Comprehensive Master Plan

NOTE — The Comprehensive Master Plan was created in 2004 to help the City of Blanco plan for its future. While the city still follows the plan, the factual information in this plan may have changed (such as the current land use map). Please keep this in mind when reading the plan.

Demographic Analysis

Introduction

The following report is a comprehensive profile of Blanco that includes information on key social and economic statistics such as population growth, industries, housing and workforce trends that are key to understanding Blanco. The purpose of this report is to provide community leaders with unbiased information about strengths and challenges of the community for strategic discussions about the future of Blanco. The analysis is divided into four parts: demographic and socioeconomic factors, employment and industry, infrastructure and transportation linkages, and quality of life.

All of the data collected for this analysis was compiled from published information including: federal, state, and local government agencies and private sources.

Demographic and Socioeconomic Factors

The most important resource available to a community is its people. As a result, gathering and analyzing data on the population to which the city is responsible is a critical function for knowing and understanding the community. This includes an understanding of the current and projected growth of the community, a socio and demographic profile of the people, and a brief review of data to demonstrate how the community lives.

Population Estimates and Projections
According to the 2000 Census, the City of Blanco grew from 1,238 in 1990 to 1,505 in 2000 reflecting an increase of 21.6 percent. In comparison, Blanco County grew 41 percent during the 90's, as evident by the new residential communities built primarily to the south of Blanco.

Table 2-1: 2000 Census Population Estimates

1980 Census
1990 Census
2000 Census
Numerical Change 1990-2000
Percent Change 1990-2000
City of Blanco
1,238
1,505
267
21.6
Blanco County
4,681
5,972
8,418
2,446
41.0
Source: US Census Bureau, DP-1. Profile of General Demographic Characteristics

The development of basic population estimates and projections between Census years is a challenging task. This important factor in population analysis has been complicated in that regional, state and federal population figures do not seem to completely capture or may overstate the impact of new and planned growth in the area. This analysis is further complicated by the fact that population researchers employ different methods for preparing population estimates as evident in Tables 2-2 and 2-3.

According to the Texas State Data Center, since 2000, the population in the City has continued to grow at an average 2.4 percent annually, nearly pacing the growth in the County. The current population estimate, January 2003 is 1,613 for the City and 9,040 in the County.

Table 2-2: City and County Population Estimates

2001
2002
2003
Numerical Change 2000-2003
Percent Change 2000-2003
City of Blanco
1,564
1,585
1,613
108
7.2
Blanco County
8,690
8,910
9,040
622
7.4
Source: Texas State Data Center, October 2003, Total Population Estimates for Texas Counties and Places

Below are presented two very different population projections for the County, the first from the Texas State Data Center (TSDC) and the second from the Capital Area Planning Council (CAPCO). The TSDC estimate is updated annually for the County only, while the CAPCO model was completed in July 2002 using a regional econometric model.

Table 2-3: Blanco County Population Projections

2005
2010
2015
2020
Texas State Data Center
9,164
10,044
11,011
11,916
Capital Area Planning Council
9,466
10,751
12,277
14,020
Sources: Texas State Data Center, June 2004 Population Projections (0.5 Scenario) and CAPCO, July 2002, http://www.capco.state.tx.us/Regional%20Data/CAPCO%202000-2030%20Forecast.htm

Using historical information and assuming that the City of Blanco's population is approximately 15-17 percent of the county population, the population of Blanco may grow to the levels depicted in Figure 1. Scenario A and B refer to the use of the TSDC and CAPCO population estimates for the county.

figure
Population: Age
From the 200 Census and shown in Table 2-4, the most notable comparison of age cohorts for the City of Blanco, the Blanco ISD region and Blanco County is that the City of Blanco is home to a higher percentage of persons in both the youngest and oldest age cohorts -- persons under 19 and older than 65 years than the ISD and county. The city also holds the lowest population of the age group considered to be the workforce, aged 25-44, indicating that the community is not a strong labor market.

