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Description of Coastal Population:

While marine ecosystems are important for people all across the country, they are essential for  people living in coastal communities. The population density of coastal counties is over six times greater than inland counties. In the U.S. coastal counties make up less than 10 percent of the total land area (not including Alaska), but account for 39 percent of the total population. From 1970 to 2010, the population of these counties increased by almost 40% and are projected to increase by over 10 million people or 8+% into the 2020s. 

The population density of an area is an important factor for economic planning, emergency preparedness, understanding environmental impacts, resource demand, and many other reasons. Thus, this indicator is important to track. We present the number of residents within all regions.

 

Data Source:

Coastal population data was retrieved from the Census Bureau’s county population totals, filtered to present coastal counties using the Census Bureau’s list of coastal counties within each state. Coastal county populations were then summed within each region for reporting purposes. Note: The 2020 American Community Survey Data Release has been delayed - data on this website will be updated with 2020 estimates as soon as possible.

 

Alaska

graph of coastal population in the Alaska region from 1980-2020

Values correspond to the total coastal population for a given region

 

Description of time series:

Alaska’s average coastal population between 2014 – 2018 was substantially above historic levels, although the recent trend is not different from historical trends.  

 

Description of gauge:

The average coastal population in Alaska between 2014 and 2018 was greater than 92% of all population levels between 1970 to 2018, again highlighting the substantial growth in the coastal population of this state.

 

Extreme Gauge values:

A value of zero on the gauge means that the average coastal population over the last 5 years of data was below any annual population level up until that point, while a value of 100 would indicate the average over that same period was above any annual population level up until that point.

 

Indicator Source Information:

The American Community Survey (ACS) helps local officials, community leaders, and businesses understand the changes taking place in their communities. It is the premier source for detailed population and housing information about our nation. The 2020 ACS Data Update will be publicly available no later than November 30, 2021.

 

Data Background and Caveats:

The values represented here are coastal county population estimates for states bordering US Large Marine Ecosystems as calculated by the US Census Bureau from the American Community Survey.

 

 

Hawai'i-Pacific Islands

graph of coastal population in the Hawaii-Pacific Islands region from 1980-2020

Values correspond to the total coastal population for a given region

 

Description of time series:

The 2014 – 2018 average coastal population in Hawaii was substantially above historic levels, although the recent trend is not different from historical trends.  

 

Description of gauge:

The average coastal population in Hawaii between 2014 and 2018 was greater than 96% of all population levels between 1970 to 2018, again highlighting the substantial growth in the coastal population of this region.

 

Extreme Gauge values:

A value of zero on the gauge means that the average coastal population over the last 5 years of data was below any annual population level up until that point, while a value of 100 would indicate the average over that same period was above any annual population level up until that point.

 

Indicator Source Information:

The American Community Survey (ACS) helps local officials, community leaders, and businesses understand the changes taking place in their communities. It is the premier source for detailed population and housing information about our nation. The 2020 ACS Data Update will be publicly available no later than November 30, 2021.

 

Data Background and Caveats:

The values represented here are coastal county population estimates for states bordering US Large Marine Ecosystems as calculated by the US Census Bureau from the American Community Survey.

 

California Current

graph of coastal population in the California Current region from 1980-2020

Values correspond to the total coastal population for a given region

 

Description of time series:

The 2014 – 2018 average coastal population in the California Current ecosystem was substantially above historic levels, although the recent trend is not different from historical trends.

 

Description of gauge:

The 2014 – 2018 average coastal population within the California Current ecosystem was greater than 94% of all population levels between 1970 to 2018, again highlighting the substantial growth in the coastal population of this region.

 

Extreme Gauge values:

A value of zero on the gauge means that the average coastal population over the last 5 years of data was below any annual population level up until that point, while a value of 100 would indicate the average over that same period was above any annual population level up until that point.

 

Indicator Source Information:

The American Community Survey (ACS) helps local officials, community leaders, and businesses understand the changes taking place in their communities. It is the premier source for detailed population and housing information about our nation. The 2020 ACS Data Update will be publicly available no later than November 30, 2021.

 

Data Background and Caveats:

The values represented here are coastal county population estimates for states bordering US Large Marine Ecosystems as calculated by the US Census Bureau from the American Community Survey.

 

Gulf of Mexico

graph of coastal population in the Gulf of Mexico region from 1980-2020

Values correspond to the total coastal population for a given region

 

Description of time series:

The 2014 – 2018 average coastal population along the Gulf of Mexico was substantially above historic levels, although the recent trend is not different from historical trends.      

 

Description of gauge:

The 2014 – 2018 average coastal population along the Gulf of Mexico was greater than 94% of all population levels between 1970 to 2018, again highlighting the substantial growth in the coastal population of this region.

 

Extreme Gauge values:

A value of zero on the gauge means that the average coastal population over the last 5 years of data was below any annual population level up until that point, while a value of 100 would indicate the average over that same period was above any annual population level up until that point.

Indicator Source Information:

The American Community Survey (ACS) helps local officials, community leaders, and businesses understand the changes taking place in their communities. It is the premier source for detailed population and housing information about our nation. The 2020 ACS Data Update will be publicly available no later than November 30, 2021.

 

Data Background and Caveats:

The values represented here are coastal county population estimates for states bordering US Large Marine Ecosystems as calculated by the US Census Bureau from the American Community Survey.

 

Southeast

graph of coastal population in the Southeast US region from 1980-2020

Values correspond to the total coastal population for a given region

 

Description of time series:

The 2014 – 2018 average coastal population in the Southeast was substantially above historic levels, although the recent trend is not different from historical trends.      

 

Description of gauge:

The 2014 – 2018 average coastal population within the Southeast was greater than 94% of all population levels between 1970 to 2018, again highlighting the substantial growth in the coastal population of this region.

 

Extreme Gauge values:

A value of zero on the gauge means that the average coastal population over the last 5 years of data was below any annual population level up until that point, while a value of 100 would indicate the average over that same period was above any annual population level up until that point.

 

Indicator Source Information:

The American Community Survey (ACS) helps local officials, community leaders, and businesses understand the changes taking place in their communities. It is the premier source for detailed population and housing information about our nation. The 2020 ACS Data Update will be publicly available no later than November 30, 2021.

 

Data Background and Caveats:

The values represented here are coastal county population estimates for states bordering US Large Marine Ecosystems as calculated by the US Census Bureau from the American Community Survey.

 

Northeast

graph of coastal population in the Northeast US region from 1980-2020

Values correspond to the total coastal population for a given region

 

Description of time series:

The 2014 – 2018 average coastal population in the Northeast was substantially above historic levels, although the recent trend is not different from historical trends.  

 

Description of gauge:

The 2014 – 2018 average coastal population within the Northeast was greater than 94% of all population levels between 1970 to 2018, again highlighting the substantial growth in the coastal population of this region.

 

Extreme Gauge values:

A value of zero on the gauge means that the average coastal population over the last 5 years of data was below any annual population level up until that point, while a value of 100 would indicate the average over that same period was above any annual population level up until that point.

 

Indicator Source Information:

The American Community Survey (ACS) helps local officials, community leaders, and businesses understand the changes taking place in their communities. It is the premier source for detailed population and housing information about our nation. The 2020 ACS Data Update will be publicly available no later than November 30, 2021.

 

Data Background and Caveats:

The values represented here are coastal county population estimates for states bordering US Large Marine Ecosystems as calculated by the US Census Bureau from the American Community Survey.

 

Census U.S. Intercensal County Population Data, 1970-2014

The Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program publishes population estimates each year.

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