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Austin Zip Code Population Change from 2000 2010 and Part I Crime

from 2003 2013


By Carolina A. Duncan

I.

Geographic Question
Where would the zip code in Austin, Texas be at with the least amount of population
growth and would be the safest area?

II.

Background
The capital of Texas, Austin, is known for being the live music capital of the world.
Recently, Austin has been experiencing growth that has been affecting the city. According to
a KUT.org article with facts about Austin and how it has grown, Forbes ranks Austin number
one in its April 18 study of Americas Fastest Growing Cities (Dunbar & Martens 2012). For
all residents in Austin, crime is an important factor for knowing where to move or where is
the safest place to be. Part I Crimes are defined as the first part of what is called Index
Crimes, which are crimes for which reports of offenses committed are collected (TxDPS
2005). Part I Crimes are analyzed mainly for residents for them to be knowledgeable of their
area. The Part I Crimes consist of eight types: murder, rape, robbery, burglary, theft,
automobile theft, aggravated assault, and arson. With Austin as the study area, divided by
fifty zip codes, the population change and the alteration in Part I crime rates within those zip
codes will be analyzed to deduce if there is a correlation between the two and to answer the
geographic question. The results map of the differences of population and crime will show
how much each zip code has changed in the span of ten years. The final results map will
demonstrate how much of a loss or gain a zip code has undergone in population and in Part I
crime combined. It should also display what zip code has become the trendiest with the
biggest population, and because of that suffered from higher crime occurrences. As well, it
should indicate that when a zip code has less population it will also have less crime.

III.

Data
The first set of data obtained was the zip code polygon data. This was attained from the W:
drive in the GIS database from Texas State University. It was set in the Austin file, which was
placed in the mgis folder. This data had last been modified on April 19, 2009, which was
expressed through a field in the attribute table. The creator and modifier was bvanderford, as
revealed through another field in the attribute table. It contained the fields of shape, shape
length, shape area, zip code, a created and modified date, as well as who created and modified
population data. None of this data, but the polygon shape was utilized for a result.
Population data, especially for Austin, is easily accessible. However, I needed the data
distributed by zip codes. I was able to find the data from the website www.city-data.com. It
contained a zip code map and the statistics for each zip code. The two values of population for

2000 and 2010 were used for the data, since this is when the Census Bureau conducts their count.
This data was entered into an attribute table of a layer, with Austin zip code polygons, by hand.
Since crime is a complex and multidimensional phenomena that is difficult to define, there
was further research necessary. After additional investigation, data from www.austintexas.gov was
gathered. The website had charts of Part I crime of Austin from 2003 to 2013. One side of the
chart had all fifty zip codes and the top of the chart was divided into the eight types of Part I
crime. The values of the eight types of Part I crime for only 2003 and 2013 were input by hand
into the attribute table in another layer of Austin zip code polygons.

IV.

Methods of Analysis
1. After finding the data, the zip code polygons of Austin file was added into ArcMap.
2. A Personal Geodatabase was created called AustinPopAndCrime.idb to save all the
work.
3. Austins zip codes polygons from the mgis Austin folder was added into ArcMap,
and copied to make two layers; one for the population change and one for Part I crime
change.
a. The renamed two new layers are: Pop_Density Population Change and Crime
by Zip Code Part I Crime Change.
4. Comparison of all the zip codes that was in the mgis polygon data to the fifty zip codes
obtained from the data found from websites (of the two variables, population change
and Part I crime) was necessary to recover the actual study area according to the
available data.
5. The remaining zip codes (that were not the fifty zip codes from the population and
crime online data) were selected and deleted to retrieve the final study area.
6. With the final study area stored, both attribute tables were opened and the Add Field
tool was used. The values of the population of 2000 and 2010 were two different fields
added by hand into the Pop_Density Population Change layer, by each zip code.
Then the total values for the crime of 2003 and 2013 were two different fields added by
hand into the Crime by Zip Code Part I Crime Change.
7. The creation of 5 fields for each year of 2003 and 2013, pertaining to the type of crime
committed, were made to visualize the numbers in the table better. Then the total
values for the crime of 2003 and 2013, separated by zip codes, were added by using
the Field Calculator to conceive the total, for both years, into the Crime by Zip Code
Part I Crime Change layer. The equation for the totals put in the Field Calculator was:
For 2003: [MURDER_03] + [RAPE_03] + [ROB_THEFT_03] + [AGG_ASSAULT_03] +
[ARSON_03]
For 2013: [MURDER_13] + [RAPE_13] + [ROB_THEFT_13] + [AGG_ASSAULT_13] +
[ARSON_13]
* Note: Rob_Theft field is the combination of robbery, burglary, theft, and
automobile theft values added by hand.

