2015 Dallas Parks master plan
COMMUNITY DEMOGRAPHICS >>
Park visitors have different needs from the Dallas park system. Understanding community demographics can help ensure a park system best fits the community it serves. Furthermore, identifying growth trends allows a city to plan for park system improvements and funding.
Key growth trends discovered during the 2015 Dallas Parks Master Plan process are summarized below.
Dallas’s population is growing rapidly. Between 1995 and 2014, Dallas’s population increased by 31%, from 11,639 to 14,490 residents. By 2020, Dallas’s population is projected to approach 19,043 residents representing an increase of 61% between 1995 and 2020. The Our Dallas 2030 Plan estimates a potential increase of approximately 9,000 residents between 2014 and 2030.
Dallas’s adult and senior populations are growing rapidly and should be accommodated. Between 2000 and 2010 the number of residents age 20-64 grew by 21% while the number of seniors grew by 26%. The number of youth in the same period grew by 5.4% comparatively.
RACE AND ETHNICITY
Dallas has a predominantly white population with a growing Hispanic population. In 2010, 93% of Dallas residents identified as white while 6% identified as Hispanic or Latino, an increase from 4% in 2000.
The housing characteristics of a city inform the planning process by documenting both the location and type of housing development. In 2010, 3,678 housing units (64%) were owner-occupied. At 63%, single-family detached units represent the majority of housing in Dallas. Multi-family housing make up 31% of all housing in Dallas and mobile homes account for 7% of all housing units.
The median household income in Dallas is $48,925 compared with a median household income of $52,365 in Polk County. The poverty level in Dallas is 15% compared to 15% in Polk County. Dallas’s unemployment rate is 6% compared to 5% in Polk County.
The Our Dallas 2030: Community Profile & Trends Report explains the negative economic impacts of the loss of the timber industry and the Great Recession but emphasizes that Dallas’s somewhat diversified industries has helped Dallas hold its own. Economic highlights include Forest River Industries, which is manufacturing travel trailers and employs 280 people. Expanding industries include agriculture, wine, cider and tourism.
WHAT THESE DEMOGRAPHICS MEAN FOR
Using the knowledge of Dallas’s demographics and the community’s needs, as established through the community engagement process, the City can provide a park system that emphasizes inclusivity, access and financial stability.
Dallas’s rapid growth has direct impacts on the current and future park system. To meet the demands of a growing population the city will require more parkland. Youth and elderly populations different needs for active and passive recreation opportunities. Different cultural groups recreate in different ways, implying a need for varied park design elements to support a wide range of activities and group sizes. People living in multi-family housing have different needs from their parks than those living in single-family detached housing. Economic trends provide an understanding of what funds may be available and what new funding mechanisms might be most appropriate to fund the ongoing maintenance and operations of the parks system.
 City of Dallas. City of Dallas Comprehensive Plan. Volume 2, Volume 2. [S.l.]: Winterowd Planning Services, 1998. http://www.ci.dallas.or.us/DocumentCenter/Home/View/1062
 City of Dallas. "Our Dallas 2030: Community Profile and Trends Report." Dallas, OR - Official Website. Accessed July 13, 2014. http://www.ci.dallas.or.us/documentcenter/view/2988.
 U.S. Census Bureau. “Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 and 2000.” Table SF-1. http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=CF. Accessed July 13,2014.
 U.S. Census Bureau. “Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2000.” Table DP-1. http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=CF. Accessed January 15, 2015.
 American Community Survey. “ACS Housing Characteristics: 2009-2013” Table DP04. http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=CF. Accessed January 15, 2015.
 American Community Survey. “ACS Demographic and Housing Estimates: 2008-2012” Table DP05. http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=CF. Accessed July 13,2014.
 City of Dallas. "Our Dallas 2030: Economy, Jobs, Growth and Development." Dallas, OR - Official Website. Accessed July 13, 2014. http://www.ci.dallas.or.us/documentcenter/view/2989.