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Old 01-14-2011, 08:57 PM
 
Location: Austin, Texas
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In you opinion, when talking about racial and ethnic demographics, what is more important when determining the presence and influence of a demographic in a particular city, numbers or percentage?
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:06 PM
 
Location: roaming gnome
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raw #'s adding 50% Chinese population over 10 years for instance isn't really that much if it went from 100, to 200 people in a city of 500k.
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:09 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX/Chicago, IL/Houston, TX/Washington, DC
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Numerical figures.

Percentages give us an idea how many of "X" there are in a given idea. But numbers tell the real story.

Take this for example, Houston can have 2.3% Chinese population, that seems low right? But numerically it can be lets just say (making a number up) 85,000 Chinese people but if most of them are concentrated in areas like Southwest, West, & North sides of the city, they are in a larger more fashionable noticed degree than by overall percentages.

I personally believe raw numbers tell a bigger story than percentages. Percentages however do tell us exactly if a place is majority centric or minority centric. But numbers in general tell a larger tale.
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Miami, FL
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Percentages are good for showing changes over time, but raw numbers generally give a better idea of a certain statistic. For example, you can say Miami's MSA increased in population 10% from 2000 to 2010, and it seems like very little. But then you can say that it increased from 4.9 mil to nearly 6 mil in those years. Easier to notice the change
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:17 PM
 
Location: Austin, Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DANNYY View Post
Numerical figures.

Percentages give us an idea how many of "X" there are in a given idea. But numbers tell the real story.

Take this for example, Houston can have 2.3% Chinese population, that seems low right? But numerically it can be lets just say (making a number up) 85,000 Chinese people but if most of them are concentrated in areas like Southwest, West, & North sides of the city, they are in a larger more fashionable noticed degree than by overall percentages.

I personally believe raw numbers tell a bigger story than percentages. Percentages however do tell us exactly if a place is majority centric or minority centric. But numbers in general tell a larger tale.
I agree. But I also think depending on cities it might swing either way.

Lets take the African-American populations of Houston and LA for example.

Houston has around a million black people. Give or take a few thousand. LA has 1.3 million. However AA's make up 17% of blacks in Houston's metro to LA's 7%. I think you can argue blacks have a greater presence in Houston than in LA.

By the same token, blacks make up 8% of Austin's population to 7% in LA's. However, though I've never been to LA, I would be willing to bet that I would feel like blacks had more of a presence there.

You could sub in Memphis for the Houston example and Oklahoma City for the Austin example and get the same idea.
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:07 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY $$$
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numbers count because at the end of the day you cant compare every city to every city easily like madison WI vs TORONTO for example.

I am of haitian decent born in america and in reality nyc has way more haitians then the city of miami.

Brooklyn alone, and queens alone also has more haitians then the city of Miami. So i guess numbers count the most to me.
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:09 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY $$$
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i guess percentages make impact on the city because all though Brooklyn alone and queens alone have more haitians then the city of Miami their power in these boroughs don't come close to the power the haitians have in Miami.
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:10 PM
 
Location: St Paul, MN - NJ's Gold Coast
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Percentages is best when showcasing diversity.

You're not going to say New York City is the mecca for black people because it has more blacks than any other city. This title would be given to ATL or DC because the black population is much more dominant (percentage wise).

Or how NYC has more gay people than SF... I think percentages give you a better idea.
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:31 PM
 
Location: CT
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Numbers. One of the last times I thought about this on CD was when someone posted a list of the smartest metros by percentage of people with certain degrees or whatever. The list had Washington, SF, SJ, Raleigh, and Boston as the first 5 and NY last at 10. That looks impressive but 47% of 5 million is alot less than 35% of 19 million.

America's smartest cities

So I did the math and got the actual numbers of the people they were measuring by city and the list changed kinda significantly. NYC, DC, Boston, SF and Seattle were the new top 5 with Raleigh last as the new number 10. So at the end of the day, percents tell part of the story but real numbers hold more of the "truth". I think the same is true of racial and ethnic demographics but percentages do tell us alot too in that case.
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:31 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX/Chicago, IL/Houston, TX/Washington, DC
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I do respect everyones opinions on this and am looking forward to learning about more ways to view certain matters, I am always open to suggestions.

But to me numerical figures makes the most sense. Take this for example. You as a tourist attend a Irish parade in Tulsa, OK and then another one the year later in New York, NY. In New York, the Irish (just saying hypothetically) can make up a mere 2.3% of the population but numerically they can be say 560,000 people. In Tulsa, the Irish can make up a whopping 13.4% of the city (another hypothetical) and with their overall population being 50,000 people. When you go to the parade in New York, NY, you WILL be overwhelmed with the amount of Irish people there because that is just absolutely and numerically staggering. When you go to Tulsa, OK it will be charming but in no way will it feel as overwhelming by the population alone in comparison.

Comparison's like that are drawn on a daily basis. Personally myself being a minority (Asian Indian & Singaporean) and living in like 4 different cities (Austin, Chicago, Houston, & Washington DC) the percentages don't tell the tale for me at least, the numbers do. Especially by the events and stuff I attend and things like that. I can tell the overwhelming difference between Asian Indian people in Chicago compared to Asian Indian people in Austin.

Also I disagree with this "(insert race here) mecca title". I remember a few months ago having to explain this to a person in the Houston board that wanted to see Houston surpass Atlanta as the supposed "Black Mecca". Now while the title is respectable it doesn't tell the whole tale. See when people think about where they want to live, a title like that can either appeal to them or make them feel unwelcome as a newcomer. If I didn't have any information and was offered a job in the following cities, Atlanta, Dallas, & Seattle. With all the supposed advertisement of Atlanta being the "Black Mecca" I would think to myself that there is little to limited Asian friendliness in the area (Obviously in real life in I know better and know Atlanta offers variety in culture catering to difference in backgrounds) for me and would probably direct me in a different direction with another city. But in that same note, that title makes it very attractive to people who like commonality and uniqueness coming from particular races and cultures.

I also disagree with New York, NY and any kind of "mecca" title. New York, NY forever changed the way immigration is viewed in the world and would be the poster child for the term "melting pot" that was coined to describe events such as Ellis Island and things of that nature. Today the Tri-State Area is home to 22 Million people, and there is not one ethnicity that claims and rules over the majority of the entire Tri-State Area which shows a level of good balance.

For me, its easy. Numerical figures are definitely for the win here, but percentages still hold prominence also, but in my opinion in a different way and not as much. I do look forward to learning about other viewpoints though, always interested in different perspectives and adaptation of concepts.

Last edited by DANNYY; 01-14-2011 at 11:42 PM.. Reason: Tweak.
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