8. With the set of values inputted into the attribute tables, the Field Calculator was
executed in a new field to find the difference of each variable. The equations used are
as follows:

Population Change: [POP_2010] [POP_2000]


Crime Change: [Total_13] [Total_03]
9. The Add Field tool was used for both attribute tables to create a percentage based on
the total difference figured out in the last step.
a. A field was added for population called Perc_Pop and for crime called
Percent_Crime.
b. The Field Calculator was used and these were the equations used:
Population Change Percentage: [Total_13] [Total_03] / [Total_03] * 100
Crime Change Percentage: [POP_2010] [POP_2000] / [POP_2000] * 100
10. When the last step was performed, an error was displayed due to the crime percentage
totals being set to a short integer. The error occurred for the zip code of Cedar Park,
78613, which had a percentage of about 34,000%. Therefore, the entire percentage
field was deleted and the task was performed again with it being set up as a long
integer field.
11. For the Part I crime change of 2003 and 2013 map:
a. Went to Symbology tab in the Layer Properties window of the Crime by Zip
Code Part I Crime Change layer. Then classified the breaks with Natural Jenks,
with the percentage scale being from -100% - 34300%. Then those break values
were slightly manually classified to better differentiate the negative percentages
that expressed a loss and the positive perecntages that expressed a gain.
b. Colors were transformed to better represent the data. A Quantities Graduated
Colors map was selected with the color ramp of going from green to red.
c. Under the Symbol section in the Symbology tab of the Layer Properties
window, the alteration of colors were performed to change the RGB saturation.
To acquire the values for each color and change them can be done by clicking on
Fill Color, More Colors, and then clicking the drop-down menu to RGB.
These values were harnessed to change the colors to best fit the loss (negative
percentages) and the gain (the positive percentages). Negative percentages were
made to be signified by green colors and the positive percentages were made to
be represented by warm colors, from yellow to red.
12. For the population change of 2000 and 2010 map:
a. The break values were performed the same way as the process above.
i. Reference 14. a.
b. Colors were transformed by using the same procedures as the crime change
map.
i.

Reference 14. b. and 14. c.

13. Copy and pasted the layer Pop_Density with all the features included and renamed it
Composite Value - Population and Crime Change Composite.
14. In the new layer created, with the population values in it, the execution of a Join was
performed. The source was the crime change layer, and the destination layer was the
composite layer, based on the same values of zip codes.
15. To create the final map:
a. Applied the Add Field tool in the Composite Value layer, called the new long
integer field Composite

b. Used the Field Calculator tool for the added field to input this equation:
[Perc_Pop] + [Percent_Crime] / 2
* Note: The percentages were divided by two to bring the values back down to
similar integers as the percentage data.

c. In the Symbology tab of the layer, 10 breaks using Natural Jenks was made, so
the data would be more spread out to better visually pinpoint the negative
values and the positive values.
d. In the same tab, the darkest colors of both green and red, were made to appear
darker so they would stand out.
e. There was a need to signify that these values were percentages. This was
accomplished by slowly double-clicking the Composite Values layers values
and inserting percent symbols (%).

V.

