To build a community market, one must understand the community. Right?
One of the first steps to discovering this community market within my mind was to know who I was designing for. Statistics Atlas provides plenty of useful, raw information about the demographics of the area. Diving first into the demographics of Marshall Square in Cook County, there are several categories to consider. How old are the people living here? What is their gender? What is their household like? What is their education level? What is their occupation? How do they get to work? What language do they speak? What is their ethnicity? and so much more.
First to consider, like McKinley Park, is the resident’s Age and Sex. And the results are amazingly interesting. Especially compared to McKinley Park. Marshall Square is proportionally much younger than the average resident in McKinley Park. Looking at Statistics Atlas and their information provided on what major age groups are in this area, the largest one is those ages 10 to 14 years old at 11.6% if the population. No other group seems to come close to this, especially since the second largest group is those between the ages of 25 to 29 at 9.53% of the population of Marshall Square. So instantly, since the information is so skewed compared to McKinley Park, I drove off to answer other arising questions such as: Who takes up this large percentage of adults? Why is the youngest age group the largest? Are both these easily correlated by research of household types? And to answer all these questions simply, the household types of Marshall Square is far more family friendly than that of McKinley Park. Contradictory as it may seem, since the Marshall Square household of Families Without Children is 67.7% compared to McKinley Park’s 64.2%, the major thing to consider is who makes up the households of those with children. Looking into that specific group, households with children under the age of 18 is predominantly 50% Single Mothers! Over two percentiles larger than Chicago’s average! So a bigger problem/social issue comes into play that must be accounted for. Marshall Square’s single mother community needs a significant amount of attention when designing this community market. So what else does Marshall Square offer? Well I must also consider the Ethnicity and Race of the residents here. Well, after researching, the diversity of this area is far less than McKinley Park. Having a 86.8% Hispanic population, there is no other major group that could possibly be compared to it. The other two considerable groups may be the 7.8% caucasian population and 4.2% Asian population. If this lot is chosen, it is also important to know that Chicago’s “Chinatown” is extremely close by. So in order for the community market to differentiate itself, it does not need to prioritize the consideration cultural aspects of the Asian population. So that makes it extremely simple to just focus on the Hispanic majority. Other aspects to consider not yet discussed is the Income and Education Levels of the residents. Holy Moly! is the income considerably low compared to the Chicago average annual income. Before, I may have said that McKinley Park’s average annual income may have been low, but Marshall Square’s is about $40K less! It is completely heartbreaking once now knowing more information about the demographics of the region. The occupations of the residents are quite showing of this result, however. Low skill jobs and low pay work is what these families rely on. Especially since the majority of the residents are without High School Diplomas. About 11% are have pursued higher education too, which is about 3 percentiles less than Chicago’s average.
So, when imagining the average Marshall Square resident, they are typically a young adult. Hispanic and female with several children between the age of 5 to 18. They possess low income careers requiring little skill. Struggling to reach work, it is safe to assume that they take advantage of the transit stations offered nearby. Marshall Square will most likely be my selected spot.