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Alameda, more or less

Submitted by on 1, January 5, 2011 – 12:03 amNo Comment

The U.S. Census Bureau has released what one might call a fuzzy demographic snapshot of Alameda. Think of it as a cell phone photo taken on your visually challenged Blackberry.

The Bureau’s annual American Community Survey offers data that is no longer being collected on the long form of the decennial census – education levels, median incomes, information on professions and more. But the data need to be handled with care. The decennial census was handed out to one in six American households, while the American Community Survey hits just three million of an estimated 112.6 million U.S. households each year. (The ACS lists margins of error for each statistic; the more-reliable 2000 census did not.)

The bureau will release 2010 census results over the course of the next few years with complete population counts and detailed data on Alameda residents’ race, sex and age, and we’ll follow up with you when that more definitive data becomes available.

In the meantime, here are some of the more fun – if only somewhat reliable – tidbits about Alameda between 2005 and 2009.

Percentage of Alamedans with a college degree: 53.2 (margin of error: 3.5 percentage points)

Percentage of civilian veterans: 9.2 (+/-0.9)

Percentage of native Californians in Alameda: 47.8 (+/-1.8)

Percentage of foreign-born: 27 (+/-2.0)

Percentage of foreign-language speakers: 34.2 (+/-1.9)

Top three ancestries in Alameda: Irish (11.1 percent, +/- 1.0); German (10.8 percent; +/-1.1); English (9.2 percent; +/-1.1)

Percentage of solo commuters: 64.1 (+/-2.0)

Median household income: $73,503 (+/-$2,423)

Percentage of Alamedans in poverty: 9.5 (+/-1.2)

Number of vacant housing units: 2,435 (+/-396)

Percentage of mortgage holders paying 35 percent or more of their income on housing: 39.2 (+/-3.1)

Percentage of owner-occupied homes without a mortgage: 29.2 (+/-2.1)

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