Census breaks down daytime populations
Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 3, 2005
For the first time ever, the U.S. Census Bureau has released data that measures daytime population of cities across the country.
The data, released in October and based on year 2000 census numbers, shows that Greenville's population increases by 2,343 people during the daytime, an increase of 32.4 percent.
The numbers weren't a surprise to Greenville Mayor Dexter McLendon.
“What it tells me that we have a lot of people who live outside the city limits coming in to work in Greenville,” said McLendon.
According to the Census Bureau, daytime population is measure of the number of people who are present in an area during normal business hours.
McLendon said he has heard comments from county residents about the amount of money and time they spend in Greenville.
“They think they should be able to vote for the mayor and council just like Greenville residents do,” he said. “Really I have no answer for them because they do spend their money here, go to school here and support some of our organizations like the YMCA and others.”
McLendon, though, still has issues with the 2000 census data that showed Greenville as declining in population from 1990 to 2000. In 1990, Greenville had a population of 7,924 people according to the Census Bureau. By 2000, that number had fallen to 7,228.
“I would have thought it would have been much higher in that 10-year span,” said McLendon. “We had a lot of things happen during that time, such as the golf course coming in and development along I-65.”
McLendon said accurate census data “is only as good as the number of people who complete it.”
“There's room for error,” he said.
He said declining population numbers - or data that shows a population decrease - has an effect on what grants they city is eligible for. Plus, McLendon said it's hard to convince state entities, like the Alabama Department of Transportation, to pour time, money and effort into city projects.
“For example, we need the by-pass four-laned. But how can I prove that's a necessary thing if census numbers show our population going down?” McLendon said.
McLendon expects the 2010 census will show a bigger population increase for the Camellia City.
“I think you're going to see a big difference,” he said. “Especially with the automotive suppliers we have here and other industries coming in.”
In surrounding cities, Montgomery saw a daytime population jump of 35,016 people due to commuting, up from 201,568. Andalusia saw an increase of 3,968, while Troy's daytime population increased by 3,246.