Table 2-4: Blanco Population Estimates by Percent Age (2000)

Under 19
20-24 years
25 -44 years
45-64 years
65 and older
Median Age (years)
City of Blanco
29.1
5.0
23.5
21.3
21.1
39.3
Blanco ISD Region
26.2
4.2
26.7
27.0
15.9
Blanco County
26.9
3.8
25.6
26.1
16.6
41.2
Source: US Census Bureau, DP-1. Profile of General Demographic Characteristics and National Center for Education Statistics

Over time, the changes to the younger age cohorts for Blanco County are expected to remain relatively stable and steadily decline, while the older age cohorts are increasing, as shown in Figures 2 and 3. The increases in the older age groups is most likely a reflection of the impact of the baby boomers, of which the first of that generation will reach 65 years in 2010, and the continued attraction of seniors/retirees to the Hill Country region.

figure
Source: Texas State Data Center

figure
Source: Texas State Data Center

Population: Race and Ethnicity
The racial makeup of the City of Blanco is predominately white, with less than 3 percent of the population identifying as Black, Native American, Asian, Pacific Islander or any other race. It is important to note, the Hispanic or Latino population is captured as an ethnicity, rather than race. Therefore, a person may identify as White and Hispanic or White only. The percent of the population, in 2000, that identified as Hispanic of any race was 22.7 percent, while 74.4 percent of the population identified as white not Hispanic.

Table 2-5 depicts the racial and ethnic distribution of the City in 2000.

Table 2-5: City of Blanco Population by Race and Ethnicity (Census 2000)

Race
Ethnicity
White
Black
Native American
Asian
Hispanic Of Any Race
Not Hispanic (White alone)
88.8
1.2
1.3
.4
22.7
74.4
Source: US Census Bureau, DP-1. Profile of General Demographic Characteristics

Educational Attainment
The decennial census provides the most comprehensive information about educational attainment for a community. According to 2000 statistics, educational attainment in the City of Blanco for persons over 25 years of age has improved since the 1990 Census in all areas. In 1990, 64.5 percent of the population over 25 years old held a High School diploma or better and 13 percent had earned a bachelors degree or higher. By the 2000 Census these figures have increased to 74.3 percent having earned High School diplomas or better and 16.5 percent holding at least a bachelors degree. Also significant is the percent of persons with less than a 9th grade education dropped nearly 8 percent during the decade, from 20.9 percent to 13.1 percent.

figure
Comparing the City of Blanco to the State of Texas, statistically the City out performs the state through high school. Thereafter, the lack of Blanco residents continuing education and completing degrees drops below the state average.

Household and Housing
Data on households and housing characteristics provides additional information about the local population. In 2000, there were 633 housing units in the City of Blanco of which 91 percent were occupied. The other 9 percent vacant for a variety of reasons: for sale or rent, not occupied rental property, and seasonal/recreation property. As shown in Table 2-6, 65.3 percent of the housing units in the City were owner occupied and the average household size in 2000 was 2.46 persons.

Table 2-6: City of Blanco Selected Household and Housing Characteristics (Census 2000)

Total housing units
633
Percent single family home
75.1
Percent Occupied housing
91.0
Percent multifamily (2 or more units)
12.2
Percent of housing units occupied by owner
65.3
Percent housing built since 1980
37.9
Average household size
2.46
Percent of housing built before 1960
34.8
Source: US Census Bureau, QT-H1. General Housing Characteristics

Three quarters, 75.1 percent, of the community lives in single family homes, while only 12.2 percent live in multifamily housing. The explosive new development, as seen in neighboring Hays County, has not occurred in Blanco or Blanco County; however the percentage of homes built in the past decade, 17.1 percent, is significant for this community, where new development has been limited for many years.

Income
Table 2-7: City of Blanco Household Income

Less than $10,000
$10,000 to $34,999
$35,000 to $49,999
$50,000 to $99,999
Greater than $100,000
Median Income ($)
Income in 1989
23.4
56.7
11.1
7.4
1.4
$18,657
Income in 1999
14.5
40.2
20.1
21.1
4.2
$31,071

When other socioeconomic measures are examined, the residents of the City of Blanco are more prosperous than 10 years ago. Table 2-7 shows that the percentages of persons earning less money have moved into higher income brackets. For example, in 1989, three of four households earnings fell within the lowest two income brackets; ten years later, this percentage has dropped to just over 54 percent, while the upper income levels increased. The median income for the city grew 66.5 percent from $18, 657 to $31,071.

