Census will provide up-to-date snapshot
of Palo Alto
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
-- Geoff S. Fein