Social Equity in the Piedmont Triad


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  • Good Morning – I’m Paul Kron, Regional Planning Director with the PTRC – I’m very glad to be with you today. Thank you all for being here.
  • There are 16 Regional Councils in NC providing a wide range of programs & services.The PTRC service area (Region G on the map) is a 12-county region representing 74 urban and rural communities.
  • With an area roughly the size of Connecticut, our region has a population of 1.6 million people.
  • Please visit our PTRC website Our Planning Department provides a wide range of planning services to our members including projects like Piedmont Together and the Equity Profile from which I’ll be sharing excerpts today. Please keep in mind this data is a beginning point. We hope to add depth to the profile over time as we gain insights from folks like yourselves. Much of the data and insights we gather will be made available online in the interactive website being designed for the project.
  • The face of America is changing. Our population is rapidly diversifying. By 2040 the majority of the US population will be people-of-color. We need a growth model that embraces our increasing diversity based on resilience, providing opportunities for everyone.
  • By 2040 our region’s population will be >50% people-of-color. Our Hispanic population will nearly triple from <10% to >25%.Over the next 30 years our region’s percentage of African Americans is projected to remain about the same, while the percent of Asian Americans in the region will see a modest increase. So - how will these changes effect our region? What strategies can we pursue now to ensure greater prosperity for future generations? Let’s begin by looking at our recent past…
  • In 1980 our region was predominantly white. All but one of our region’s 12 counties (Caswell) had less than 30% people-of-color in 1980.Our most significant minority population was African American and their most dominant presence was in Yanceyville – the County seat.
  • By 1990 our region was still predominantly White. This decade marked the beginning of significant declines in manufacturing that would transform our region both economically and racially. By 1990 Montgomery County had 30% to 40% people of color – due in large part to a significant increase in the county’s Hispanic and Asian populations.
  • Tobacco, textiles, & furniture industries continued to decline throughout the 1990s, driving many residents to job centers in the urban core of our region. By the year 2000, our region’s two most urban counties, Forsyth and Guilford, had a >30% people-of-color ratio.
  • The pace of racial diversification in the Piedmont Triad continued to increase during the first decade of the 21st Century. By 2010 Alamance County had also reached the 1/3 people-of-color threshold. The complexion of our region was quickly changing and we were certainly looking at a more diverse future. Growth rates among African Americans in our region were higher than the state and national averages, and growth rates among our Hispanic population was unprecedented.
  • As we look toward the future we see that by the year 2020 Rockingham County is projected to be >30% people-of-color and Guilford County is expected to be >50% people-of-color – the first instance of a white minority in our region. Not only will more counties become more diverse, but the diversity within counties that already have established minority populations will increase.
  • By 2030 Surry & Randolph Counties will have >30% people-of-color populations and Forsyth & Montgomery are expected to have >50% people-of-color (white minority populations). Demographic studies show that all of the 400,000 people we expect to gain in our region over the next 30 years will be non-white and most of them will be locating in urban centers. A majority of the older adult population (65+) in our region is, and will continue to be, white.
  • Over the next 30 years (by the year 2040) all but two of our region’s counties (Stokes & Davie) are projected to have >30% people-of-color populations. Four of our counties will have minority white populations, and five counties will be 40% to 50% people of color populations. Most of our growth over the next 30 years will be in our Hispanic and African American Communities.QUESTION: How many folks here today are at least 30 years old –or- have children at least 30 years old?So – in the year 2040 – you or your children will be 60+ years old (seniors). Think about the world you or your children will be living in.What do we need to do differently, now – to make this a place of health, beauty, resilience and prosperity for future generations?
  • So - our region’s diversity has been changing over the past 30 years and is projected to change significantly in the coming three decades. We anticipate seeing a continued decrease in our white population, at a higher rate than NC or the US. Our region’s decline in its white population will be most noticeable in rural counties, where the white population is mostly older adults. We expect to see moderate increases in our black population, slightly higher increases in our Asian population, and a significant increase in our region’s Hispanic population. In short, we anticipate a significant portion of our region’s white population being replaced by our growing Hispanic population over the next 30 years.
  • The Piedmont Triad clearly is changing quickly. These changes may hold great promise for our future. We want to make sure everyone in the Triad prospers in the coming decades. But to help us do this we need to look at where we stand now on a number of equity indicators.PTRC has access to lots of census data - very useful in assessing current conditions in our region. So - Using 2010 Census data and projections, we’ve assessed these Census Data equity indicators, by race and age.
  • Today I’d like to show you excerpts from 3 of the basic population assessments we’ve performed using Census data.
  • We looked at census tract data disaggregated by race and age, to show who is struggling most with issues such as poverty and where, generally, they live. This map shows African Americans in the Piedmont Triad are most challenged by economic conditions in our major cities; as well as in Caswell and Montgomery Counties – two of our most rural counties; and in some portions of our other rural counties.
  • The small but growing Asian population in the Triad is struggling with poverty most notably in High Point, Greensboro, Asheboro and down in Montgomery County. The grey areas indicate census tracts with populations too small to be captured by the Census.
