Archive for Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Revised estimate provides sudden jump in population

County had questioned previous data

October 24, 2006


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Douglas County still is growing after all, according to a revised population estimate just issued by the U.S. Census Bureau.

In a letter sent to County Administrator Craig Weinaug, the Census Bureau says it now estimates the county's population as of July 1, 2005, to be 111,519. That is nearly 9,000 people more than the estimate of 102,914 for 2005 issued a few months ago.

"It's great news," County Commissioner Charles Jones said. "We appreciate the responsiveness of the (U.S.) Department of Commerce."

In September, Douglas County and the city of Lawrence filed an informal challenge with the bureau over the earlier estimates. At that time, the population estimate for Lawrence was 81,816. The Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Department's own estimate for Lawrence was 88,664.

Kindergartners Lydia Wood, 5, and Katie Babbit 6, skip on their way home Monday from Deerfield School. Revised estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show that Douglas County's population is 111,519, which is 9,000 higher than a previous challenged estimate.

Kindergartners Lydia Wood, 5, and Katie Babbit 6, skip on their way home Monday from Deerfield School. Revised estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show that Douglas County's population is 111,519, which is 9,000 higher than a previous challenged estimate.

The Census Bureau's new county population estimate was not broken down by cities and rural areas. Further county characteristics and revisions will be listed with estimates for 2006 to be issued next year, said Jonathan Takeuchi of the Census Bureau.

But Lawrence City Manager Dave Corliss said it was his understanding the Census Bureau will send a letter with a response to the city's challenge in a few days. Since the Census Bureau now shows the county's population has increased, a major portion of that increase is expected to be in Lawrence, Corliss said.

The Census Bureau's revised estimate was based on housing data provided by the county, such as building and mobile home permits and demolition of structures, Takeuchi said. Also considered were persons per household and delayed occupancy rates, he said. Kansas University students were counted, based on where they live during most of the year, Takeuchi said.

Rusty Moore, Lawrence, left, high-fives Penny Fowler, Lawrence, after Fowler picked up a spare during their bowling league action at Royal Crest Lanes, 933 Iowa. Fowler moved to Lawrence from Florida in 2003 to be near her daughter.

Rusty Moore, Lawrence, left, high-fives Penny Fowler, Lawrence, after Fowler picked up a spare during their bowling league action at Royal Crest Lanes, 933 Iowa. Fowler moved to Lawrence from Florida in 2003 to be near her daughter.

The Census Bureau's methodology differs in that it primarily uses population records, such as births, deaths and migration rates, Takeuchi said.

"It's just a different methodology," he said. "Administrative records data fit most counties very well, but in some cases the housing unit method may give a different estimate."

The population estimates are important because some state and federal funding appropriations are based on them, including community development block grants, transit systems and highways.

City planners will constantly be reviewing their population estimate methodology with the Census Bureau, Corliss said. And planning for growth is continuing, he said.

"We're not just simply hanging by the mailbox waiting for the federal government to tell us we are growing," he said. "We are going to continue to look at strong, wise growth policies for the community."

Census data

Explore population trends in census data for Lawrence and other Kansas cities from 1900 to 2005. Go »


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 7 months ago

The only reason an accurate count matters is because federal funding is based on it, and a larger city is a more expensive city to operate.

Lawrence doesn't need to grow. We're just fine at our current population. A drastic reduction in population would be a problem because that would require the remaining population to pay for infrastructure required by a larger population. But an increase in population would require additional infrastructure, which costs money.

I know the logic of that will be lost on you and your religious dogma that worships cancerous growth rates.

staff04 11 years, 7 months ago

So, lunacydetector, I am trying to figure out why you would put your faith in the Census Bureau's now retracted initial report, but now the information from the Census Bureau is not good enough for you...

Perhaps because it conflicts with your fantasy world?

