Sunday, August 27, 2006
Shrveveport population slipping, according to census estimates
Shreveporttimes.com / Aug 15 / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Times writes, "Shreveport may have again slipped below a population of 200,000, a decline that could eventually affect the city's status in seeking state and federal funds.
The recently released federal population estimate of 192,531, which includes only people living in households and with a margin for error of 5,230, was mostly greeted with caution and skepticism by Shreveport officials and local analysts."
After an earlier census estimate for 2005 showed Shreveport's population at 198,874, city officials have began to keep a wary eye on the dwindling numbers. Falling below the pivotal 200,000 population threshold could mean the loss of millions in federal dollars annually for Shreveport, city leaders say.
"Being over 200,000 when it comes census time matters because of federal funding thresholds," said Ken Antee, the city's chief administrative officer. "It's not something that you get extra excited about on a mid-year basis."
Elliott Stonecipher, a local demographer, pollster and political analyst, said the census will soon release a more accurate estimate of the population within the next month.
Those are the numbers, Stonecipher said, that will be a better indicator of the city's population -- especially since it will be the first official count since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
"I think those numbers are really solid and the census does a very good job at head counts," Stonecipher said. "People can get mad at the intercensal data, but it's not a commercial for the municipalities. Everybody is subject to the same error."
Either way, the population estimates were hardly a surprise to Stonecipher. Shreveport is losing young people to and has been doing so for decades, Stonecipher said.
"We haven't been growing for a long time," he said. "We've just moved people around some ... and a lot of being are moving out of the state."