Map of the Month

Missouri’s Registered Voters — Where Are They?

For the upcoming November 8 Election Day, this month we present a view of registered voters in Missouri.

Missouri registered voters in 2013

Looking at the map (left) of registered voters in 2013 as a percentage of total county population ages 18 and older, we see some interesting patterns. The areas around Kansas City and St. Louis represent two large blocks of registered voters, but that shouldn’t surprise anyone, because those places represent the two largest concentrations of people in the state. (The map on the right shows where Missourians aged 18 and older live.)

What about the rest of the state, though? Dade County stands out with a fairly high percentage of registered voters, but neither Boone nor Cole counties are in the top tier of voter registration. Then there are counties with lower total populations but higher registration rates: Carter, Chariton, Clark, Gentry, Reynolds, Shelby, Ste. Genevieve, and Worth are all in the highest tier of voter registration, despite not being highly populated.

What’s the point? In addition to the usual message of “every vote counts,” these two maps show that large populations do not necessarily translate to large voter populations. This will make for some interesting viewing once the returns start coming in on Election Day. Keep in mind, too, that this map of voter registration rates can be compared to a map of voter turnout to see whether these patterns remain the same. That’s a comparison for another month.

Map of the Month

What Does Half of Missouri Look Like?

According to the U.S. Census, Missouri had a population of 5,988,927 people in 2010. Where do they all live, though? What is the fewest number of counties required to represent half of the population? Or the fewest number of census blocks? Or, with 2016 being an election year, the fewest number of voter tabulation districts?

What does half of Missouri look like?In each case, it turns out that you don’t need that many. If you were collecting counties, you would need only seven — Clay, Greene, Jackson, Jefferson, St. Charles, St. Louis, and St. Louis City. That’s just 6% of Missouri’s total of 115 counties.

Voter tabulation districts tell a similar story. To get to half of Missouri’s population, you would need only 941 of the 4,813 districts in the state, or roughly 19%.

Most starkly of all, out of Missouri’s 343,565 census blocks, you would need only 5.3%, or 18,455, to represent half the state’s population.

Map of the Month

Selected Characteristics of Veterans in U.S. States

To mark Veteran’s Day this year, the U.S. Census Bureau published infographics detailing a variety of state-level statistically derived characteristics of the men and women who served in the U.S. Armed Forces.  The infographics covered a wide range of topics, including educational attainment, economic circumstances, health care accessibility, age, voting tendencies, and labor force statistics.

Selected characteristics of U.S. veterans, 2009-2013

Missouri appeared in the middle range in the majority of the featured national statistics when compared to the other states. Specifically, Missouri had 479,828 veterans, with over 35% of those serving in the Vietnam Era. Nearly 50,000 of these veterans owned their own business, and 5.7% were unemployed. The median household income for veterans in Missouri was $54,311.

Although only four maps are presented here, the complete set of U.S. Census infographics and the data used to create them are available at U.S. Census Veteran’s Day report.

Map of the Month

Renter-Occupied Housing Rates in Missouri Greater than National Rates

August and September mark the period when university students begin their Fall semester classes. These same months also mark the period when college towns across the country see an annual influx of temporary residents. In some cases, the return of college students represents only a minor change in a town’s population. In other cases, however, the result is more dramatic, causing long-time residents and homeowners to feel outnumbered by the sudden increase in short-term occupants. Is that necessarily the case, though?

Renter-occupied housing units in Missouri, 2010

In May 2015, the US Census published a report derived from the 2013 American Housing Survey. The report examined the relationship between owner-occupied housing units and renter-occupied housing units. At the national level, owner-occupied housing units dramatically outnumbered renter-occupied housing (57.0%, compared to just 30.3%). When comparing these national numbers to Missouri’s 2010 Census figures, though, a distinctly different picture forms. All totaled, 28 of Missouri’s 115 counties beat the national percentage for renter-owned housing units. For example, according to the 2010 Census, Boone County — home to the University of Missouri — shows a much more even split between owner-occupied and renter-occupied housing units (56.1% and 43.9%, respectively). Based on the same data, St. Louis City flips the national average completely, with 45.3% of its housing units recorded as owner-occupied, compared to 54.6% recorded as renter-occupied.

Map of the Month

Millennials and Baby Boomers in Missouri

In late June 2015, an news release from the U.S. Census Bureau indicated that, among other distinctions, Millennials — typically identified as persons born between 1982 and 2000 — officially outnumbered Baby Boomers — individuals born between 1946 and 1964. According to the Bureau, not only are Millennials now more numerous than Baby Boomers in the United States, they actually represent more than one quarter of the nation’s population.

Missouri’s Baby Boomers and Millenials in 2013

On a county-by-county basis, Missouri does not follow the national trend. Of Missouri’s 115 counties, only 37 have higher percentages of Millennials than Baby Boomers. Two counties, Webster and St Louis, actually report equal populations of Baby Boomers and Millennials. As can be reasonably expected, most of these younger populations are found in areas of Missouri that include, or are near, metropolitan areas. Kansas City, St Louis City, Springfield, Boone County (and all of its neighboring counties) all possess noticeably more youthful populations than the rest of the state. Although most Missouri counties are estimated to have more Baby Boomers than Millennials, an interesting discovery in the county-level age data is that the difference between the two populations is often very small. Of the 74 counties that have more Baby Boomers than Millennials, only eight counties display a difference between the two populations of 10% or greater.