Archive for Thursday, June 28, 2007

Lansing’s growth up 4.8%

New Census Bureau estimate puts city’s population at 10,705

June 28, 2007

Lansing is getting bigger, the U.S. Census Bureau says.

In its latest population estimate for the city, which was released this morning, the Census Bureau put Lansing's population on July 1, 2006, at 10,705 people. That's 4.8 percent higher than the Census Bureau's estimate a year ago, which placed the city's population on July 1, 2005, at 10,214.

"It shows people want to live in this community; they're moving to this community," Mayor Kenneth Bernard said of the latest estimate.

In the decennial census of 2000 - the most recent official headcount by the Census Bureau - the federal government counted 9,199 residents in Lansing. If the figures released today are accurate, it means the city has grown by 1,506 residents in the first six years of the 2000s. That's a growth rate of 16.4 percent in the time span, or about 2.7 percent growth per year.

"We estimate, for budget purposes, about 3 percent per year," Bernard said, "so that number is fine. As long as we're growing, it's good."

In the figures released today, the Census Bureau has modified its estimate for Lansing's 2005 population to 10,539 people. When the figures were released a year ago, City Administrator Mike Smith had questioned their accuracy. Smith at the time noted an annexation brought an additional 300 people into the city, but the Census Bureau estimated growth of just 94 people.

Today's figures seemed to clear up that issue.

Bernard said the city has in place long-range plans for continued growth. For instance, an expansion of the city's Wastewater Utility Plant completed in 2005 would accommodate a population of up to 25,000. The city also continues to update its comprehensive plan, which guides the community's growth.

"I think we're well-positioned to accommodate this kind of growth," Bernard said. "We can even accommodate more."

Bernard said credit for Lansing's population splurge isn't due solely to the city's policies.

"A lot (of the population growth) I'd attribute to our school system," he said.

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