The 2009 American Community Survey Profiles were released last week. I compared the recent numbers with the recent past.
Here’s a summary:
Lexington is getting more: dense, young, educated, poor, dependent on the health care and education industrial complex, diverse, antiquated infrastructurally, and time-inefficient.
Data at glance
2009 Estimated Population: 297,000
Occupied Households: 121,000
Lexington is getting denser. Persons per household has increased 11% since 2005 from 2.2 to 2.45 pph. Fewer new residences but more people in the city. This is no surprise, given the depression. Fewer young people are moving out of their parent’s houses, more are moving back in, and more people are sharing living quarters generally.
2009: 33.1 2007: 35 2005: 35.1
Employment by occupation: Our economy is becoming less diverse.
Health care and education
2009: 30% of employment
2007: 28% of employment
2005: 26% of employment
2003: 19% of employment
(How do we pay for health care and education? Insurance and loans. Is that a sustainable base on which to build an economy? What happens when people can’t afford insurance or no one takes out loans?)
2009: 11% of employment
2007: 11% of employment
2005: 9% of employment
Professional, Scientific, Management
2009: 10% of employment
2007: 10% of employment
2005: 10% of employment
We’re less rooted as a city: In 2009, 73% of people one year old lived in the same residence one year previously. In 2005, 78% had lived in the same place a year before.
More citizens are coming back from abroad to live here. In 2009, there was a nearly 50% increase in the number of people who had lived abroad in the year previously from 2007.
Foreign born persons have increased 42% since 2005. Approximately 24,000 people in Fayette County were born out of the country.
Could these 2009 increases mark the beginning of a reversal of brain drain, as more young people stay here?
Median Household Income
Our incomes are losing pace with inflation. This is a national trend which means less discretionary income and thus less consumption – bad news for a consumer-based economy.
Median Household income increase 05-09: 9.1%
Consumer Price Index increase 05-09: 13.2%
(And the CPI doesn’t count food or energy, which have increased greatly – Over the last 12 months, the index for all items less food and energy rose 0.9 percent, though the shelter component posted a 0.7 percent decline. The food index increased at a similar rate, rising 1.0 percent, with grocery store food prices up 0.8 percent. The energy index posted a somewhat larger increase, rising 3.8 percent with gasoline up 4.4 percent.)
In 2009, it was estimated that there were 53,460 people in Fayette County living in poverty. If these impoverished citizens of Lexington were a city in their own right, they’d constitute the 5th largest city in Kentucky, larger than Covington and about the same as Owensboro and Bowling Green. They would comprise the 17 largest county in Kentucky. This must be great strain on our local social service systems.
All persons: 18%
Children under 18: 20%
Female head of house: 38% in poverty
All persons: 16%
Children under 18: 21%
Female head of house: 33%
All persons: 15%
Children under 18: 17%
Female head of house: 31%
81% of workers in Fayette County commute by private automobile alone. The average Fayette Countian spends 20 minutes getting to work by car. These 40 minutes per day add up to 10,000 minutes a year, or 167 hours, or 7 days; seven full days out of our lives every year doing nothing but getting back and forth to work. Time spent not working, not with families, not helping the community, not even consuming.
One reason for increasing traffic in Lexington is the continued increase in 3 car households.
2009: 16% of all households had 3 or more cars
8% of Lexingtonians don’t have access to a car.
We have an aging infrastructure. 67% of all the houses in Fayette County were built before 1990. This is a good guide as to the age of the streets, sewer lines, sidewalks – all the things that government – and thus us as taxpayers – are responsible for maintain.
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