Thursday, May 30, 2013

Daytime County Populations: Adjusting for Commuting Workers

There are several surveys conducted by the Census Bureau that ask questions regarding commuting and place of work, such as the American Community Survey (ACS), Decennial Census (2000 and prior), American Housing Survey (AHS), and the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). Some of these questions include: mean travel time, means of transportation, time of departure, vehicles available, distance traveled, and expenses associated with the commute.

The ability to link information about commuting to socio-demographic characteristics and geography allows planners to forecast local peak travel demand, gauge the amount of pressure placed on transportation infrastructure, and address unmet transportation needs more accurately. Federal, state, and local planners and policymakers use the ACS and other Census Bureau surveys to guide decisions about how to allocate limited public resources devoted to transportation.

Daytime population refers to the number of people who are present in an area during normal business hours, including workers. This is in contrast to the “resident” population present during the evening and nighttime hours. Daytime population estimates are calculated using resident and workplace population estimates.
Information on the expansion and contraction experienced by different communities between nighttime and daytime populations is important for many planning purposes, including those dealing with transportation, land use, disaster, and relief planning and operations.

Here is a table compiled from the just released Commuter Adjusted Daytime Population Estimates. These are based on the 2010 ACS Five Year Estimates and are available for the entire country. Notice the far right column which basically indicated whether a county is a "giver" of workers, or a "taker". A value of less than 1.00 represents a community that supplies workers to other communities. A value of greater than 1.00 means a community provides more jobs than they have resident workforce.

Click to Enlarge