"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Are we growing or shrinking?

Looking at both links in two very recent comments about population, it would appear that according to the US Census estimates, NH total population as well as Moultonboro's , have increased, both less than 1%.
Taking a closer look, Carroll County in the actual 2010 count, increased by 4,152, ( 47,818 vs.43,666.), or 9.4% according to the NH OEP:
                       
             




                               1960       1970        1980       1990           2000          2010
Moultonboro   840 1,310 2,206 2,956 4,484 4,044



Other than Jackson, NH, which dropped by 19 people in 2010, all the other towns in Carroll County increased in population. One explanation for our lower numbers is that perhaps we were under counted and that our actual population was closer to the 2000 level.  All NH counties increased in population in 2010 and in fact Carroll County at 9.4% was just behind Strattford County ( 9.7%) in terms of percent increase. 

According to the NH OEP 2014 estimates, Moultonboro was estimated at a slight increase of 26 to 4,070 and the county increased by 510. 
The methodology for estimated population is as follows: "The official estimates of population are based on a dwelling unit method. The method attempts to translate permits issued for new dwellings into estimated population. The 2010 US Census serves as a benchmark; changes in the number of  dwellings are used to update the dwelling unit counts by the US Census. Two rates are used to convert the estimated number of dwellings into estimated population. These rates are population  per household and occupancy rates.These rates vary considerably by housing type. For this reason, data and calculations are divided into single family, multi-family and manufactured housing types. The rates are taken from the 2010 decennial census.The dwelling unit calculations estimate household population. Group Quarters population, persons living in dormitories, prisons, etc., is estimated using the 2010 census and updated using an annual OEP survey of establishments known to have group quarters population. The individual municipal estimates are proportionately controlled to an existing estimated state total.
This state total is prepared with the state as a single statistical entity. In turn, this state total results from an adjustment to conform to a national total. The state total is prepared by the Census Bureau’s Federal-State Cooperative Program for Population Estimates (FSCPE). "
How accurate are these estimates? In 2009, OEP estimated Moultonboro's population at 4,980 which as it turns out was way off the mark. They did get pretty close at the county level as they estimated Carroll County at 47,693, just 125 less than the 2010 census count. 
There is a disclaimer on the OEP website: "We must stress that due to methodology changes over the years, population figures are not comparable, except for the US Census data, which started in 1790 and is conducted every ten years."
It does throw some doubt in my mind about how accurate demographic predictions are especially when we consider the future school population. The demographics report submitted to the school district by Dr. Joyce and Keith Burke in June 2015 used census data and NH OEP estimates.  It doesn't change the enrollment numbers of course, but it may skew the other calculations, such as percent enrollment to population and of course, future enrollment projections.  
The only certainty in all this data is that the further out you go, the less accurate the conclusions, at least until the next census. 
Are we growing or shrinking? Probably.....

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

The most important question to me is which segment of the town population is growing, young with families or retirees? I know of four households in my neighborhood (3 streets) that have become permanent, retired residents.

Anonymous said...

its dangerous to draw conclusions from anecdotal observations.

Joseph Cormier said...

I agree. We have the same "observation", of category, in our neighborhood.

It would seem logical, if that "guerrilla coming down the track" is called "boomers", there are ramifications, statistical or otherwise.

Sometimes a macro viewpoint, rather than micro viewpoint, derives a clearer "picture" of events.

Don't worry about the gnat's ass ... while it's on that elephant running towards you!

Anonymous said...

A question is not a conclusion, 7:52.

test said...

test

Anonymous said...

Nancy Wright said......You can argue with the exact population numbers in the census but it's hard to argue with Moultonborough's documented school enrollment numbers.

According to the June 2015 report prepared by Dr. Joyce for the Moultonborough School Board, student enrollment during 2007-08 was 658, it's highest. Moultonborough School Board has student enrollment at 514, as of October 2015. The numbers show a 22% decrease in student enrollment in the last 8 years.

The NH government website has the town's population at 4,993 in 2008, when it was at it's highest. Dr. Joyce's report lists town population at 5,054, for the same period. Compare either number to todays estimate of 4,078 and the figures show a 19-20% decrease in the last 7 years.

Is Moultonborough's population growing or shrinking? The numbers indicate overall population in Moultonborough is shrinking.