Friday, June 29, 2007

Davenport is growing

Here's yesterday's QCTimes article about the 2006 Census Estimates.

I did a few minutes of web searching, and managed to find Census data, or estimates for the following years:

2000 --98,359
2001 --97,956
2002 --97,735
2003 --97,512
2004 --98,351
2005 --98,964
2006 --99,514

Thanks to David for providing a link to the rest of the data I was missing earlier, and I have revised my graph accordingly.


When the 2005 estimate came out, a big deal was made that in 5 years we only gained 605 new residents. Even this QCTimes article from April mentions how we were one of the slowest growing metros from 2000-2005. What these statements don't really take into account is that we hit the bottom of the curve during this 5 year period. While its not impressive that Davenport grew from 98,359 residents to 98,964 in 5 years, its a lot more impressive that we grew from 97,512 to 99,514 in 3 years. Its also often true that census estimates are lower than what ends up being the case when the actual census comes out.

Reading blog comments, QCTimes comments, most letters to the editor, and folks speaking to the city council, you constantly hear "I'm moving away because of the (skybridge, stormwater fee, push pin, Craig Malin, parking meters, skatepark graffiti, baseball team name, or dozens of other inane reasons)" but its clear that this isn't what's really happening. Whether these negative nuts are really moving away because of the ominous threat of riverfront push pins or not, Davenport is growing. At this rate we'll soon be back over 100,000 for the first time in years.

18 Comments:

At 6/29/2007 8:43 AM, Blogger Snarky Chick said...

When people start foaming at the mouth and say they will leave over the skybridge or a $3/mo fee I find it funny. THEY NEVER LEAVE! Go rain on some other cities parade for awhile.

I will be curious to see what the actual census tells us in a few years. I never really trust the mid-census figures.

 
At 6/29/2007 8:57 AM, Anonymous Robbie said...

Here's the thing... Why is it good to be bigger? The QC is already big enough to attrach cultural and sporting events for people. It is already big enough to support a variety of industry/commercial/tech jobs. It already is big enough for several great institutions of higher learning.

I don't see the obsession with numbers. I soon hope to be moving to D-Port myself, but I don't see why people would be so obsessed with population counts. Its different when you are a small community adn that means lost tax dollars, lost school enrollments, etc... But Davenport and the QC area is a nice metro area.

 
At 6/29/2007 9:35 AM, Anonymous david said...

The official US Census estimates are available at http://www.census.gov/popest/cities/SUB-EST2006-4.html

But here's Davenport for the years you're missing:
2001: 97,956
2002: 97,735
2004: 98,351

 
At 6/29/2007 9:35 AM, Anonymous david said...

And that should be

http://www.census.gov/popest/cities/SUB-EST2006-4.html

don't know why it chopped the 'ml' off the end.

 
At 6/29/2007 9:37 AM, Blogger Snarky Chick said...

Here is a clickable link David. Thanks!

 
At 6/29/2007 10:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The total numbers sound good but what about how many that have college degrees or not retired and all the other factors that business and industry look at when they want to relocate. Not sure if I like the trend to make the qca the call center of the U.S.

 
At 6/29/2007 10:37 AM, Anonymous Kyle said...

Hey QCI, I was hoping you'd post something regarding the recent US Census Data. It has always bothered me, particularly on the Illinois side that some both in and out of the community claim that we are so backwards and companies are leaving, new technologies and old industries are unwilling to invest in the Quad Cities. So, I took the liberty of looking at information from the government website itself to see what the REAL numbers aside from population which everyone seems to be solely obsessed with. So, just in case your curious, according to the website, if Davenport and Bettendorf were treated as one city they would be 2nd and 3rd in every economic category that matters to the government including; manufcaturing, retail trade, information, real estate, professional scientific and technical services, education services, health care services and arts, culture, and recreation. Just in case your wondering, Illinois City and by that I mean Rock Island, Moline, and East Moline are ranked, 3rd, 4th, and 5th consistently amongst those same categories, and at times ahead of Rockford, Aurora, Naperville, and Joliet, and save once or twice never behind Peoria or Springfield. Since the Quad Cities is in many instances one city interconnected in so many ways we would be 1st and 2nd in every category in both the states of iowa and Illinois every single time. Check it out.... http://factfinder.census.gov/home/saff/main.html?_lang=en

 
At 6/29/2007 10:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Davenport had more than 100,000 people at some point...late 70's?, and both Moline and Rock Island had 10,000 people more than they do now. We're not growing, we're trying to catch up to where we were 25 years ago. The interesting thing about Davenport is if you look at its geographical size, it's 30-40% larger than it was when it had 100,000 people.

 
At 6/29/2007 2:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think huge, rapid growth is necessary, but some is a sign of economic strength.

Also, I believe 100,000 is a pretty important benchmark number in terms of becoming eligible for quite a few federal and state programs and funding opportunities.

 
At 6/29/2007 3:03 PM, Anonymous Kyle said...

