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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Tale of Two Villages: Columbia approaching 50

     The Columbia Association has released a report developed from 2010 Census data that provides some interesting information on Columbia as a whole and most interestingly how varied our villages have become.  While the Census tracts don't exactly match Columbia's population, CA used this method to pull its numbers:

"For this report, Columbia is defined as those properties subject to the Columbia Association 
annual change including the village and non-village areas of Columbia. It is this definition that 
guides the analysis used to describe Columbia and its villages in this report. This is distinct from 
the Census Bureau’s Columbia Census Designated Place (CDP)."

    I thought is might be interesting to look at the data from our oldest village, Wilde Lake, in comparison with our newest village River Hill.  How did Jim Rouse's vision for Columbia being diverse racially and economically evolve with the development of each village?  Did Columbia lose some of its diversity and look more like a  typical suburban development as the newer villages developed?   Looking at the Census data the villages that most closely followed the original model were Wilde Lake, Harpers Choice, Oakland Mills, Long Reach and Owen Brown.  The village housing mix changed with the development of newer villages like Kings Contrivance, Dorsey Search, Hickory Ridge and River Hill. Housing choices that included affordable starter homes that had been built by many of Columbia's original builders, such as Ryland and Ryan, and subsidized apartments diminished.  From the report here are some of the highlights:

Age Distribution:
    Not surprising Wilde Lake being Columbia's oldest village being develop in the late 1960's and 1970's  looks different than River Hill.
River Hill
   "The most remarkable item of note in the age distribution of the River Hill population is the very high concentration of school-age children. Those in the K-12 cohort, children aged 5 through 17, constitute over 30 percent of the village. All children under 18 yearsof age represent 35.3 percent of the population. 

Age breakdown for River Hill:
Under 5    4.8%
5-17         31.3%
18-24       6%
25-34       3.7%
35-44       17.2%
45-54       24.7%
55-64       8.3%
65+          4%

Wilde Lake
"The Village of Wilde Lake has an older population, with nearly one-third (32.3 percent) of its
residents over the age of 55. The senior population, those over 65 years of age, was reported as 19.5 percent of the total population."
Age breakdown for Wilde Lake

Under 5     5.8%
5 to 17      15.0%
18 to 24    7.2%
25 to 34    12.9%
35 to 44    13.1%
45 to 54    13.6%
55 to 64    12.8%
65+           19.5%

Income Distribution
River Hill
 From the report:
".....the majority of (River Hill) households had incomes above $150,000. Indeed, the mean 
household income figure of $182,386 is the highest among Columbia’s ten villages and 61.5 

"..... the majority of (River Hill) households had incomes above $150,000. Indeed, the mean
household income figure of $182,386 is the highest among Columbia’s ten villages and 61.5
percent higher than the mean income for Columbia’s households ($112,840)"
The income percentages in River Hill breakdown this way:
0-$25,000         3%
25-$50,000       7%
50-$75.000       6%
75-$100,000     7%
100-$150,00     19%
$150,00+          57%

Wilde Lake
With more diversity of housing choices Wilde Lake has a very different income distribution. Mean income in Wilde Lake is $94,718 or about half of River Hill.
0-$25,000        12%
25-$50,000      20%
50-$75,000      15%
75-$100,000    12%
100-$150,000   23%
$150,000+        17%

Ethnic Breakdown
River Hill
   As the ethic breakdown shows, almost 90% of River Hills population is either White (non Hispanic) or Asian.  Compared to the rest of Columbia River Hill has far lower levels of African Americans and almost no Hispanic population:
  White 64.4%
  Black or African American 6.0%
  American Indian & Alaska Native  0.1%
  Asian 26.5%
  Native Hawaiian & Other Pacific Islander 1 0.0%
  Some Other Race 28 0.4%
  Population of Two or More Races 172 2.5%

Wilde Lake
    The racial breakdown is significantly different from River Hill in the White, African American and Hispanic population as shown below:
  White  52.7%
  Black or African American  34.4%
  American Indian & Alaska Native 0.3%
  Asian  5.4%
  Native Hawaiian & Other Pacific Islander  0.1%
  Some Other Race  2.6%
  Population of Two or More Races  4.6%
  Hispanic or Latino  7.3%

   As Columbia approaches its 50th anniversary in 5 years it is unclear what these differences in village demographics will mean.  Rouse's vision for Columbia could play out differently in the second 50 years than our first 50 years.

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