We all know Davis is a bit different. But some of the numbers may surprise you.
The U.S. Census Bureau has been issuing updates for well over a year now, slicing and dicing the data gathered in the 2010 census. And several researchers have added to the community portrait as they have taken the census data and interpreted it.
For the purposes of this article, The Enterprise drew on statistics for the “census county division” for Davis, as compared to the statistics for the incorporated city of Davis. The Davis CCD includes some contiguous neighborhoods like El Macero that are technically outside city limits, as well as on-campus housing at UC Davis.
Our reason? We believe residents of these non-city neighborhoods nonetheless shop at the same stores, eat at the same restaurants, enjoy the same parks and otherwise participate in the overall life of the Davis community — even if their residences technically lie outside the city limits.
The 2010 census found 74,334 residents living in the Davis CCD. The statistic that jumps out right away is the lopsided age distribution, with a huge bulge in the 15- to 19-year-old and 20- to 24-year-old age categories. Call it the “university effect.”
There were 18,545 people (24.9 percent of the total population) in the 20-24 category, a bigger demographic slice than any three of the city’s other five-year age ranges combined. Add another 9,222 people (13.3 percent) in the 15-19 category and the teen-to-20-something demographic totals 38.2 percent of Davis’ population.
(Little wonder that a clothing retailer like Forever 21, which caters primarily to younger adults, seized the opportunity to open a store here, within walking distance of the UD campus.)
Contrast the youth demographic bulge with the kid statistics: 2,732 youngsters under age 5; 3,170 children ages 5-9; and 3,543 youths ages 10-14. These statistics underline the gradually declining birth rate over the past decade and a half, which has affected not only Davis but also California as a whole.
The reason for the 15- to 24-year-old population spike, of course, is UCD, which hosts upwards of 30,000 students — many of whom live in the Davis CCD. And the statistical ramifications of that “university bulge” on the city’s other statistics should not be underestimated.
For instance, divorce. Among Davis males age 15 and over, only 4.4 percent are divorced. Among Davis females in the same age category, only 7.5 percent are divorced. This compares to a statewide divorce percentage of 7.9 percent for males and 11 percent for females.
But don’t rush to the conclusion that Davis marriages are somehow more harmonious. Because of the “university bulge,” 57.4 percent of Davis males over age 15 have never been married, and the same goes for 55.4 percent of females. This is a much higher percentage than the comparable statewide averages of 38.5 percent for men and 31.1 percent for women.
Researchers from the Williams Institute at UCLA, which complies statistics for same-sex couples, filtered the 2010 census data and concluded that Davis has 6.95 same-sex couples per 1,000 households. This puts us somewhere in the middle of the pack among California cities — 92nd among 253 cities ranked.
The cities with the highest percentage of same-sex couples were Palm Springs (107.28 per 1,000 couples), Guerneville (80.36), and West Hollywood (62.05). Sacramento had a ratio of 13 same-sex couples per 1,000 couples, almost double the ratio reported for Davis. By contrast, Lodi reported the lowest ratio (2.27).
The “university bulge” also plays out in the Census Bureau’s household statistics for Davis: Many of us who share homes are not related. The 2010 census found 13,043 family households (49.7 percent), including 6,577 family households with their children under age 18. By contrast, Davis has 13,211 non-family households (50.3 percent). This compares to a statewide average of 68.6 percent family households and 31.4 percent non-family households.
The census also found 29,954 Davis residents living in owner-occupied housing units (an average household size of 2.57 people), compared to 39,029 people living in renter-occupied housing units (an average household size of 2.53 people). The census found that about 65 percent of owner-occupied housing units in Davis were home to a husband-wife family. And 75 percent of owner-occupied housing units are being lived in by people age 45 and older.
Conversely, among renter-occupied housing units, 70.9 percent were lived in by non-family households. And some 69.9 percent of renter-occupied housing units were lived in by people between the ages of 15 and 34.
The census also found that out of the 11,651 owner-occupied housing units in Davis, 8,545 are owned with a mortgage or loan, while another 3,106 are owned free and clear (no mortgage).