Population isnt everything, but remember that even if Davenport is larger in terms of land size, families aren't as big as they once were. So we have more individuals and unfortunately, children out of wedlock and what have you. So its complicated and we no longer have as many "traditional families". The point of my last post was to convey to others something Ive said for a long time; that we have two relatively smaller counties in terms of square miles. We have people from outside Rock Island and Scott counties who work in the Quad Cities themselves. We are the 3rd largest Metropolitan Statisical Area in Iowa and Illinois so are we that "backwards?" We're bigger than Rockford, Peoria, Cedar Rapids, Siuox City, etc so even though we may have shrunk, alot of communities are because a younger generation is increasingly living in large cities themselves. Rural towns and counties in the Midwest have consistently been shrinking. In terms of economic power the Quad Cities is king over almost everyone in the two states we occupy, so if everyone wants to complain about population and say we're dying because we're not a city of...such and such a size I dont know if thats the real indicator. Itd be nice for tax purposes and other funding investments that would allow better more modern schools, roads, utility systems, etc (itd also be nice if the Illinois side stopped fighting with themselves and merged), but nonetheless the Quad Cities economic superority to many midwest cities and communities cannot be denied. When the agriculture makeup of the Midwest and indeed the world changed by the mid 1980s and the loss of Farmall, Caterpillar, as well as Rock Island Line impacted this community greatly, I wonder if we could've gotten through it as Pittsburgh did if we had more federal and state funding due to our population, as well as private investment. Think of how much money we've lost over the years even on the Iowa side because of the desire to "maintain" our precious identity. OK fine, keep your identity and lose billions in federal funding, then complain about roads, schools, etc. Maybe if our counties were larger we wouldve been more apt back 100 years ago to not have 5 different burroughs that fight amongst themselves, but rather work as a cohesive unit, but (sigh) perhaps someday.

 
At 6/29/2007 3:40 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

Its important to grow at least as fast as the country as a whole, because otherwise we're essentially falling behind. Also, like someone said, we're still playing catch up to where we were decades ago.

Also, to throw my usual refrain in here, I'm curious how many of the 1000+ new residents in the last couple years have moved into the 200 or so units of downtown housing that have been added. I see a lot of out-of-state plates in our parking lot.

 
At 6/29/2007 8:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see a lot of Illinois plates in my solo neighborhood parked in front of garbage/rat trap rentals. I wonder how many of THESE wonderful citizens are counted in our reaching that magical 100,000 mark.

 
At 6/30/2007 8:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My family is moving to the Chicagoland area, not really by choice, just a job move. In looking into what we're getting into, I've come to a conclusion I already knew: Davenport has a LOT to offer for a little bit of money. We're going to be hard-pressed to replace a lot of what we're used to, and we're going to get robbed blind doing it.

We live close to the river and use the bike path quite a bit; we like to go to the library and eat supper at Quizno's; we like to listen to free music on the levee on Sunday nights; we LOVE the skatepark; we love the skybridge; we love the museums and IMAX; we love the QC Sports Center; we love John O'Donnell stadium; we have lots of swimming pools to choose from; close, good campgrounds; my daughter's in a fantastic gymnastics club; my other daughter's in a fantastic Music for Young Children class (which, by the way, is nowhere in Chicagoland yet)......I could go on and on. We'll find a lot of those things over there, but for a price... and if we want to park far and fight crowds. For the cost of living, Davenport offers a TON.

BUT...when searching for where to plant ourselves, I FIRST looked at crime rates and schools. And if I looked at Davenport in those two categories, I would never choose to live here. If we want people to choose to live here, we need to figure out how to look better on paper. Period.

 
At 6/30/2007 8:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you ask the police department I wonder if they could also "magically" make these numbers go down as well... hehe

 
At 6/30/2007 11:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey QCI. THere is some amazing music in the QC this weekend. Last night at Blues Fest was one of the top 5 most fun things I have ever done in at home. Dancing on stage with Robert Randolph and the Family Band. After hours watching them play til 4am was incredible...
AND Everclear and is it Staind? are in the District for the Dodge Ball Tourney. Lots to do .. Lots to do..

 
At 7/01/2007 8:55 AM, Blogger pioneer98 said...

I was going to reply to 8:31AM's comments about crime, saying that I've always felt many of Davenport's "suburbs" are within its own city limits, and comparing Davenport to Chicago is not really an apples-to-apples comparison. They are completely different animals.

But then I realized I didn't want to turn yet another thread into a discussion on crime.

 
At 7/01/2007 5:57 PM, Blogger Matt said...

good luck in chicagoland. my wife and i recently did the inverse of what you're planning - came back to davenport after 5 years in chicago proper and 2 Evanston. The police are truly something else... verrrry bad news. and during the time we lived in a nice part of Evanston (popular to contrary belief, it's pretty sketchy in a lot of parts there), our house was shot by what the police said was "semi-automatic fire." our upstairs neighbor's car was stolen from our driveway. my wife's windows were shot out. in chicago (llogan square neighborhood) i was hit-and-run while walking across a streetwalk, with the walk sign on a green. people cussed me out and told me to get the ^$% up and out of the way as I lay there in the street. the van sped off, and even though i memorized the license plates and color/make of the van, and the police had the man's info, they refused to follow up on it because of what the case's officer told me - "we'd get sued if we looked into this guy." i ABHOR chicagoland, and will never, ever go back.

 
At 7/05/2007 9:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For what it's worth.....I wasn't trying to compare D'Port and Chicago. We're sad to be leaving. And nervous. Thanks for the encouragement! I was just trying to point out that when people do come to this area, if they look at numbers on paper, they'll choose PV or Bettendorf or Eldridge. Which is too bad.....we have a lot more to offer.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home