Employment and Industry

Analysis of Key Industries
The only data available on business patterns at the local level is the Census Bureau's Zip Code Business Patterns. County Business Pattern presents the number of establishments by North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) code and employment-size class, but does not reveal the number of people employed in each industry.

Table 2-8: Establishments by Industry Sector (Zip: 78606)

Industry Code
Description
Total Establishments
11
Forestry, fishing, hunting, and agriculture
1
22
Utilities
1
23
Construction
22
31
Manufacturing
6
42
Wholesale Trade
2
44
Retail Trade
24
48
Transportation and Warehousing
4
51
Information
2
52
Finance and Insurance
6
53
Real Estate and Rental Leasing
6
54
Professional, Scientific & Technical services
12
61
Educational Services
1
62
Health care and social assistance
10
72
Accommodation & food services
8
81
Other services (except public administration
13
99
Unclassified establishments
2

An analysis of the data for the 78606 zip code, which encompasses the City of Blanco, shows that the highest number of establishments in the community were involved in retail trade (NAICS 44) and construction (NAICS 23) industries in 2001, the most recent year for which figures are available. (2002 data will be released in October 2004) The business patterns identified six manufacturing establishments in Blanco, these include: a retail bakery, brewery, truss manufacturing, plastic bag, flat glass and machine shops.

Note: Information regarding employment trends is omitted from this report due to regional skews in data. Employment trends, growing and declining industries in Texas are gathered and aggregated by Workforce Development Area. Blanco County is a part of the Rural Capital Area Workforce Development Board Area, which also includes Williamson and Hays County, two of the fastest growing counties in the State.

Table 2-9 represents the leading manufacturers and employers in Blanco County, as defined by the Rural Capital Area Workforce Development Board and the Texas Workforce Commission. The companies on the left represent area manufacturers, where as the right column list the County's largest employers by employment level (alphabetically listed.)

Table 2-9: Blanco County Leading Employers

Manufacturers
By Employment
Granite Printing
Blanco Bowling Club
Happy Trails Metal Craft
Cox Paving Company LP
Harvest House Farms
Independent Environmental Services, Inc
Blanco Products Co
Klepac Greeenhouses, Inc
Texas Hills Vineyard
LD Tebben Roofing Company
Valley Graphics Printing
Pedernales Electric
Rar Enterprises
RL Toms, Inc
Golden Seal Printing
Sta-Bilt Products, Inc.
J M Wood Products
Super S Foods
Ejs Surveillance Co
The Blanco National Bank
Source: Texas Workforce Commission

Analysis of Local Labor Force
The most recent civilian labor force estimates from TWC, June 2004, Blanco County had a civilian labor force of 4,165 which was an increase of 124 people since June 2003. This change represented an increase of 3.1 percent. Over the past 5 years, the employment numbers for the county have remained relatively stable and followed state and national trends, as the economy has gained and lost.

Table 2-10: Averaged County Employment Characteristics

1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
Civilian Labor Force
3,918
3,944
3,783
3,961
4,057
Employed
3,835
3,865
3,683
3,808
3,906
Unemployed
83
79
100
154
151
Unemployment Rate
2.1
2.0
2.6
3.9
3.7
Source: Texas Workforce Commission, Labor Market Information Department. Covered Employment and Wages

The unemployment rate, in Blanco County, for the past 5 years is provided in Figure 2-5. The lowest monthly rate for the county, over these years, was 1.4 percent in October 2000, while the highest rate 4.3 percent was recorded in July 2002.

Figure 5: Blanco County Unemployment Rates: 1999-2003

figure
Source: Texas Workforce Commission

Commuters represent another pool of available labor in the area: skilled workers leaving the community for work. According to the 2000 Census, City of Blanco residents mean travel time to work was 24.9 minutes, one-way to work. Table 2-11 shows both the number of workers reported to work inside and outside the county. 75 percent of workers leave Blanco County for work. The largest two groups of workers coming into Blanco County reside in Gillespie or Burnet County. Workers that commute from Blanco to another county primarily travel to Travis or Bexar County for employment.

