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Census data shows populations up in most of region

PLATTSBURGH -The U.S Census Bureau, through its American Community Survey, has released estimates for geographic areas with populations less than 20,000.

According to the State University of New York at Plattsburgh Technical Assistance Center, the New York State Data Center Affiliate for Clinton and Essex Counties, these are the first population estimates released by the Census Bureau for these communities since the 2000 Census count.

The Census Bureau estimates the 2009 population for Clinton County at 81,755 and Essex County at 37,927. When taking margins of error into account, Clinton County overall and many of its municipalities show estimated population increases since 2000. Essex County overall, and many of its municipalities, show estimated population decreases over this decade.

In Clinton County, most communities, particularly in the eastern portion of the county, are estimated to have gained a modest number of residents. Those towns with higher estimated population counts since 2000 include Beekmantown, Black Brook, Champlain, Chazy, Mooers, Plattsburgh and Peru. The City of Plattsburgh is also estimated to have an increased population count. The towns of AuSable, Altona, Clinton, and Dannemora are estimated to have lost residents since 2000.

Most of the population loss or growth estimates in Essex County communities fall within the margins of error identified by the Census Bureau, so they are not statistically meaningful. Those which are estimated to have lost residents include the towns of Chesterfield, Essex, Minerva and Moriah.

"These new population count estimates appear to validate the trend seen over recent decades in which the most rural areas of our region are losing residents," TAC assistant director Victoria Zinser Duley commented.

According to information released by TAC, 2010 Census counts will not be available at the community level until early spring 2011. The information also stated it is important to take caution in directly comparing Census counts with these estimates and higher margins of error for the estimates should be noted. The Census Bureau's American Community Survey provides estimates for these smaller populations based on 60 months of household sample surveys, collected in this case during 2005 to 2009.

The data is adjusted by the most recent population counts, in the case of these smaller communities, from the 2000 Census. Next year's release of information is expected to have greater accuracy due to adjustments by the then-available 2010 Census.

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