Leprechaunking13 11 years, 7 months ago

not to mention that they are still in DOUGLAS COUNTY when they move to Eudora or Baldwin look at a friggin map, I highly doubt that either one of those has had a huge boom compared to Lawrence anytime soon considering how much Lawrence has grown as well since 2000.

lunacydetector 11 years, 7 months ago

bozo, go look for a house in baldwin or eudora. baldwin is the better buy by 10's of thousands of dollars. eudora's are more expensive than baldwin but still less than lawrence.

i still stand by what the US Census reported the first time, that lawrence's population has decreased. but then again bozo, i thought the population drop was insignificant and didn't matter to you. i guess it really does.

merrill wanted people to move years ago. most of the progressive mindset on here tell people who criticize the city to 'just move.' well, i think people have moved. i know a lot of people who have moved, and i know a lot of people. a funny thing happened to all of these people -their eyeballs stopped rolling because their towns are run by people who don't have convoluted thinking, nuk, nuk, nuk :)

while i know you will be responding bozo, what do you think about a real government running the city - like a real mayor with real power who gets paid real money? i think our form of government was great for when lawrence was a little village. now that the population has doubled since the inception of the city commission form of government, do you think lawrence should be run like a city with a professional at the helm as opposed to a little village with volunteers running the show?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 7 months ago

As ususal, you are just wrong, luny. A new house in Baldwin or Eudora will cost pretty close to the same that a comparable new house in Lawrence would cost.

"this is why lawrence has lost population."

It would appear that the city was right, and you are wrong, again, luny. Lawrence has not lost population.

KsTwister 11 years, 7 months ago

It would be more informative to have the change (if any) documented by the US Census bureau,as of now I don't see it. Also the Census excludes the population living in institutions, college dormitories, and other group quarters. If those numbers had indeed changed put up the proof-because right now there isn't much other than heresay by the city. And I question their method of projection as they have not appeared to follow Census rules.

Below is the link to the US Cenus bureau if you want to check:

Rhoen 11 years, 7 months ago

So ... this means that the actual "per capita" income has gone down a little bit more.

lunacydetector 11 years, 7 months ago

i think the big pickup in populations have to go to eudora which has more than doubled in population since 2000 and baldwin city. in both towns, the housing is far cheaper than lawrence. the rest of the people got the heck out of here to cities outside of the county. this was after our current city commission started running our city into the ground.

this is why lawrence has lost population. we'll see what the final report from the census says. if the census decision is tied to numbers supplied from the research istitute up on the hill, i will be highly suspect should the census change its mind, since some of the PRI hierachy are tied to the "progressives."

Leprechaunking13 11 years, 7 months ago

people in those institutions and dorms aren't living in a house they are here for the school year and gone these aren't counted because they don't have residence off campus in an actual housing complex that's why most people in lawrence know roughly how many people are here when students are here and when they are gone you're taking away almost THOUSANDS of people

RonBurgandy 11 years, 7 months ago

luny - you are right about housing costs. I built a new house in Eudora, where comparitively would have cost $40k more in the city limits. I can't say anything about Baldwin, but it would make sense that it is similiar.

Porter 11 years, 7 months ago

Maybe I'm missing something, but why is it so wrong for housing to be more expensive in a larger (and as the market would insinuate - more desireable) town?? I thought the three most important factors in determining real estate value were location, location, and location.

I don't know if you've noticed this or not, but a new house on the east side doesn't sell for the same amount as a new house on the west side. Is this the city commission's fault??

lunacydetector 11 years, 7 months ago

staff 04, it is quite obvious that eudora and baldwin have increased in size. just go there for a visit and you will see a lot of new housing. i know for a fact that eudora's population has doubled since 2000. where are all these people coming from? it's lawrence. no fantasy from me, just being realistic. where is all the growth i've been reading about from the progressive posters who write in here? the little neighborhoods that were held up by the sewer fiasco? i don't think there is enough housing going on for it to show a significant increase in population. i also see lots of vacancies all over town, so these new people can't be moving into apartments or starting new businesses.

i suggest you get out of your momma's basement, borrow her car keys and go for a drive - har, har -all the way to eudora, or even better, baldwin. the leaves have turned - should make for a scenic drive, even in her 3 cylinder Metro. the gas prices, though they are higher in lawrence than kansas city topeka or the turnpike, have dropped quite a bit. shouldn't cost you but a couple of bucks in gas. you'll be amazed at the REAL significant growth happening there comparitively, as opposed to here.

strawberry 11 years, 7 months ago

What a great photo--I love how the picture reflects the "jump" in population!

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