Table 2-11: Blanco County Commuting Patterns

Inflow -- Working in the County
Outflow -- Leaving the County
County of Residence
Number of Workers
County of Residence
Number of Workers
Gillespie County
157
Blanco County
2,183
Burnet County
154
Travis County
614
Hays County
118
Bexar County
334
Bexar County
70
Gillespie County
184
Comal County
66
Burnet County
175
Llano County
57
Hays County
126
Travis County
45
Comal County
115
Kendall County
42
Kendall County
32
Tarrant County
17
Harris County
26
Washington County
17
Jackson County
17
Harris County
15
Grayson County
16
Jim Wells County
14
Zapata County
15
Johnson County
14
Midland County
11
Source: US Census and Rural Capital Area Workforce Development Board

Quality of Life

Quality of life elements are these subjective factors may become the thing which sets a community apart from its neighbors and competitors. This section will provide an overview of several of the factors which impact quality of life, including education, cost of living, housing costs, crime and access to healthcare.

Education
Blanco ISD is the regional school district that serves students living in the southern half of Blanco County and portions of neighboring Hays and Kendall counties. The district has three campuses: Blanco Elementary, Middle and High School. During the 2001-2002 school year, 880 students were enrolled in the district, a decline of 5.0 percent from the previous two years. However, since 2002, there has been a significant growth in student population, with a current enrollment of 969 students. This growth has been accommodated with the construction of a new high school, but additional capacity at the elementary school is likely to be needed soon.

School districts in Texas are classified by Texas Education Agency (TEA) as either Exemplary (EX); Recognized (RE); Academically Acceptable (AA); Academically Unacceptable (AU); Unacceptable due to Special Accreditation Investigation (US); Unacceptable due to Data Quality (UD); or, Charter (CS). Approximately 50 percent of the districts in the state are rated Academically Acceptable.

The Blanco school district earned an accountability rating of "recognized" from the TEA 2001 and 2002, an improvement from the 1999-2000 rating of academically acceptable. These ratings are determined by a number of factors including student performance on the state mandated skills test and attendance. Table 2-12 shows the accountability ratings, student performance and demographics of the district for the past 3 years as compared to the Texas state totals.

Table 2-12: Selected School District Performance Ratings 1999-2002

School Year
1999-2000
2000-2001
2001-2002
Blanco
Texas
Blanco
Texas
Blanco
Texas
Enrollment
926
3,991,783
906
4,059,619
880
4,146,653
Accountability Rating
Academically Acceptable
N/A
Recognized
N/A
Recognized
N/A
4 year drop out rate
7.3
8.5
1.8
7.2
4.8
6.2
Percent Graduated
87.3
79.5
94.7
80.7
85.5
81.1
Percent Students Passing all tests taken (TAAS)
81.6
79.9
85.4
82.1
87.9
85.3
SAT: Mean Total Score
961
989
1015
990
1067
987
ACT: Mean Composite Score
21.1
20.2
19.7
20.3
20.5
20.2
Teacher Turnover Rate
13.6
15.0
13.4
16.0
18.6
15.7
Students to Teacher ratio
10.7
14.9
10.5
14.8
10.7
14.7
Total Instruction cost per student
$4,092
$3,298
$4,435
$3,419
$4,661
$3,528
Source: http://www.tea.state.tx.us/perfreport/snapshot/index.html

Crime
In the City of Blanco, there were .68 crimes reported for every 100 persons in 2003, an improvement from the previous 5 years of crime data from the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Table 2-13: City of Blanco Crime Statistics

Assault
Burglary
Larceny
Rape
Robbery
Theft
Total Reported
Crime reports per 100
2003
2
3
6
0
0
0
11
.68
2002
2
8
8
0
0
0
18
1.15
2001
4
5
14
3
26
1.69
2000
3
9
24
1
1
3
41
2.23
1999
0
7
11
1
0
0
19
1.01

Cost of Living

The overall cost of living is measured for an area where 100 equals the national average; therefore, a cost of living measure above 100 demonstrates a cost of living more expensive than the national average. It takes in account housing, food and groceries, transportation, utilities, health care, and miscellaneous expenses such as clothing, services, and entertainment. State and local taxes are not included. Table 2-14 compares these cost of living factors for communities within Blanco County, with the national average.

