Census data for Beacon is unclear
Has the population decreased or stayed the same?
The only conclusion to be drawn from the preliminary Beacon Census figures is that it is difficult to draw conclusions from the preliminary Beacon Census figures.
At first glance, figures released by the US Census Bureau last week show a startling loss of 1,772 people over the past decade, from 15,541 to 13,769, or more than 11% in a city that has seen the added hundreds of apartments and condos. during the last years.
But Mayor Lee Kyriacou said Monday (August 16) that he believed the agency’s numbers from 2010 and 2020 were not comparable.
In 2010, he said, the tally included 1,790 prisoners at Fishkill Correctional Center, which is split, geographically, between Beacon and the town of Fishkill.
The mayor said he believes the Census Bureau did not include the inmate population in the 2020 figures. He suggested that it instead count inmates as permanent residents of their hometown, regardless of location. where they are incarcerated.
Kyriacou said he learned the prisoners were included in Beacon’s 2010 tally in 2012, when he analyzed the data while co-chairing a committee to redraw the lines for Beacon’s four council wards.
Without prisoners, the population in 2010 was 13,751, Kyriacou said, compared to 13,769 counted for 2020, an increase of 18 people.
But that, too, is hard to believe for a city that three years ago hired environmental engineers to study whether its water supply could withstand the long-term impacts of rapid residential development. (That could, until 2035, according to the report.)
Kyriacou said he was surprised by the small increase, “but family sizes are going down, not just in Beacon, but probably nationally. Families moving were larger and those arriving are smaller.
New York residents who have purchased second homes but don’t count Beacon as their primary residence may also have contributed to the confusing numbers, he said.
On Wednesday, however, a representative from the Census Bureau appeared to refute the mayor’s assumption about the inmates’ residence, saying “we’re counting everyone where they are on April 1” of last year, that he’s be inmates, residents of retirement homes or students, among other examples.
Informed of the Census Bureau’s response, Kyriacou revised his assumption, suggesting that Fishkill Correctional’s prison population, which prison officials said in July 2019 was 1,616, was fully counted in 2020 as part of the town of Fishkill, which grew by 2,119 people, or almost 10%.
The situation may become clearer, but not for a while. The Dutchess County Planning Department will take a closer look at the underlying data within a year, said John Penney, who chaired the county’s full count committee.
Until that happens, the uncertainty makes it difficult to interpret the Beacon demographic breakdown released last week by the Census Bureau. According to these numbers, Beacon has seen a significant increase in the number of residents who self-identify as multi-race (up nearly 129%) and Asian American (up 17%).
Meanwhile, the white population has shrunk by 11.5% and blacks by 46.5%, although the Census Bureau has warned that many people who identified as white or black in 2010 may have reclassified as multiracial in 2020.