CRS: resources and expertise to support people and communities
Release Date: 07-01-2009
Author: William Sawyer
Today the U.S. Census Bureau released the 2000 - 2008 population estimates for towns, cities and villages in Vermont. You can download the data from our website at http://crs.uvm.edu/census/estimates/town
As is normally the case, these numbers include adjustments to previous estimates releases. So, if you have been using the population estimates, please replace your previous data with these new numbers.
What has changed in these numbers? Well, we have noticed that the Census Bureau has downgraded population growth across the board with each release of estimates since 2006. For instance, while the numbers have always shown population growth in Vermont since 2000, each release of estimates shows a lower level of increase for the same time period. With last year's estimates release, the Bureau's numbers reflected a drastic recalculation to decrease the population estimates of Vermont's southern counties. This year's release does not include a similar downgrade for the south and treats all counties in the state similarly. However Chittenden and Rutland County seem to have been recalculated up slightly due to new data on college dormitory populations in Burlington and Castleton.
Overall the trends that the Census Bureau is assuming with these estimates include:
- Net natural increase (births minus deaths) around the state, except for slight decreases in Bennington, Essex, Rutland and Windsor Counties.
- A net domestic migration decrease (state to state) throughout Vermont, fed mostly by large net losses in Chittenden and Windham Counties. There are also slight losses in Addison, Bennington, Washington, and Windsor Counties).
- Net increases in international migration for all Vermont counties, especially Chittenden County. However these gains have been downgraded slightly for the same time period since last year's estimates release.
In light of these state and county trends, how are the numbers assigned to communities? The Census Bureau's methodology for the local estimates is to distribute the county population among towns and cities proportionally by estimations of the number of local housing units. The primary data source for local housing units is the Building Permit Survey that the Bureau requests of all communities annually
PLEASE REMEMBER that we eagerly wait to see whether or not these local and statewide population trends are ratified by the full headcount in Census 2010.
Vermont State Data Center
at the Center for Rural Studies
207 Morrill Hall
University of Vermont
Burlington, VT 05405