As promised, at the end of this post is a chart comparing the results of the 2000 and 2010 Census results by municipality in Columbia, Greene, and Dutchess Counties. Or, you can download the data as a PDF by clicking here. This table includes the raw numbers, the raw change in population, and the percentage change for each town (or city). This doesn’t include separate breakdowns for villages and other subdivisions within each town.
In presenting these simple comparisons, it should be noted that population figures are some of the most commonly-misinterpreted statistics cited by politicians and planners. To really understand shifts in population, one needs to look at larger universe of data and trends.
For example, population declines are almost always interpreted as bad news by civic leaders. But say a town’s population goes down while its residents’ average income or local sales tax revenues go up—isn’t that an improvement overall? What if the percentage of children under 18 goes down, while property values go up, improving the teacher/student ratios in the local schools—wouldn’t that also be an improvement?
One also has to look beyond the bottom-line stats to see if some key statistical method has changed, such as no longer counting prisoners in the local population, as has occurred in Hudson. (Without the 500-odd prisoners from 2000, Hudson’s decline in population is actually quite modest, more like 4%.) Taking a look at the results below, one suspects that there was some major redefinition of the Census’ definitions or borders for the Town of Milan, which surely did not lose half its population in 10 years.
In any case, here’s the three-county chart: