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August 23, 2011 > What do the figures say?

What do the figures say?

Second-most diverse city has room for improvement

By Simon Wong

City of Hayward staff began working with the Census Bureau in Fall 2008 to try to ensure as accurate a Census 2010 count as possible. The city was a member of the Alameda County Complete Count Committee and distributed information at community events and public workshops. The Census Bureau also wanted to minimize the follow-up costs associated with nonresponsive households which census staff contacted by phone and in person up to five times; in the event that the property's occupants remained incommunicado, census staff would speak with neighbors and property managers to glean an appropriate head count.

Hayward's mail-in response rate is unchanged at 72 percent for both Census 2010 and the previous decennial census; this is attributable to a large immigrant population and availability of fewer city resources than in 2000. Moreover, a low response rate is not necessarily indicative of an under-count; the mail-in questionnaire represents the Census Bureau's first attempt to contact households. Most cities saw improved response rates compared to a decade ago though Fremont was unchanged at 77 percent. Union City saw a small decline to 76 percent and San Leandro, an increase to 78 percent. The nation, state and Alameda County saw increases to 74 percent, 73 percent and 74 percent, respectively.

Census 2010 had 10 questions. Previously, there had been a Short and a Long Form; the latter, which had more than 100 questions, has been replaced by the annual American Community Survey (ACS) which commenced in 2005 and is sent to approximately two million (15 percent) California households.

Hayward's population grew by only 3 percent over the past decade to 144,186. This is one of the slowest growth rates since 1940 but the city remains the sixth largest in the Bay Area after San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, Fremont and Santa Rosa. It is the third largest in Alameda County and the East Bay after Oakland and Fremont. According to USA Today's Diversity Index, Hayward is the second-most diverse city in California.

The city's racial make-up has changed significantly since 1980. Today, 19 percent of the population is white (cf. 65 percent), 41 percent Hispanic/Latino (cf. 20 percent), 22 percent Asian and Pacific Islander and 11 percent, Black or African American. The largest ancestral group in Hayward's Hispanic population of 58,730 is Mexican (74.2 percent), 47.6 percent of the 31,666 Asian population is Filipino, and 14.8 percent of the 4,535 Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander population is Samoan. More than 70 percent of the city's population consider themselves of Mexican, White, Black or African American or Filipino descent.

English is spoken at home in only 47 percent of households, Spanish in 30 percent, Indo-European languages in 6 percent, Asian and Pacific Island languages in 17 percent and other languages in 1 percent.

Hayward has a relatively young population. Approximately 27 percent are aged between 35 and 54.Another 27 percent are younger than 19, though the 5-19 age group has contracted by 4.5 percent during the past decade. More than 20 percent are older than 55 with the 55-74 age group (baby boomers) growing by 32 percent.

The city has 45,365 households of which 72 percent are family households, 21 percent, single-person households, and seven percent, non-family/unrelated-occupant households.

There are 15,605 family households with children younger than 18. Married couples account for 68 percent, single female parents, 23 percent, and single males, 9 percent. Since 2000, the number of single-parent households has increased by four percent to 32 percent.

Similarly, ACS data over the same period shows the average number of people with "some high school" education has decreased and the number of high school and college graduates has increased.

Since 1990, Hayward's median household income has remained lower than in many neighboring cities and has seen slower annual growth. The City of Fremont has a median household income of approximately $95,000, Hayward and San Leandro, just over $60,000, and Union City, approximately $85,000.

Approximately 1,660 single-family homes and 1,100 new multi-family units have been added to the city's housing stock since 2000. There are now, 24,441 single-family detached residential properties, 3,724 single-family attached properties, 18,298 multi-unit properties and 2,304 mobile homes.

Home-ownership has increased over time but more slowly than in Union City, Fremont and San Leandro. According to ACS averages for the period 2005-2009, the median home price in Hayward is $483,300 compared to $650,100 in Fremont $529,500 in San Leandro and $593,500 in Union City. The Bay East Association of Realtors' most recent figures show the median price for a detached Hayward home is $273,000 and $157.000 for a condominium.

There is a difference of approximately 9,000 between the Census Bureau count and the California Department of Finance's (DOF) population estimate of 144,186 and 153,104, respectively. This is due, in part, to timing differences and the basis of calculation. The Census figures are as of April 1, 2011. Each May, the state Department of Finance issues a population estimate based on data as of January for the same year.

The DOF and Census Bureau used a vacancy rate of 2.1 percent and 6.1 percent, respectively. Both agencies' vacancy rates include both single-family and
multi-family homes. City staff regards the Census Bureau's figures as more accurate because the decennial census amounts to a field study - the state of the property market in 2010, vacancy rates in other cities in Alameda County and actual visits to homes that did not return questionnaires.

Although Hayward gained a total of 2,807 new units, only 560 are occupied. The rental vacancy rate increased by 174 percent; the vacancy rate of for-sale units rose by 304 percent, most likely due to foreclosures.

The Census Bureau's Count Question Resolution (CQR) program is the procedure by which Census data can be challenged. City of Hayward staff is unaware of any other city in Alameda County preparing to file a challenge but the deadline for doing so is June 1, 2013.

The program will accept challenges based on data inaccuracy, geo-coding (placement of individual units), coverage (the omission or duplication of individual units). However, challenges based on vacancy rate are not accepted. Council has almost two years to see if another city might launch a challenge and monitor its progress.

Overall, there will be minimal fiscal impact but funding of some individual programs is based on formulae that take into account population, such as Community Development Block Grants, HOME Loan Program and Measure B (Alameda County half-cent transportation sales tax) funds. According to these formulae, the difference between the figures from the Census Bureau and DOF equates to a funding difference of approximately $200,000.

"Those who have walked precincts, or patrol the city, know that many cities' populations are bigger than the Census count. The magic figure is 150,000; federal funding increases substantially at this point. I'd view the difference between the Census Bureau and DOF figures seriously," stated Councilman Olden Henson.

"At the moment, there is no basis for a challenge; staff shares your concern that we're undercounted and how important this is, now and in the future, regarding federal funding. I'd suggest that if an opportunity and a basis for a challenge arises in the next two years, then staff will bring back the matter before Council with the associated costs," said City Manager Fran David.

"The diversity numbers are impressive. Hayward is not very competitive compared to surrounding cities; our schools are most telling. Education affects income and homeownership. All three areas need improvement," concluded Mayor Michael Sweeney.

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