  • Over a third of our region’s rapidly-growing Hispanic population is in poverty. These stresses are focused in Yadkin, Montgomery, and Randolph Counties, as well as in the suburbs around our urban centers.
  • The Triad’s impoverished white population is its largest, but its smallest relative to the larger demographic group. This is a different story in the rural counties, where white populations are the majority of the impoverished populations and a significant proportion of the total white population.
  • Census data also allows us to focus on education indicators. Education is a significant challenge to African American communities in both urban and rural parts of our region.
  • Though our region’s under-educated Asian American population is small, it is proportionately high within those communities, with almost one out of five Asian Americans not having a high school education.
  • Hispanic communities lacking a high school education are focused in both urban and rural areas.
  • As with poverty data, Whites are the largest under-educated population in our region. However, unlike the racial minorities of the Triad, few white urban communities are under-educated. Rather, the concentration of this need is in many of our rural areas.
  • 15% of the 170,000 African Americans participating in our region’s labor force are un-employed, with high concentrations in some of our regions urban centers as well as other more rural parts of our region.
  • Areas of high un-employment within our region’s Hispanic community are located in many of our urban centers.
  • A majority of unemployed Asian Americans in our region are also located in urban centers – notably in Greensboro, High Point, Thomasville, Asheboro, Lexington and Winston-Salem).
  • While a majority of the 45,000 unemployed whites in our region are located in rural areas.
  • The Piedmont Triad currently has the largest older adult population in NC – 14% - 228,000 people are 65 or older. By 2040, we’ll add an additional 147,000 older adults. What role will this significant portion of our population play in our region’s future? What will they need? Who will provide for these needs?
  • Many of our region’s older adults are poor, and reside in both cities and rural areas.
  • Our region’s older adult population is highly impacted by a lack of education - nearly 1/3 of seniors lack a high school education.
  • Perhaps of highest concern, though, is our large population of impoverished young adults concentrated in large numbers throughout every community in our region. More than a quarter of 18 – 24 year olds in our region are impoverished. These are the workers and entrepreneurs of our region’s future and they face significant challenges.
  • Our region’s poor young African American population is concentrated in cities and towns.
  • Young Hispanics living in poverty are located most often in sub-urban and rural communities.
  • Pockets of Young Asian Americans in poverty are located in Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem.
  • …while a significant number of white young adults in poverty are located in sub-urban and rural areas in the region.
  • Nearly 20% of the youth (ages 16 to 24) participating in our region’s labor force are currently un-employed.
  • Yet nearly 1 out of every 5 young adults (18 to 24 years olds) in our region have less than a high school diploma…
  • And nearly 60% of our region’s young adults are not enrolled in higher education. Our region needs an educated work force to have a bright future.How can we best leverage our region’s colleges and universities to prepare our workforce of the future?
  • So – we’ve used US Census data to illustrate equity indicators by race and age for our region.But we also have access to a large number of publicly-available datasets that may be relevant in telling us about the quality of life of residents in our. I’d like to illustrate that now, by showing just one example of how we can assess the needs of those most at risk from flooding here in Forsyth County…
  • This map shows all of the floodplains in Forsyth County. The blue areas are those where there is a 1% chance of being flooded. However, this probability is likely an underestimate, as more recent weather and flash floods have shown us.
  • The red areas on this map are US Census tracts with poverty rates over 40%. They are along US 52 and US 311 in Winston-Salem.
  • All of these tracts have flood risk. The highlighted Census tract here (in blue) is the one we are going to focus on today.
  • Here is an aerial image of the Census tract, with its racial composition. 40% of the people who live here are “impoverished” according to the US Census Bureau.
  • Census tracts CAN be broken down to smaller units called blocks. We’re just going to focus on the flood risk of those living in one of these blocks, just off of Rundell Street in W-S.
  • As you can see, we get a better idea of who’s most at risk from flooding in this area of W-S. We don’t know exactly who lives here – and we don’t want to invade their privacy – but this type of analysis can help determine which households are most likely to be flooded in this block and that they are likely to be A) poor; and B) African American.
  • PTRC has already mapped and analyzed each of the Regional GIS Data Equity Indicators listed here (in yellow), but this is just a start. We need your help and input concerning other indicators of interest and importance to our region. We may not solve these issues, but we can assess them, document critical needs, and begin to build the partnerships and programs necessary to address them.PTRC sees this on-going effort as both part of its mission to serve communities in our region and as a key component and outcome of the Piedmont Together project.
  • The Piedmont Together project is a planning effort, intended to address the long-term resiliency of our region’s economy, communities, and environment.
  • We are actively engaged in these two sections of the planning effort. We need your input to make sure we’re identifying the key equity indicators of most importance to communities in our region.
  • Our next steps are to implement the plan that results from these discussions and efforts, and then reevaluate it for success. That will also require your partnership and input if we’re to be successful.
  • We are actively engaging implementation of our work. However, we need to make sure that this planning effort meets your needs and answers questions you are asking.
  • Do you like what we’re doing? What else should we be doing? What concerns do you have? What questions do you have?
  • Thank you for your attention and interest. I look forward to discussing our “common road forward” throughout today’s summit.Your input is important and we appreciate your time and efforts today. Thank you.
