Over the next year, the U.S. Census Bureau will release information on the characteristics of California's population. Information on Palo Alto will also be contained within the monthly releases.
While most people know of the economic boom and decline of the past few years, the Census will give Palo Altans a view of who they are. From the information contained in the Census, residents will learn about households, incomes, habits and the ethnic makeup of Palo Alto.
The current available information was gleaned from the short-form mailed out to five of every six households. The survey asked seven basic questions on age, race, household and housing situation.
One out of every six households, about 20 million homes, received the long-form. This survey asked 52 questions including those on the short-form survey. The long-form sought more detailed and personal information, including economic and social characteristics of the family, and physical conditions of housing. Information gathered from the long-form for California is not expected to be available until next summer.
Census 2000 didn't ask questions on religious or political preference or affiliation, sexual orientation, crime victimization, health status, union membership or whether children are home schooled.
Census data will also be used to realign congressional districts.
In 2002, the Census Bureau will release results of the American Community Survey, which was compiled from a sample of 750,000 households and will show social and economic data of households in almost every county in the country.
In the meantime, Palo Altans can learn the city's population increased by 2,700 in the last decade, from 55,900 to 58,598. Women still out number men by more than 1,000, and the largest age group (17.9 percent) is made up of those 35- to 44-years old.
There are 14,420 owner occupied units and 10,796 renter occupied units in Palo Alto. The rental vacancy rate is 2 percent. The homeowner vacancy rate is 0.6 percent. There were 832 vacant housing units at the time the Census was conducted. The average household size for owner-occupied units is 2.55; the average household size for renter-occupied units is 1.96.
Of the 25,216 households in Palo Alto, 14,593 are occupied by families and 8,209 are occupied by single persons.
There are 44,391 Caucasians, accounting for 75.8 percent of the population in Palo Alto; 1,184 African Americans, accounting for 2 percent of the population; 2,722 Hispanics, accounting for 4.6 percent of the population; and 10,090 Asians, accounting for 17.2 percent of the population.
The African-American population dropped by almost 500 in 10 years, while the Hispanic population increased by almost 200. However, the Asian population showed the most significant gains, increasing from 6,611 to 10,090, a gain of almost 66 percent, in 10 years.
In contrast the Caucasian population in Palo Alto dropped by about 6 percent.
-- Geoff S. Fein
-- Geoff S. Fein