Meso-analysis for the nabobs still out there
I was just looking at some Census estimates of the population by age for each year between 2000-2010. Specifically these county level estimates. Estimates can be fraught with peril we know, but these are the county estimates which are a lot better than the municipal estimates. Still the age breakdown is essentially an estimate of an estimate, so take with a grain of sale.
Still, the recent news is all about how the region's population is turning around. Is it a new story? The overall population has only recently started to go up if you just check the top line number.. but remember that through most all of that decade the elderly population was going down just by force of sheer demographic fate. So if population even remained flat, there would have to have been growth in the younger population to make up for that loss.
So when did the middle mass of the population (say ages 25-64) start going up for the Pittsburgh MSA? What I add up from the census estimates looks like the graph below. Granted I have exaggerated the scale to highlight the point, but the drop in population pretty much stabilized by 2006. So there is no new story here. The point where sheer demographics was turning arount is now at least 6 years in the past. The actual misused 'inflection point' people talk of? Even further back in history. It is all one of those things you miss if you only look at data in decade-wide increments (I just could not convince them the story was not all bad). A decade is a long time and what seemed pretty bad if you read the 2010 Census a bit superficially. I think it was actually giving evidence of a serious change in trend. If the graph below is roughly accurate, we have more than made up for recent losses in this population and the region is moving upward at what is for Pittsburgh a rapid rate. Still unproven?