Davis is dense
One of the surprising statistics in the census data is the density of the city’s population.
According to a March 2012 report of Census Urban Area Facts, Davis ranks as one of the 10 most densely populated urbanized areas in the country.
The Los Angeles/Long Beach/Anaheim metropolitan area was No. 1 on the list, with 6,999.3 people per square mile. The San Francisco/Oakland metropolitan area came second (6,266.4 people per square mile). Next came San Jose; Delano; the New York/Newark metropolitan area (including parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut) — and then Davis, at No. 6, with 5,156.6 people per square mile. Woodland came in at No. 9, with 4,550.8 people per square mile.
Two Yolo County municipalities in the top 10? What gives? To some degree, the statistics probably reflect Yolo County’s long-standing land-use policies, which have focused new residential development within existing city limits.
The density in Davis likely relates to the city’s college-age population, with many students sharing their bedroom with a roommate. On the other hand, cities like Delano, Woodland and Lompoc are in agricultural regions where multigenerational family households, housing units shared by more than one family and farm labor camps are part of the equation.
Davis residents are, on the whole, more likely to come from a white or Asian background, and less likely to come from a Latino or African American background, as compared to surrounding communities.
Census data indicates that 58 percent of Davis residents are “white alone” (i.e., not white and Hispanic/Latino), another 25.2 percent are Asian, 12.5 percent are Hispanic/Latino (of any race) and 3.3 percent are African-American.
Among Asian background residents (17,024 people), almost half identify as coming from Chinese ancestry (7,693 people), followed by Asian Indian (1,917); Korean (1,815); Vietnamese (1,422); Filipino (1,214); Japanese (1,033); and “other Asian” (1,930).
Among Latino background residents (9,300 people), a majority — 6,900 — trace their family background to Mexico, with smaller groups indicating heritage from other Latin American countries.
Some 5.5 percent of the Davis population (4,054 people) indicated two or more races in their background.
As you might expect, the city’s demographics reflect the enrollment at UCD to a substantial degree. For fall 2011, the undergraduate enrollment at UCD (25,096 students) was 40 percent Asian; 33 percent white; 16 percent Hispanic/Latino; 3 percent African-American; 3 percent non-U.S.; and 1 percent Native American.
For graduate enrollment (4,347 students), enrollment was 49 percent white; 20 percent non-U.S.; 13 percent Asian; 7 percent Hispanic/Latino; 2 percent African-American; and 1 percent Native American.
Some 18.2 percent of Davis residents told the census they ride a bike to work. Another 4.9 percent said they walk, and 4.7 percent said they work at home. An additional 7.8 percent said they car-pool to work. But the great majority, 64 percent, drive to work alone in a car.
By and large, Davis residents don’t seem to be long-distance commuters. Some 19.1 percent said they travel less than 10 minutes to work, another 23.5 percent said they travel 10-14 minutes, another 17.1 percent said they travel 15-19 minutes and 12.6 percent said they travel 20-24 minutes.
Davis is a university town, so it should come as no surprise that the city is home to a high percentage of residents who are academic achievers — though we are by no means record holders in this category, even within our state.
Some 95.7 percent of Davis residents age 25 and higher are high school graduates. And 68.8 percent of Davis residents age 25 and higher have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Some 38.4 percent have a graduate or professional degree of some kind.
(Statewide, 80.7 percent of California residents age 25 and older are high school graduates, 30.1 percent have a bachelor’s degree or higher and 10.8 percent have a graduate or professional degree.)
But lest Davis residents feel cocky about their educational statistics, consider that in Palo Alto, home to Stanford University, residents with bachelor’s degrees outnumber Davisites by 10 percentage points, at 79.3 percent.
And in San Marino, home of Cal Tech, 73.3 percent of residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher. The Marin County community of Mill Valley, which isn’t even a college town, boasts that 72.6 percent of its residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
— Reach Jeff Hudson at email@example.com or (530) 747-8055.