about percentages.

Something feels more right seeing this:
Dallas gained 200,000 people in the last decade in its city limits

Something just feels amiss seeing this:
Dallas saw a 25% increase in population in the last decade within its city proper

If a survey were to show BOTH, I wouldn't mind. But some survey's only show one or the other (numbers or percentages) and personally I look forward to seeing numbers wayyyyy more often than I do for percentages. In my opinion.
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Old 01-16-2011, 01:10 PM
 
Location: Cleveland
4,667 posts, read 3,426,061 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grapico View Post
B/C people tend to cluster to like groups/interests. Parties generally don't happen like that. Maybe an office party or something, but not when people are free to choose. If those people are only a few people then there won't be that many at the gathering. The Irish parade was a good example. Another good example would be the popularity of meetup.com.
I think multiculturalism is a good thing, but not at the expense of just blending in to one thing and losing individual cultures. Such is tolerance. I.E. I might go down to Chinatown and eat/shop/observe culture, and that is cool, but I am definitely not a part of that culture. U.S. is one of few places where multiculturalism has worked, I mean you just had the German Chancellor Angela Merkel come out and say it is "utterly failed" in Germany and now they are trying to pass assimilation policies.

Back to the case of Atlanta and Athens, you can only assume some would be in your age range, then only some even know about it, then only a few of those actually participate in an event. You might end up with like 10 people showing up for something in Athens vs a crowd of 500 in Atlanta.
Interesting point, thanks! I think it's obviously a little more complicated than "one vs. the other", but generally I look at percentages before raw figures, but all of the data is usually pertinent at some point.
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Old 01-16-2011, 01:14 PM
 
Location: Cleveland
4,667 posts, read 3,426,061 times
Reputation: 2519
Quote:
Originally Posted by DANNYY View Post
Something feels more right seeing this:
Dallas gained 200,000 people in the last decade in its city limits

Something just feels amiss seeing this:
Dallas saw a 25% increase in population in the last decade within its city proper

If a survey were to show BOTH, I wouldn't mind. But some survey's only show one or the other (numbers or percentages) and personally I look forward to seeing numbers wayyyyy more often than I do for percentages. In my opinion.
See, I'm the opposite: I prefer the percentage first, then the raw data. 200K means nothing without relativity. At least the percentage is a ratio, which gives you a sense of relation. I'm a professional Analyst too, so maybe it depends on how you view things. There is no wrong way to interpret -- just as long as you interpret correctly.
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Old 01-16-2011, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX/Chicago, IL/Houston, TX/Washington, DC
10,180 posts, read 4,692,767 times
Reputation: 4047
Quote:
Originally Posted by Min-Chi-Cbus View Post
See, I'm the opposite: I prefer the percentage first, then the raw data. 200K means nothing without relativity. At least the percentage is a ratio, which gives you a sense of relation. I'm a professional Analyst too, so maybe it depends on how you view things. There is no wrong way to interpret -- just as long as you interpret correctly.
Oh I definitely do understand what you mean, and I can see why you like percentages more.

For me its a bit like this, I go to school in Austin & live in Chicago:
- Last decade Chicago MSA saw a 600,000 person increase numerically (5%)
- Last decade Austin MSA saw 400,000 person increase numerically (36%)
- Last decade Dallas-Fort Worth saw 1,400,000 person increase numerically (24%)

The percentages look so dramatic (due to the sizes of each given place) but the numers give me an idea. Chicago MSA went from 9.1 Million to 9.7 Million. Austin MSA went from 1.4 Million to 1.8 Million. I'm just a numbers type person I guess, I could do without one of them. Out of all the ones listed above the Dallas-Fort Worth one, even though by percentages isn't as impressive as Austin still amazes me a bit more than Austin. But then again Dallas-Fort Worth is larger, and its to be expected from it, I suppose.

But I definitely can see how others view it oppositely from the way I do.
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Old 01-16-2011, 01:43 PM
 
864 posts, read 372,525 times
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Depends on the situation and relativity.

Telling me that NYC has more black people then ATL means didly because NYC has 22 million people. I would not encounter nearly as many on a daily basis because their numbers are more diluted. America has more white people then Germany in raw numbers. Does that mean I'll encouter more white people in America then Germany? That's why percentages matter. You honestly need both to have a rational conclusion.
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Old 01-16-2011, 01:47 PM
 
Location: roaming gnome
12,395 posts, read 14,280,068 times
Reputation: 5312
Quote:
Originally Posted by DANNYY View Post
Oh I definitely do understand what you mean, and I can see why you like percentages more.

For me its a bit like this, I go to school in Austin & live in Chicago:
- Last decade Chicago MSA saw a 600,000 person increase numerically (5%)
- Last decade Austin MSA saw 400,000 person increase numerically (36%)
- Last decade Dallas-Fort Worth saw 1,400,000 person increase numerically (24%)

The percentages look so dramatic (due to the sizes of each given place) but the numers give me an idea. Chicago MSA went from 9.1 Million to 9.7 Million. Austin MSA went from 1.4 Million to 1.8 Million. I'm just a numbers type person I guess, I could do without one of them. Out of all the ones listed above the Dallas-Fort Worth one, even though by percentages isn't as impressive as Austin still amazes me a bit more than Austin. But then again Dallas-Fort Worth is larger, and its to be expected from it, I suppose.

But I definitely can see how others view it oppositely from the way I do.
Well out of those #'s I would view Dallas > Austin >> Chicago most impressive in that order.
Dallas and Austin gains are both in the same territory in percentage gains but Dallas gained over 1 million people more than Austin and 3.5X.
Dallas and Austin are both impressive, but Dallas is more so. Chicago is just par for the course.

Chicago would have to do something like NYC and surpass its 1950 high for me to be impressed. Most of the older cities dropped from their 1950 high but only NYC really came back then topped it out.
Chicago had more people than it does now (city proper) in the 1920s. Must have been quite the scene being Roaring 20's in Chicago.
NYC lost way more #'s than Chicago ever did in the late 60s-70s. They lost about a MIL just in the 70s. But they were also able to gain it all back and then some. Not the case with Chicago or Philly.

Last edited by grapico; 01-16-2011 at 02:05 PM..
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Old 01-16-2011, 01:53 PM
 
Location: Cleveland
4,667 posts, read 3,426,061 times
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Agreed.
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Old 01-19-2011, 09:19 AM
 
30,802 posts, read 35,834,492 times
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It depends, because other factors have to be considered. For instance, with the LA metro, you have some communities that are highly or mostly Black as well like say Inglewood, South LA, View Park-Windsor Hills, Ladera Heights, Baldwin Hills, Baldwin Village, Culver City's Fox Hills, parts of Carson, Long Beach, etc. So, to just look at the general percentage can be misleading, because you might find what you are looking for within a smaller context in comparison. It's like when people say there is no Black middle class in some random city, but even within that city or area, you can find that mostly Black middle class area. So, sometimes it's a matter of being specific.
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