Results

This table displays the input data set for the Pop_Density Population Change layer

This table displays the input data set for the Crime by Zip Code Part I Crime Change layer

This table, above to the left, is from Excel, exposing the relationship of the values obtained from difference in
population and the difference in crime. The third column is designated for population change and the fourth
column is for the crime change. This was performed to find the relationship, if any, these two variables had.
Using the CORREL function in Excel, a value of 0.25 was given. This means that yes, there is a positive
correlation between the two, but it is a weak one. The minimum and maximum of the crime change have a
much smaller difference than the change in population. The variances are very different from each other as
well.

This map displays the population change from 2000 and 2010, segregated by the fifty zip codes of
Austin. Most of the loss of population was in the north-central location, and the most increase of
population were in the east and west side of Austin. It was a shock to find out that the zip code of Bee
Caves (78738) had an immense increase in population, from 2,840 in 2000 to 12,134 in 2010.

This map displays the Part I crime change from 2003 and 2013, segregated by the fifty zip codes of
Austin. Most of the loss of Part I crime occurred in the green areas, but it is a surprise that the darker
green zip codes are so separated from each other and close by to major increases of crime. Buda (78610)
and Cedar Park (78613) have to be the biggest revelations on this map. Buda went from 1 crime in 2003
to 261 in 2013, and Cedar Park went from 1 crime in 2003 to 344 in 2013.

This map is after the join of both variables, the population change and Part I crime change, segregated
by the zip codes of Austin. The darkest red zip codes show the most increase of population and the most
increase in crime. The biggest increase in population and crime has occurred in the furthest southern,
eastern, and northwestern zip codes of Austin. The darkest green zip codes illustrate the zip codes that
had the greater loss of population and the least amount of crime. It can be seen that central Austin has
seen the most in loss of crime and population.

VI.

Conclusion
Residents of Austin, whether just moving in or long-term, may find certain

information useful. Some information that is especially useful and is looked at the most by
residents are crime and population. The change in crime had a much larger range of
percentages than the population change, even though the crime change had a smaller range
of values (between the minimum and maximum) than the population change did. This is
because of the difference in crime for some zip codes increased or decreased by an
exponential amount, unlike the change in population where the oldest set of data was a
similar integer as the newest numbers. This study does not involve a normal distribution, but
instead an exponential distribution. With different variances and an exponential distribution,
the data is difficult to completely normalize. Nevertheless, the two variables do contain a
weak positive correlation, which indicates that the average of one variable changes slightly
and only occasionally in response to changes of the other variable. According to the final map
produced, it would be best to avoid the zip codes of Buda and Cedar Park. These two zip
codes have experienced the most increase in population and in Part I crime. The answer to the
geographic question in the beginning of the report, of where would the safest and less
populated zip code be, would be answered with: The zip codes of 78722, which lies in the
center of Austin, and 78728, which is located in the north-central part of Austin. Both these
zip codes exposed the areas in Austin with the most loss of population and loss of crime
combined. In closing, the population change in the zip codes in Austin affect the occurrence
of crime.

VII.

References

Austintexas.gov, the official website of the City of Austin. 2013. Austin Police Department, Crime

Stats listed by zip code, 2003 2013. http://www.austintexas.gov/page/crimeinformation-listed-zip-code#overlay-context=user (last accessed 25 April 2015).
City-Data.com. 2015. Austin, Texas (TX) Zip Code Map Locations, Demographics.
http://www.city-data.com/zipmaps/Austin-Texas.html (last accessed 25 April 2015).
Dunbar, W. and Martens, D. 2012. The Top 10 Austin Top 10 Lists, Part Two. Austin.

http://kut.org/post/top-10-austin-top-10-lists-part-two (last accessed 25 April 2015)


Texas Department of Public Safety. 2005. 2005 Crime in Texas; Appendices, and Glossary of

Terms. https://www.dps.texas.gov/crimereports/05/appendices.pdf (last accessed 25


April 2015).
Texas State University. 2009. zipcodes. W://mgis.Austin.gdb (last accessed 29 April 2015).