US Census Vintage 2021 estimates: 800 more people in Bloomington compared to 2020 decennial count

Based on new estimates released on Thursday, Bloomington’s population has bumped up by 800 people compared to the 2020 census count.

The US Census Bureau (USCB) now estimates the city of Bloomington to have 79,968 residents. That’s as of July 1, 2021. The USCB calls this set of estimates the Vintage 2021 population estimates.

While some amount of estimated growth could be encouraging for Bloomington officials, it does not change the fact that the 2020 census counted just 79,168 residents, compared to 80,405 ten years earlier.

Bloomington’s still relatively low figure in Thursday’s release of new estimates does not bear on the question of how accurate the 2020 census count was. That’s because the estimates start with a base that is calculated using 2020 census data as one of the components.

The city of Bloomington’s position is that the 2020 census missed a few thousand residents in Bloomington—because Indiana University student residents were told to return to their hometowns when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. That was just before April 1, 2022, which was the official census count day. Continue reading “US Census Vintage 2021 estimates: 800 more people in Bloomington compared to 2020 decennial count”

Analysis: Bloomington’s new redistricting advisory commission

Last Wednesday (Dec. 16), at its last regular meeting of the year, Bloomington’s city council approved the creation of a new redistricting commission that will in 2022 be responsible for making recommendations on boundaries for the six city council districts.

The idea of creating such a commission was uncontroversial. It was approved on a unanimous vote by the nine-member city council, which is made up of nine Democrats.

The new citizens advisory redistricting commission will also have nine members, but just three will be Democrats. In addition to the “delegation” of three Democratic Party affiliates, the ordinance also calls for a three-member Republican Party delegation and a three-member delegation of members who aren’t affiliated with either of the two major parties.

Each of the three delegations on the new commission has to include a full-time Indiana University student.

Council president Steve Volan wrote the ordinance. The slogan he gave in support of the basic concept of a redistricting commission was: “We shouldn’t be choosing our voters; they should be choosing their representatives.” Continue reading “Analysis: Bloomington’s new redistricting advisory commission”

Census 2020: University, city working against COVID-19 to get Bloomington college students counted, local census numbers currently lagging behind rest of state

Screen Shot 2020-04-03 at 4.09.47 AM
Annotated screen shot from Our World in Data

[Note: The census can be completed online by visiting this link to the US Census. https://my2020census.gov/]

About six weeks ago, on Feb. 20, Bloomington’s mayor, John Hamilton, gave his annual “state of the city” address. The mayor’s basic theme was “everyone counts”—a riff on the decennial census that’s taking place this year.

Before the speech, in the lobby of the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, where Hamilton delivered his remarks, Beverly Calender-Anderson was passing out literature about the census.  She was encouraging people to make sure they get themselves counted. Calender-Anderson is director of Bloomington’s community and family resources department.

As the proceedings were called to order at the Buskirk-Chumley, city council president Steve Volan took some time at the podium to add a piece of “flair” to his lapel—a button promoting participation in the census.

In his brief remarks on the census, Volan focused on the importance of getting students counted correctly: “Students are to be counted, as the census says, where they ‘usually reside’. So it’s important that everyone who is in Bloomington be counted here.”

At the time, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States was 15. Now six weeks later, the confirmed case count across the country is more than 200,000. Indiana’s confirmed cases are doubling about every four days, and this week passed 3,000. Continue reading “Census 2020: University, city working against COVID-19 to get Bloomington college students counted, local census numbers currently lagging behind rest of state”