Census 2010: The good, the bad and the uglyWe knew it and recent U.S. Census results affirmed it: Carlton County is a great place to live.
We knew it and recent U.S. Census results affirmed it: Carlton County is a great place to live.
Yep, the numbers have been tallied and it turns out the population of Carlton County grew from 31,671 in 2000 to 35,386 in 2010. That’s a jump of nearly 12 percent. Numbers were also available for Cloquet, which grew by 8.2 percent in that 10-year span, from 11,201 to 12,124.
Other than Carlton County, however, much of the Northland remained at similar numbers or even lost a few people (but not many) over the previous decade.
Statewide, Minnesota grew from 4.9 million people in 2000 to 5.3 million in 2010. Most all of that growth was in the Twin Cities metro area, which grew 23 percent.
Census numbers do more than simply affirm our choice of locale, however.
The new Census data will be used to determine the region’s share of some federal and state programs that are based on population. More urgently, it will be used by lawmakers and likely the courts to redraw political district boundaries before the 2012 elections.
Each congressional, state legislative, county, city and even local school district must be of near-equal population, and those boundaries are redrawn every 10 years after the Census is released to account for changes in the population.
According to the State Demographer’s office, the 8th Congressional District will have to add about 2,649 people to reach equilibrium with the other seven districts in the state. Suburban Twin Cities’ districts now have too many people and Northeastern Minnesota’s 7th district will have to grow by a whopping 37,000 people.
Those growth and no-growth patterns will also mean larger state legislative districts in the north to account for a greater percentage of the state’s population now living in the Twin Cities metro area.
When you look at it that way, the Census figures aren’t such good news for the Northland. But it could have been worse.
Now we just have to convince tens of thousands of Twin Cities dwellers that they’d be wise to move to this bit of paradise off the tip of Lake Superior, and they can either bring their businesses with them or telecommute all over the world.
But do we want to share?
The Duluth News Tribune contributed factually to this editorial.