Blogging Bayport Alameda

January 16, 2020

Data trends

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

I finally listened to the Planning Board meeting, I have thought which I’ll get to later.  It was, as I suspected, difficult to listen to but did make me slightly nostalgic to the days when A/26 fans would religiously attend City Council meetings and rail against any and all development.

One of the things that came up during the Planning Board members’ comments was something I referenced yesterday: that the demographics of California and the US as a whole has changed, so saying that A/26 doesn’t have a racial impact because Alameda has become more diverse is probably an analysis that needs more examination.

So, I tracked the data asked for that night, what the trends were for the region and the state as compared to Alameda.   I used numbers from Oakland (our closest neighbor), Alameda County, the San Francisco Bay Area, and California as a whole.

As you can see Alameda’s white population dips were mirrored in Alameda County, the Bay Area and California.  In fact, until the 2000 Census, Alameda’s white population was higher than the region and California as a whole.  Even more telling is that Alameda County’s percentage for the white population is considerably lower than Alameda itself, revealing that within the county Alameda’s numbers are not in line with the racial diversity reflected in Alameda County.


For Alameda’s Black population, you can see slight improvements with the percentage trending upward ever so slightly, but well below the percentages for Alameda County as a whole.


It is in the Asian population where Alameda made the most gains trending way above the region and California as a whole.  But having a bunch of new Asian people in your town doesn’t mean your diversity card has been punched.


This is the group where Alameda is definitely unrepresented given the other trend lines.   California as a whole has seen a large increase in the Latino/Hispanic community but it’s not reflected in the Bay Area or Alameda County.  But Alameda is even well below those two clocking in a percentage in the mid teens where California’s Latino/Hispanic populations is in the mid 30s.


So, as I mentioned yesterday, Alameda has become less white because California has become less white.

Also, I saw someone mention income data in some written comments and I’m not precisely sure where that data was pulled from.  According to the Census Bureau here are the numbers for Alameda, Alameda County, and California.  Generally when comparing data you want to take it from the same source and not pick and choose which one works best for your narrative:


Contrary to what Alameda Citizens Taskforce would have you believe, Alameda city’s median household income is a tick higher than that of the County of Alameda.  But how a comparison of the two would prove that Alameda is economically diverse is an explanation that ACT doesn’t bother to provide.

So, in general, A/26 proponents are probably going to want to find another way to support their argument that A/26 didn’t have any negative racial and economic effects in Alameda.


  1. Their income numbers came from this source:

    Alameda County –

    Alameda City –

    It puzzled me too that Alameda’s could be lower than the rest of the county, but then again the county is home to some pretty rich enclaves – piedmont, various parts of Berkeley, the techies near Silicon Valley in Piedmont. Who knows, really. I do know that the median income of recent buyers in Alameda is somewhere around $200,000-$250,000.

    Comment by JRB — January 16, 2020 @ 7:19 am

    • But the number referenced in the letter came from the HUD income limits rather than the same source that the Alameda city numbers came from. That’s why it was super odd.

      Comment by Lauren Do — January 16, 2020 @ 7:32 am

    • Household income numbers can have a lot of noise. The ACS number, for example, is self reported from a survey of 1000 households, and self reported data is notoriously flaky. Income can be stated in nominal dollars or in constant dollars, and if in constant, they baseline year is critical to note.

      Social security data is considered by some to be more reliable but it leaves out portfolio income and retirement income such as IRA distributions, which themselves are quite lumpy. It also leaves out the cash economy, which in these parts is fairly large.

      If you torture the statistics long enough, they will confess to anything…

      Comment by dave — January 16, 2020 @ 7:37 am

    • I do know that the median income of recent buyers in Alameda is somewhere around $200,000-$250,000.


      While that sure sounds like a reasonable guesstimate, I’m curious how you “know” this.

      Comment by dave — January 16, 2020 @ 7:54 am

    • the techies near Silicon Valley in Piedmont


      The word “near” is doing a TON of work here.

      Comment by dave — January 16, 2020 @ 7:56 am

      • Meant to say Fremont, not Piedmont.

        Comment by JRB — January 16, 2020 @ 8:36 am

  2. Rat Boxes!

    Comment by Rod — January 16, 2020 @ 9:06 am

  3. Here’s another source showing our diversity. This is from the AUSD website.

    AUSD serves the needs of some 9600 students from pre-school through high school. Those students reflect the diversity of our community and the San Francisco Bay Area region, with 36% being Asian, 29% white, 16% Hispanic, 8% Black/African American, and 9% of two or more races. About 27% of our students are low income and 17% are English learners.

    That enrollment is tremendously different from the 1970s.

    Comment by Nowyouknow — January 16, 2020 @ 12:55 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Say what you want

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at