Sep 14, 2010 12:28 AM by John Romero
New census estimates show around 400,000 people are now living in Colorado Springs, with an additional 604,000 in the surrounding El Paso County. "It's about a 10% increase from 2000 for Colorado Springs, and about a 16-17% increase for El Paso County." explains Deborah Muehleisen of the Census Bureau.
Some of the biggest growth is from the Hispanic population. "We've grown for instance 16% in the county. But the Hispanic population has grown 40% in the county." explains Muehleisen, "So we're seeing a shift in our demographics that is going to be more like he rest of the country." Estimates right now indicate a 74% return rate of census data. When final numbers come out it could actually show a decrease from the last census ten years ago. Muehleisen says it's a sign of the times. "The situation has changed dramatically in the country since then." she explains, "There's a lot more distrust of the federal government, fear of privacy, there's a lot more ethnic minority communities that have language issues."
But fewer responses has a direct financial impact locally because every person counted equals around $900 in annual federal government funding. The fewer responses, the fewer dollars we take in from the feds. "If we have a 2-5% under count it's significant dollars for our community." says Muehleisen. The Census Bureau says we can expect to start seeing some final numbers around December of this year.