A quick population hypothetical for data fiends

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JBmidtown
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A quick population hypothetical for data fiends

Postby JBmidtown » Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:42 pm

I have a quick hypothetical for RAGers with quick access to the relevant data: if Kansas City retained its 40s/50s urban core population AND continued to annex the land up to the square mileage it has now what would the 2017 population be (approximately)? 700,000? 800,000?

It seems without suburban sprawl and white flight the city could have been a major powerhouse. That wouldn’t be surprising as that’s the narrative of most American cities in the 20th to 21st centuries but I am curious about matching annexed populations with original urban core populations and maybe overlaying with a population growth rate that Johnson County enjoyed in the 60s-90s. Would be interesting to see what Kansas City could have been like without the prevailing suburban cultural fears of its affluent white residents mucking everything up.

tower
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Re: A quick population hypothetical for data fiends

Postby tower » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:28 pm

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Last edited by tower on Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A quick population hypothetical for data fiends

Postby tower » Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:38 pm

Not sure what the urban core density was in 1940, but the city population was 399,178 with an area of 58.6 square miles, for a density of 6,812 people per square mile.

I believe that would have been from the river to Gregory Boulevard and from state line to about where 1-435 is now, based of a map from 1920 that I found. That area had about 160,925 people as of the 2010 Census.
https://www.census.gov/2010census/popmap/

If you swap out that 160,925 people with the pre-1940 population, you get 698,040 people, without changing the population outside of the 1940 boundary.

Not too impressive, but if you wanted to make all 316 sq miles of KC look like 1940 KC, you would get:
6,812*316= 2,152,592 people within KCMO proper.
https://www.census.gov/population/www/d%20...%20/tab17.txt

What's even more interesting is plugging in the density of other cities at that time (which is probably the peak of density in the US, except NYC, which in now denser.)

2017 KCMO at the density of 1940 STL: 4,227,448
2017 KCMO at the density of 1940 Chicago: 5,193,144
1940 KCMO at the density of 2017 NYC: 1,582,200

Of course, white flight was a nationwide phenomenon, and there was not much KC could have done to change that. Still, fun to think about, especially looking to the future.

Unfortunately, the Census map I used didn't have area listed. I'd really like to see what the population of downtown was if it matched the density of Denver's or Portland's downtowns.

Edited and Condensed from earlier. I didn't plan to work it all out initially.
Last edited by tower on Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:39 am, edited 2 times in total.

aknowledgeableperson
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Re: A quick population hypothetical for data fiends

Postby aknowledgeableperson » Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:30 am

Yes, the density of KCMO was never close to that of other big cities. Don't forget most big cities were developed before the Civil War. Most of the development of KCMO came after that war. And one thing that went hand-in-hand with that development was the start of mass transit. That way KCMO grew in area and in population that spread out because of the street car lines. From A Splendid Ride, The Streetcars of Kansas City.
"In 1926 the Kansas City Public Service Company inherited more than 315 miles of track spread out over a service area of 98 square miles and serving a metropolitan population of 450,000. By comparison, the transit company of Cleveland served more than twice as many people with only 283 miles of track spread out over only 69 square miles.
For every mile of streetcar there were 1,430 people in the service area of Kansas City Public Service. Cleveland had 2,430 people per track mile. Chicago had 2,640 at the time, and Philadelphia 3,500.
Kansas City's newest suburbs promised spacious lawns and sizeable homes, which invariably translated into even lower population density. The city continued to spread out."

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Re: A quick population hypothetical for data fiends

Postby DaveKCMO » Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:02 am

tower wrote:Of course, white flight was a nationwide phenomenon, and there was not much KC could have done to change that. Still, fun to think about, especially looking to the future.


very true, but KCMO made local policy decisions to hasten sprawl/decline:

- institution of parking minimums
- allowing transit service levels to decline too far before making it publicly-funded
- 1940 streets plan (or whatever it was called)

all of those would expedite the destruction of useful buildings (tax base) for wider roads or parking. people would have had higher frequency transit as an alternative. the level of service -- even at the end of streetcar service in the 50s -- was so much higher than we have today. as a result, so was ridership.

earthling
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Re: A quick population hypothetical for data fiends

Postby earthling » Sun Dec 17, 2017 4:20 pm

On a related tangent, Jackson County as a whole had it's first positive net gain of domestic migration last year (2016) since being tracked. See bottom of page...

https://www.recenter.tamu.edu/data/popu ... son_County

earthling
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Re: A quick population hypothetical for data fiends

Postby earthling » Sun Dec 17, 2017 4:57 pm

And ACS just released 5 year detail data to 2016. Some interesting KCMO stats compared to 2011...
https://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/tabl ... 0US2938000


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