Table 2-14: Cost of Living Comparison

Blanco
Johnson City
Round Mountain
National Average
Cost of Living Index
93.7
89.1
95.8
102.76
Average Yearly Utility Cost
$3,240
$2,811
$3,558
$3,251
Average Household Total Consumer Expenditures
$40,748
$35,205
$46,470
$41,554
Average Household Education Expenditures
$706
$614
$792
$729
Average Household Entertainment Expenditures
$2,195
$1,906
$2,524
$2,183
Average Household Transportation Expenditures
$8,643
$7,464
$9,814
$8,682
Average Household Retail Expenditures
$23,912
$20,830
$27,814
$24,198
Average Household Non-Retail Expenditures
$16,920
$15,342
$19,356
$17,353
Source: http://realestate.yahoo.com/re/neighborhood/texas/

Housing Costs
The rising cost of housing in the Central Texas is an issue of importance for all communities in the area. However, given Blanco's history of land ownership and water concerns the issue of affordable housing is not as pressing for this community. More than half of the houses in the City of Blanco are valued between $50,000 and $99,000. The next largest percent, 22 percent, of homes are valued at less than $50,000. This may be due to age of the housing stock, or the influence of manufactured housing without ownership of the land on which the home is placed.

Figure 6: City of Blanco Housing Value

figure

Property Tax
One factor that can have a significant impact on cost of living is property taxes. Comparing property taxes between Blanco and neighboring communities is complicated by the fact that the rate assessed varies widely depending on the taxing jurisdictions involved. Table 2-15 provides estimates of the 2003 property tax rates for cities near Blanco. Note: the cities of Dripping Springs and Wimberley do not charge cityl property taxes.

Table 2-15: Area Property Tax Rates

City
City
County
School
Blanco
.2057
.4910
1.500
Johnson City
.3090
.4910
1.3420
Dripping Springs
.3751
1.7554
Wimberley
.3751
1.69

Sales Tax
The sales tax is a major source of revenue for taxing jurisdictions in Texas. The state sales and use tax rate is 6.25 percent. Under state law, local taxing jurisdictions are allowed to add up to an additional 2 percent to the state rate, for a maximum combined total of 8.25 percent. This 2 percent local tax can be comprised of a combination of taxes levied by cities, counties, special districts, and transit authorities. Blanco, like the other incorporated communities in the county, charges the maximum rate of 8.25 percent.

Over the past 13 years, the city's sales tax has nearly doubled, from 15.8 million in 1990 to 30.2 million in 2003. The county has also seen even greater results, increasing sales tax revenues 154 percent since 1990. It is important to note that the city's annual percent to the county's sales tax revenue has flattened and is currently decreasing; meaning the City of Blanco's revenues are not increasing at the rate of the county and contributing less to the overall revenues as in the past.

Figure 7: Gross Sales Tax City of Blanco and Blanco County

figure

Access to Healthcare
Access to healthcare is often an important factor in community and economic development decisions. Blanco's proximity to Austin and San Antonio provides the community with access to a wide range of medical facilities, though these services are not available locally.

Physicians and Medical Personnel
According to the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners, there were 4 licensed physicians in Blanco County in May 2004. Due to the increasing nursing shortage in the state, the Texas Board of Nurse Examiners reports statistical information on more than the employment status of nurses, but also includes the home residence of nurses and the county of work. The Board of Nurse Examiners reported a total of 4 registered nurses (RNs) working in Blanco County in September 2003, and a total of 56 registered nurses living in the County. Of the 56 nurses in the county, 35 were employed full time, 13 employed part time, 3 were working outside of nursing and 5 were unemployed.