Sep 14, 2010 12:28 AM by John Romero

El Paso County population on the rise

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.



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