Return to...
Return to the VT State Data Center Page
Vermont SDC

Go Directly to:

Release Notes

The UVM Center for Rural Studies is...
The Vermont State Data Center
...for U.S. Census Bureau information and data

VT SDC Home  |  Data Resources for Vermonters  |  Census Activities in Vermont

U.S. Census Bureau
Community-Level Population Estimates

The U.S. Census Bureau has updated and released sub-county population estimates for July 1, 2000 through 2009. This release includes data for Vermont's cities, towns, and incorporated villages, as well as gores, grants, and unorganized towns.

Download the Data
Available in Microsoft Excel or comma-delimited table format. Download Cities and Towns:
• Excel format
• comma-delimited
Download Villages and Cities:
• Excel format
• comma-delimited

Click here for the VT SDC Message on the Release of the July 1, 2009 Population Estimates

More Notes on Usage of Population Estimates

The Vermont State Data Center offers the following advice on using these population estimates:

  1. These numbers are population estimates. They are not the same as the total enumeration counts of Census 2000. These numbers have more value in studying trends than in looking at them as point-in-time counts. And we will have to see if Census 2010 will verify any trends that these estimates show.

  2. PLEASE UPDATE ALL PREVIOUS CENSUS POPULATION ESTIMATES DATA THAT YOU MAY HAVE WITH THESE NUMBERS. When the Census Bureau releases new estimates, it also goes back and revises past released data.

  3. Be advised of the methodology to produce these estimates. The Census Bureau uses housing unit estimates to distribute the county population among subcounty areas within the county. Housing unit estimates use building permits, mobile home shipments, and estimates of housing unit loss to update housing unit change since the last census. The Census Bureau does use vital statistics data in producing the initial county estimates, but NOT for the town and city numbers.

  4. You are advised to compare these estimates to other July 1 estimates ONLY: the July 1 population estimates for 2000 – 2009 were created with a different methodology than the April 1 Census 2000 number. Therefore, in a comparison of 2009 to 2000, it is more statistically sound to compare the July 1 2009 estimates with the July 1 2000 estimates than with the Census 2000 numbers.

  5. Finally, be aware that a municipality can challenge its Census population estimate within 180 days of the estimate's release.

Population Estimate Data Terminology

Upon downloading the estimates, you will find some different data categories to consider. Here are explanations of each:

"Census 2000 April 1 Estimates Base Population" - this is the Census 2000 population number, plus any corrections, that acts as the base for the subsequent population estimates.

"July 1, (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 & 2009) Population" - these are the population estimates that the Census Bureau made. Each is dated at July 1 so they will count for equal periods of time. The Census plans to continue producing these July 1 estimates annually. They are different from (and less accurate than) the Census 2000 number because they aren't the results of enumeration, rather they are created with proxies for population, e.g. change in housing units."

For more on Census Bureau estimates terminology.

Census Population Estimate Methodology

From the U.S. Census Bureau...

"The Census Bureau develops subcounty population estimates using the “Distributive Housing Unit Method” which uses housing unit estimates to distribute the county population to subcounty areas within the county. Housing unit estimates use building permits, mobile home shipments, and estimates of housing unit loss to update housing unit change since the last census. Census counts of housing units are geographically updated each year to reflect legal changes reported in the Boundary and Annexation Survey (BAS), Census corrections, and other administrative revisions."

"The Census Bureau develops a household population estimate by applying the occupancy rate and average persons per household (PPH) from the latest census at the subcounty level to an estimate of housing units. The estimate obtained from this method is then controlled to the final county population estimate. The non-household population is measured by the change in the group quarters population. We produce the final estimate by adding the population in group quarters to the household population. The assumption implicit in this method is that changes in the occupancy rate and/or the PPH are measured by the updated county population estimate and that the rate of change in the occupancy rate and/or PPH is uniform within counties."

For more on the Census Bureau population estimates methodology.

The Census Download Site

Estimates data for VT and other states

Census Methodology

How to Challenge an Estimate

Census Terminology

1991-1999 Population Estimates
(in text file format)

Cities and Towns
Cities and Villages


Comments to:
Reviewed on 08.23.10