Human (or Spatial) Geography

Human (or Spatial) Geography


2010 Racial Dot Map


America’s Shifting Center of Gravity


Baby Boomer Migration


The New American City


Blog Posts

Visualizing commuter flows in the Charlottesville area
The 2014 LODES primary jobs data and maps I developed to visualize what’s happening provide a glimpse of where workers are coming from and what the flow exchanges in the area look like.

Out-migration from Virginia continues for a third year, slowing statewide population growth
In December, the Census Bureau released its annual state population estimates, which showed that Virginia grew by 44,000 residents last year, its smallest numerical gain in population since the 1970s.

The post-recession shape of American cities
While many of the most established cities with the most visible new donuts saw the least change, many cities that looked like they had changed the least before are now starting to show signs of moving in the new donut direction.

Young adult migration trends in Virginia
Recently released census age estimates show that so far this decade some of Virginia’ cities and counties with universities are experiencing an influx of 15 to 24 year olds, but most of Virginia’s counties are experiencing a significant outflow of their 15 to 24 year old population.

The metropolitanization of rural America
A major reason for the growth in the geographic size of metropolitan areas today is that as the urban cores of metropolitan areas have grown larger, they have attracted a rising number of commuters from nearby rural counties, in many cases causing the rural counties to become part of their metropolitan area.

How is New York City growing if it’s constantly losing people?
Year after year, some of the nation’s most dynamic cities are also the nation’s biggest losers when it comes to migrants.

The geography of Virginia’s presidential primary
A series of maps show the percentage of the vote captured across the Commonwealth by each candidate.

Driving alone: how Virginians get to work
While most Virginians drive alone, this post explores who is more likely to use an alternative mode of travel to work.

Density: three Virginias
A fun map shows the distribution of people across Virginia by the density of their census tract.

Could the “two-body” problem be contributing to rural brain drain?
Highly-educated couples with two specialized careers (the “two-body” problem) typically find work in the same location by moving to large metro areas.

Virginians are leaving the Commonwealth, reversing trends
For the first time, IRS income tax data shows more households leaving that state than moved in.

Mapping city to city migration
An interactive map shows newly released census data on city-to-city migration.

Richmond’s quiet transformation
Sometime soon after the census in 2010, blacks in Richmond were no longer the majority of population.

How Virginians get to work
See how and when Virginia employees commute.

Migration data miscounts millennials, confuses the media
Conclusions based on migration data from the CPS, especially for young adults, should be considered highly suspect.

Are the “urban millennials” a real thing?
Unlike 20 years ago, millennials are disproportionately living in urban areas. Is this a shift in attitude or the result of larger economic or demographic forces? It’s probably a bit of both.

America’s shifting center of gravity
The United States’ demographic center of gravity has shifted westward each census since the first in 1790.

A funny thing is happening in many US cities
Demographics of outer and inner suburbs in Atlanta, Charlotte, Denver, and Houston.

Retiring boomers are going rural (but not too rural)
Unlike other parts of the country, baby boomers in Virginia are moving away from the cities.

How do we know whether development pays for itself?
It is more important than ever for localities to understand which investments and spatial configurations create value and which don’t.

Average density of Virginia’s metro areas
Virginia’s cities have different density patterns. What does your city look like?

The line that divides DC
It is not a party line, but a demographic line.

Metropolitan cross-sections: College graduates
The percentage of adults with bachelor’s degrees is an interesting proxy for studying gentrification.

Home construction: Running to stand still
Virginia’s suburban counties continue to build new homes at a faster rate then urban areas. Still, construction levels remain a fraction of those seen in the early 2000s housing boom.

Predicting sprawl
Sprawl depends on several factors. See how it could play out in Virginia.

A closer look at MSA’s and commuting
See the bedroom communities for Virgina’s major cities.

Virginia’s 2013 metro areas
Identifying a metro area is harder than you think.

What are young people up to these days?
Where in Virginia are Millennials choosing to call home? Primarily college towns and areas with economic growth.


The Changing Shape of American Cities (02.2015)
The last two decades have brought dramatic changes to many American cities. Most cities in the United States in 1990 had a “donut” shape, with wealthier residents in a booming suburban ring surrounding a decaying core. Today cities are increasingly resembling what has been called a new donut – with three, rather than two rings. The center has grown much more desirable to educated, higher-income residents, especially young adults under the age of 35. Poverty, meanwhile, is migrating outwards, creating an “inner ring” of urban and early suburban neighborhoods around the core, where per capita incomes have fallen and education rates are stagnant. Beyond the inner ring, an outer ring of newer and larger suburbs continues to add population.

See how your city has changed over time