Changes in U.S. Regional Population Density

Authors: Peter Rogerson*, SUNY - BUFFALO
Topics: Population Geography, Quantitative Methods
Keywords: Hoover Index, Gini Coefficient, population density
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 2:35 PM / 4:15 PM
Room: Council Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


There are several ways to measure the spatial distribution of regional populations. These include the Hoover Index and Gini coefficient; each of these measures the inequality of population density. In this paper, I first compute these measures for US counties and states, and describe recent changes in the unevenness of population across regions. I also employ a recent decomposition method for the Gini coefficient that attributes changes in unevenness at the national level to changes in population density inequality that have occurred for particular levels of density. The method also facilitates the description of population dispersion for different levels of population density. Thus it is possible for example to explore the degree to which high density places are becoming more, or less uniform, and to explore the degree to which there has been change in the inequality of population density within the rural system. There are also ties here to the literature on city-size distributions amd the rank-size rule, and these are explored through the examination of parametric probability distributions. Specific probability distributions result in specific measures of inequality, and this perspective aids in the tracking of changes that occur over time.

Keywords: Hoover Index, Gini Coefficient, population density

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