Vt. city mystified by census population decline

Posted July 04, 2011, at 8:48 p.m.

ST. ALBANS, Vt. — The city of St. Albans is planning to challenge a U.S. Census Bureau finding that the community lost almost 10 percent of its population and more than 4 percent of its housing units in the last decade, officials said.

Information from the 2010 U.S. Census found that the number of people living in the Franklin County city went from 7,650 in 2000 to 6,918 in 2010, a decline of 9.6 percent. The same figures found the number of housing units in the city dropped by 4.3 percent.

“What struck the city as off is the magnitude of the decline,” said City Manager Dominic Cloud told the Burlington Free Press. “We’re not saying we bucked the trend of other cities in the state, but we’re not convinced we’re down that much.”

Census figures show that Franklin County grew by 5 percent, the adjoining, but legally separate, town of St. Albans grew by 18 percent and neighboring Fairfax by 14 percent.

The city has two years to present its numbers challenging the census figures. The figures are important because the U.S. government uses census figures to help distribute more than $400 billion to local, state and tribal governments.

Cloud said the city has seen more construction of housing of housing in the last decade than it has demolition.

Officials say that during the last decade 10 buildings were demolished in the last decade. During that same time almost 50 new apartments were added and a number of single-family homes have been remodeled into apartments throughout the city.

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