  • Social Equity in the Piedmont Triad

    1. 1. A Regional Resiliency Strategy Social Equity in the Piedmont Triad
    2. 2. PTRC Region
    3. 3.
    4. 4. Why Does Equity Matter?
    5. 5. Why Does Equity Matter in the Triad? 66.9% 20.7% 8.7% 2.0% 1.7% 2010 Population by Race White, Non- Hispanic African American Hispanic Asian Other 48.6% 21.4% 25.6% 4.2% 0.2% 2040 Projected Population by Race White, Non- Hispanic African American Hispanic Asian Other Source: US Census Bureau, 1990 & 2010
    6. 6. Why Does Equity Matter in the Triad? Source: US Census Bureau, 1990 & 2010 -30.0% -15.0% 0.0% 15.0% 30.0% White, Not Hispanic African American Asian Hispanic Piedmont Triad Region Change in Race & Ethnic Origin, 2010 - 2040 Piedmont Triad North Carolina United States
    7. 7. Piedmont Together Equity Assessments Census Data by Race & Age  Poverty  Education  Unemployment  Vehicle Access  Female Households  English Proficiency
    8. 8. Piedmont Together Equity Assessments Census Data by Race & Age  Poverty  Education  Unemployment  Vehicle Access  Female Households  English Proficiency
    9. 9. Impoverished Pop. 83,254 26% Minority Pop. 5% Total Pop.African Americans POVERTY
    10. 10. Impoverished Pop. 6,314 20% Minority Pop. 0.4% Total Pop.Asian Americans POVERTY
    11. 11. Impoverished Pop. 46,802 35% Minority Pop. 3% Total Pop.Hispanic Americans POVERTY
    12. 12. Impoverished Pop. 117,103 11% Minority Pop. 7% Total Pop.White Americans POVERTY
    13. 13. Under Educated Pop. 36,347 18% Minority Pop. 3% Total Pop. African Americans EDUCATION
    14. 14. Undereducated Pop. 36,347 18% Minority Pop. 3% Total Pop. Asian Americans EDUCATION
    15. 15. Undereducated Pop. 36,347 18% Minority Pop. 3% Total Pop. Hispanic Americans EDUCATION
    16. 16. Undereducated Pop. 112,162 14% Minority Pop. 10% Total Pop. White Americans EDUCATION
    17. 17. Unemployed Pop. 24,762 15% Minority Pop. 3% Total Pop. African Americans EMPLOYMENT
    18. 18. Unemployed Pop. 6,573 10% Minority Pop. 1% Total Pop. Hispanic Americans EMPLOYMENT
    19. 19. Unemployed Pop. 1,483 9% Minority Pop. 0.2% Total Pop. Asian Americans EMPLOYMENT
    20. 20. Unemployed Pop. 45,058 8% Minority Pop. 5% Total Pop. White Americans EMPLOYMENT
    21. 21. Older Adults in the Piedmont Triad
    22. 22. Impoverished Pop. 21,473 10% Older Adult Pop. 1.5% Total Pop.Older Adults POVERTY
    23. 23. Undereducated Pop. 63,986 29% Senior Pop. 6% Total Pop. Older Adults EDUCATION
    24. 24. Impoverished Pop. 36,687 27% 18 – 24 Group 2% Total Pop. Young Adults POVERTY
    25. 25. Impoverished Pop. 13,022 36% Minority 18-24 Pop. 10% Total 18 – 24 Pop. Young African Americans POVERTY
    26. 26. Impoverished Pop. 5,378 35% Minority 18-24 Pop. 4% Total 18 – 24 Pop. Young Hispanic Americans POVERTY
    27. 27. Impoverished Pop. 818 30% Minority 18-24 Pop. 0.6% Total 18 – 24 Pop. Young Asian Americans POVERTY
    28. 28. Impoverished Pop. 16,905 22% Minority 18-24 Pop. 13% Total 18 – 24 Pop. White American POVERTY
    29. 29. Unemployed Pop. 21,764 19% 16 – 24 Pop. 3% Total Pop. Young Adults EMPLOYMENT
    30. 30. Undereducated Pop. 27,681 18% 18 – 24 Pop. 2.5% Total Pop. Young Adults EDUCATION
    31. 31. Undereducated Pop. 88,459 58% 18 – 24 Pop. 8% Total Pop. Young Adults EDUCATION
    32. 32. Piedmont Together Equity Assessments Census Data by Race & Age  Poverty  Education  Unemployment  Vehicle Access  Female Households  English Proficiency Regional GIS Data  Food Deserts  Access to Parks  Proximity to Landfills  Access to Job Centers  Risk From Flooding
    33. 33. Piedmont Together Equity Assessments Census Data Equity Indicators  Poverty  Education  Unemployment  Vehicle Access  Female Households  English Proficiency Regional GIS Data Equity Indicators  Food Deserts  Access to Parks  Proximity to Landfills  Access to Job Centers  Risk From Flooding  …And?
    34. 34. Piedmont Together Equity
    35. 35. Thank You Paul M. Kron, AICP, ASLA Regional Planning Director Piedmont Triad Regional Council