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When looking into my hometown of Blacksburg, Virginia (24060), there were not any demographics that really surprised me. There were a lot of different demographics but for the most part they revolve around the university that is in that town. The population shows the university population, as the most common demographic is the 21-34 year old age range. The income also reflects the number of younger people who are single and have not started a family. The thing that surprised me the most about Blacksburg was the lack of diversity. When I spent some time at Virginia Tech as a student, I saw all shapes, sizes, and colors. It was not uncommon to be in a class easily with 50 percent of the class being of African or Asian descent. This is very different from the graph that depicts Blacksburg as being an incredibly white area with Asians outnumbering African Americans (which seems incredibly accurate from my personal experiences.) Finally, looking at the presence of the “Upward Bound” demographic, it is possible to tell that this demographic does exist and has become more prevalent as of recent with the expansion of the Corporate Research Center. These families are well educated but young. Many are beginning to have children and are working at either the university or one of the many startups or companies that have taken hold in the technology and research industries. The statistics of Blacksburg were incredibly accurate and seemed to, for the most part, give you a good reference point when marketing to a specific group of people in that area.
Radford is interesting due to its close geographic relationship with Blacksburg being only a few miles away but outside of that it really houses a number of different demographics. Rather than being home to a growing sect of young professionals who are starting their families as well as the sheer volume of college students in Blacksburg, Radford features fewer college students that present more diversity. Outside of the university, the surrounding area is decidedly less wealthy and features multigenerational families that are larger in size and lesser in income. There are a number of “Country Strong” demographics that show a lower middle class family usually featuring more than 1 kid. These families make up the bulk of the Radford area and are peppered in with a few other demographics that usually revolve around small families. The most surprising part of this area was the fact that it was even less diverse racially than Blacksburg even though the university itself is more diverse than Virginia Tech’s. These families are for the most part younger and middle aged with a few older families included. None of this was incredibly surprising looking at the demographics in person while I am off campus.
Finally, I selected a place with almost no diversity that was incredibly wealthy. I selected 90210, which is Beverly Hills, California. The average income is well over 150 thousand a year and the area is comprised mostly of rich Caucasians with no children. Unlike many areas in the country where the average family size is 3 or more people, Beverly Hills relies largely on single or double person households. The average age is much higher than most of the country as it is mostly made up of mature couples without kids. This demographic is called “The Upper Crust” and “Movers and Shakers.” The difference between these two demographics is primarily the age as the “Movers and Shakers” are a younger demographic, filling the middle aged category while the “Upper Crust” households are comprised of people at and beyond retirement age. The biggest differences between Beverly Hills and Radford is mainly the huge wealth gap as well as the family size. The difference in diversity is not all that different as neither location is very ethnically diverse but in essentially every other aspect, these locations share almost nothing in common.
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