Oakland in the 1900 & 1910 Census

Oakland in 1900 and 1910

1. Chinatown in Oakland
There's a lot of information on Oakland in 1900 and 1910. I'm specifically interested in Chinese settlements and how these locations changed over the course of time, but there isn't much information on the subject organized into usable data outside of scanned Microfilm and research articles so far. Still haven't found any tabular or shapefile data on Chinese immigrants in Oakland in 1900 or 1910. I did some research on settlement behavior, though, and found that there were many Chinese communities dispersed throughout what is now downtown and Old Oakland. These locations changed over time with the Chinese Exclusion Act in May 1886. By 1900, a true Chinatown had been established in Oakland at 12th and Webster, which extended to the port by Alameda. the folks that lived in the community fished for shrimp in the bay and acquired other jobs to sustain themselves. Most were in laundry and servitude. I would love to find tabular data on the Census for both 1900 and 1910 so that I could create a visual representation of Chinatown's growth in Oakland and a visualization of Chinese Diaspora in the Bay Area. Here are some boundaries I discovered that show where and when Chinese immigrants settled in Oakland and the map I made to help visualizion:


2. Oakland + Brooklyn Township
Below is an interesting map I made that delineates Oakland and Brooklyn Township boundaries in 1877 (I didn't find a raster image from 1900 or 1910 that would georeference accurately enough). Using the georeference tool in QGIS, I was able to use an 1877 map of Alameda County and its various townships to create these polygons. There's a handy plugin on QGIS called "OpenLayers," which links users directly to open source map data for easy georeferencing within QGIS. It's pretty cool. Here's the map:


The original historic map is here:


And the georeferencing can be seen in this overlay, which contains the OpenStreetMaps layer, the historic map raster image, and the polygons showing the boundaries of Oakland and Brooklyn in 1877 respectively:


And here is a "bird's eye map of Oakland drawn in 1900.

Some Notes from my Research

"Oakland Chinatown dates back to the arrival of Chinese immigrants in the 1850s, making it one of the oldest Chinatowns in North America. By 1860, the census of Oakland included 96 "Asiatics" among a total of 1,543."

Alameda County Census (Population/cost of performing Census) in 1900 and 1910 :
1900 76,303,387 people $11,854,000
1910 91,972,266 people $15,968,000
1900 76,303,387 people $11,854,000
1910 91,972,266 people $15,968,000


If there seems to be little data, then it might not be a good project to try to do for GIS. Best to focus on what data IS available. One thought on the Chinese data would be that there might be info in city directories at the public library OR there might be info at a Chinese cultural center or some such. But don't spend too much time chasing phantom data.


What were the boundaries of incorporated Oakland in 1900 and 1910?

What demographic info do we have for Oakland for these years?

References and Sources

Data Might Be Here
Measuring America: The Decennial Census from 1790 to 2000
Bay Area Census
Oakland History Room at Oakland Public Library