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Iowa census numbers discussion thread

by: desmoinesdem

Fri Feb 11, 2011 at 07:57:44 AM CST

The U.S. Census Bureau released a ton of new Iowa demographic information yesterday.

Data for Iowa show that the five most populous incorporated places and their 2010 Census counts are Des Moines, 203,433; Cedar Rapids, 126,326; Davenport, 99,685; Sioux City, 82,684; and Waterloo, 68,406. Des Moines grew by 2.4 percent since the 2000 Census. Cedar Rapids grew by 4.6 percent, Davenport grew by 1.3 percent, Sioux City decreased by 2.7 percent and Waterloo decreased by 0.5 percent.

The largest county is Polk with a population of 430,640. Its population grew by 15.0 percent since 2000. The other counties in the top five include Linn, with a population of 211,226 (increase of 10.2 percent); Scott, 165,224 (increase of 4.1 percent); Black Hawk, 131,090 (increase of 2.4 percent); and Johnson, 130,882 (increase of 17.9 percent).

Click here to find the Iowa numbers and charts. I haven't had as much time as I'd like to look through the data, but I'm posting a few starting points for discussion here.

Rick Smith's piece on growth in the Cedar Rapids-Iowa City corridor is worth a read. I'm not surprised Linn County grew substantially during the decade, especially in the suburbs, but the population growth in Cedar Rapids itself is impressive. I didn't expect to see that after the 2008 floods destroyed whole neighborhoods in the city.

After the jump I've posted official 2010 population numbers for all 99 Iowa counties, along with a map putting the counties in different population categories and a map grouping counties by population gain or loss (percentage). Ten Iowa counties have populations larger than 65,000 people. Another 14 counties have populations between 25,000 and 64,999; 29 counties have populations between 15,000 and 24,999; and 46 counties have populations between 4,029 (Adams) and 14,999. Dallas led the 33 Iowa counties that gained population between 2000 and 2010.

Although I wasn't able to reproduce this chart showing the racial and ethnic breakdown of the Iowa population by Congressional district, I did include those numbers at the end of this post. I was surprised to see that even though Polk County has the largest Latino/Hispanic population in Iowa, there are more Latino/Hispanic residents in IA-05 than in IA-03, with IA-02 and IA-04 not far behind. Meanwhile, IA-01 has the smallest Latino/Hispanic population but the largest African-American population. The largest Asian population is in IA-03 with IA-02 not far behind. View the chart here or scroll down for more details.

Share any thoughts about the census data or details that caught your eye in this thread. For example, the Newton Independent posted 2000 and 2010 numbers for Jasper County and area cities.

UPDATE: The Des Moines Register has lots of census coverage here. Statewide, Iowa's population grew by 4.1 percent from 2000 to 2010. The Latino population was up by 83.8 percent, the Asian population was up by 44.9 percent, and the African-American population was up by 44.1 percent.

There's More... :: (8 Comments, 653 words in story)

Take a few minutes to fill out your census form

by: desmoinesdem

Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 07:29:01 AM CDT

April 1 is the U.S. Census Bureau's target date for Americans to fill out and return their census forms. Every 1 percent increase in the census mail-back rate saves the U.S. Census Bureau about $85 million. After April 10, the bureau will start sending out census-takers to households that did not return their forms. President Barack Obama filled out his own family's form and declared today "Census Day":

The First Ladys mother lives with the family in the White House. Since the census asks for a count of everyone currently living in the household - not just immediate family - the President included his mother-in-law on his census form.

In these difficult economic times its common for extended family and friends to live with another family, yet many households mistakenly leave these individuals off their census forms.

Mr. desmoinesdem and I filled out our family's form and mailed it back a couple of weeks ago. There are no "long forms" anymore; everyone gets the short survey with just 10 questions.

As of this morning, the national census participation rate was 52 percent; you can click on this interactive map to find participation rates in your area. Today Iowa ranked fifth among the states with a 60 percent participation rate. South Dakota and Wisconsin tied for first place with a 62 percent participation rate, and North Dakota and Nebraska tied for third with 61 percent. Within Iowa, a few towns had participation rates exceeding 80 percent. About 63 percent of households in my corner of the state, Windsor Heights, have returned their census forms so far.

Although some conservatives hyperventilate about the demographic questions on the census form, recording the race and ethnicity of U.S. residents helps the government "execute and monitor laws and programs that are targeted to specific groups." Like conservative arguments about the legality of health insurance reform, objections to the census questions have no basis in constitutional law:

On numerous occasions, the courts have said the Constitution gives Congress the authority to collect statistics in the census. As early as 1870, the Supreme Court characterized as unquestionable the power of Congress to require both an enumeration and the collection of statistics in the census. The Legal Tender Cases, Tex.1870; 12 Wall., U.S., 457, 536, 20 L.Ed. 287. In 1901, a District Court said the Constitution's census clause (Art. 1, Sec. 2, Clause 3) is not limited to a headcount of the population and "does not prohibit the gathering of other statistics, if 'necessary and proper,' for the intelligent exercise of other powers enumerated in the constitution, and in such case there could be no objection to acquiring this information through the same machinery by which the population is enumerated." United States v. Moriarity, 106 F. 886, 891 (S.D.N.Y.1901).

The census does not violate the Fourth Amendment. Morales v. Daley, 116 F. Supp. 2d 801, 820 (S.D. Tex. 2000). In concluding that there was no basis for holding Census 2000 unconstitutional, the District Court in Morales ruled that the 2000 Census and the 2000 Census questions did not violate the Fourth Amendment or other constitutional provisions as alleged by plaintiffs. (The Morales court said responses to census questions are not a violation of a citizen's right to privacy or speech.) [...]

These decisions are consistent with the Supreme Court's recent description of the census as the "linchpin of the federal statistical system ... collecting data on the characteristics of individuals, households, and housing units throughout the country." Dept. of Commerce v. U.S. House of Representatives, 525 U.S. 316, 341 (1999).

Share any relevant thoughts in this thread.

Discuss :: (5 Comments)
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