Moonlight in Vt.-or leave?

You gotta love the headcounters at the U.S. Census Bureau: every 10 years - and for intervening years, too - they put numerical facts where improbable claims used to exist. Amazing!

Case in point: the highly unusual declines in the size of the low- and middle-age cohorts in an entire State, as illustrated by the numbers just published within the 2010 Vermont Census of Population for the 2000-to-2009 decade. Every five-year age-cohort from 0-50 except the two encompassing 20-year-olds shrank in numbers, while every cohort from 50-85 and-up grew.

Total heads grew (2 percent) from 612,153 to 621,760, but the 0-to-19 group (most predictably in the education-consuming class) shrank from 165,737 to 147,596 and the 30-49 generation (most predictably in the active-income-earning, producing, and taxpaying class) shrank from 190,858 to 162,622. Concurrently, the 50-to-85 plus group (most predictably in or nearing the passive-income class) grew (23 percent) from 184,092 to 227,524.

And that ain't all. CB head-counters also furnish the age-cohort numbers in a slightly different format, to show the size of the two groups - 5-13 and 14-17 - which make up the public-education customer base. If you ask them, they'll explain that the statistically-insignificant numbers of 18-year-olds still in grade 12, and not held back, because that happens so rarely any more) pretty much balances the number of 5-year-olds not yet in K.

In Vermont in July 2001 the total for 5-17 was 111,899; by July 2009 it had shrunk to 93,801. That's about what you'd expect, as previously noted in these column-inches: when the parental age-cohorts depart Vermont, they quite responsibly take their school-age children with them.

Yes, public school enrollments in July are pretty much zero, but when you compare the 2001 census number with the Fiscal Year 2000 State Ed Department enrollment number you get 111,899 vs. 104,559. The SED includes in its total-enrollment number such new-and-additional categories, mostly in age-groups outside the traditional 5-17, as Essential Early Education (1,045), pre-K (1,446), elementary ungraded (71), secondary ungraded (178), adults (77), post-grad (14) and adult-with-diploma (30).

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