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Monday, August 14, 2006

New Census numbers could mean more moola

It looks like the U.S. Census Bureau messed up its last population estimate for Grand Forks. The July 2005 estimate said there were 49,792 people living here but the bureau said recently that 50,303 was closer to the mark.

City officials here have long considered the bureau's estimates, calculated by state demographer Richard Rathge, is way too low. The Metropolitan Planning Organization, whose numbers were proven to be more accurate following the 2000 Census, said there were 53,230 Grand Forks residents in July 2005.

The problem is, the Census goes with Rathge's numbers, which means the feds goes with Rathge's numbers and adjusts the amount of money they give to the city.

With the revised estimate, Grand Forks once more crosses the 50,000 threshhold, which means more fed programs are available and existing programs could get more money. CDBG, which nonprofits are screaming over, is one program where funding levels are based on population. Another program is the HOME program, which helps with affordable housing. The MetroPlains apartments are in line to get some of that money because the rent will be aimed at poor and moderate-income folks.

There's even better news.

The bureau's director Louis Kincannon came to Grand Forks today to talk about the revised estimate and about how the bureau could make the estimates more accurate. He told City Council President Hal Gershman, among others, that the bureau will consider all factors that might affect its estimates. Which effectively means the city can bring the MPO's data to bear and appeal Rathge's numbers.

Update 5:56 p.m., 8/15/06:Prairie Pundit's got a lot more to say about the Census.

4 Comments:

Anonymous ben said...

It's about time somebody officially questions Rathge. His estimates have been way off on several cities over and over again. Maybe it is the way the data is obtained, and maybe it is an incompetent state demographer...

10:30 PM  
Blogger Dustin Gawrylow said...

Great!

Now Grand Forks can be even more of a welfare case!

11:03 PM  
Blogger Tu-Uyen said...

Haven't lived much outside of the region have you?

11:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Word has it that the reason Grand Forks and East Grand Forks have trouble stabilizing their poulation numbers for an accurate count is due to the fact "That everytime a baby is born in EGF/GF a man leaves town!"

12:05 PM  

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