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Station contributes to Yuma’s growth

By Cpl. Natasha S. Rawls | | October 20, 2005

Station residents may have noticed U.S. Census Bureau enumerators going door-to-door collecting population information recently in station housing.

Under normal circumstances, censuses are collected once each 10 years but, as in the case of Yuma, if a community experiences significant growth before the next federal census, a special census can be ordered.

A special census is paid for by the community and ensures the area is receiving appropriate funding for their population.

“The state of Arizona has an amount of revenue divided up between towns for funding of schools, transportation, parks, libraries and things like that,” said U.S. Census Bureau special survey technician Monty Niebur.

According to the City of Yuma Web site, Yuma is the third fastest growing community in the country and the tenth largest city in the state of Arizona.

“The Arizona Department of Economic Security has released the July 1, 2004, ‘year-round’ population estimates for Arizona's counties, incorporated places, and balance of county areas,” according to the Web site. “As of July 1 (2004), the City of Yuma population estimate was (eighty-six thousand and seventy). That is a two thousand, seven hundred and forty-person increase since July 1, 2003, and reflects a 3 percent growth rate. Our official count from the April 1, 2000, Decennial Census was (seventy-seven thousand, five hundred and fifteen); so Yuma has grown by (more than eight thousand five hundred and fifty) persons since then, or more than 11 percent).”

Yuma city officials expect this number to continue to rise, and one factor that continues to contribute to Yuma’s growth is the air station. A team of four enumerators has been collecting census data on station since Oct. 15.

Once the mid-decade census is complete, the state will use those population numbers to determine how much revenue Yuma will receive, said Niebur.

He said station residents would benefit from this special census because of the improvements that will be made due to the increased revenue.

“If (Yuma officials) didn’t hold this census now, they would have to wait for the next census in five years to count the population,” said Niebur.

Niebur said not only is the expected increase of population a large factor in city officials’ decision to hold a census, but the information collected in the census also gives the city an idea of the most important resources to be built or improved.

“Statistics like age, head of household, race and gender help the community get an idea of what type of people live there,” said Niebur. “Stats like age are important when a community is deciding whether to build more schools for youth or more hospitals for elderly.”

The town of Yuma has appropriated about a million dollars for the census, said Niebur.

The census is expected to be complete by late November and the numbers will be released subsequently.

For more information, contact the local census office at 329-2212.

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