Thursday, February 24, 2011

The population of Bend is....?

76,639 U.S. Census, 2010

80,995 City Limits Sign

83,125 City of Bend estimate.

One of the more argumentative issues among the bubble bloggers was whether Bend would actually lose population in the bust.

I thought it would.

So did it, or didn't it?

Based on what I've seen in my store, I think we not only lost population; but in a de facto way, we lost way more population than even the Census uncovered (4,300 people.)

I've had many regular customers leave town. But even more so, I have a large number of regular customers who haven't officially left town -- often their families are still here, and their residence -- but who are nevertheless working elsewhere.

Back in the 80's we were bleeding residents -- because there were actual jobs elsewhere. I think we've slowed down the bleeding this time because of the lack of jobs elsewhere, as well as the difficulty in selling homes.

And it should be pointed out that if you've had steady, even spectacular growth for decades, that's what you plan for. So even breaking even is probably a set back. Actually declining is probably a double whammy.

To me, that was the whole point in discussing the boom and bust: Planning for it. I think our city officials failed in that; and seem to still be in some denial.


Anonymous said...

It is interesting to me that there seems to be no dispute that the worldwide population is increasing, that the US population is increasing, or that Oregon's population is increasing. That being said it is quizzical that the blogger's in each of Oregon's town's and City's are convinced that their locale has a dwindling population base and there is a conspiracy to hide and mask this decline

Duncan McGeary said...

You have learned well, young Darth.

Marginalize those who you disagree with by calling them "conspiracy" nuts.

I have no idea what other bloggers are saying in other cities.

But this morning's Bulletin said the census came up with a lower total than the city officials, so it would seem an argument could be had.

Instead of being dismissed cause you don't like it.

S.Dahlen said...

The force is strong in you Dunc, but Methinks thou doth protest too much.
I don't really have any opinion on whether there is a City conspiracy to inflate population numbers or whether the US Census undercounts (as they are widely accused of). My point is that from a mathematical standpoint it seems odd to accept PSUs figures for the total Oregon population, but not accept their tallies for the various towns and cities.

Duncan McGeary said...

I think there is a time lag there.

Are you saying the state estimates are more accurate than the actual full census count? (I could actually see how an argument could be made that estimates take into account people the actual count missed.)

But I think if you look strictly at the last year or two, I think it's probable we've lost population.

I had the same kind of anecdotal evidence for the boom; person after person in my store saying they were moving here.

But really, I just don't see how the jobs are here to replace all the ones we lost, so it seems to make sense that we're losing people.

Had a guy in this morning leaving town. Seems like I have someone in fairly often telling me they're leaving...

One other thing; we've probably lost working age population, and replaced it with retirement population. I think retirees are famous for cutting back and spending less...

At least in my store, I don't necessarily need young families, but I do need the 30 to 50 year age range to do well.

S.Dahlen said...

“You don’t need to see his identification … These aren’t the droids you’re looking for … He can go about his business … Move along.”

Dunc—My gut feeling is that PSU is more accurate and that is just because when I Google them I get no hits on undercounts (or overcounts). Unfortunately the US censuses claim to fame is how often they are successfully challenged by those who claim undercounting.

The larger picture is that you can only ride on one of these horses. If you are going to go with the census numbers, the only mathematically meaningful comparison is from the 2000 census to the 2010 census(and likewise for PSU) On the other hand if you mix the apples and oranges you could use the census tally on Monday and the PSU tally on Tuesday and conclude that the city grew 5% in a single day

H. Bruce Miller said...

Either (a) we lost population or (b) the Bendboosters grossly overestimated the population or (c) the Census is wrong.

I'll go with a combination of a and b.

H. Bruce Miller said...

"Are you saying the state estimates are more accurate than the actual full census count?"

The Bendboosters have always bitched that PSU UNDERESTIMATED the city's population.

PopGoesBend said...

I think I saw somewhere that the PSU estimate is partially based on housing starts. Bend had a lot of homes built that weren't needed and that may have skewed their numbers.

Anonymous said...

Can we agree that PSU and the US census reach different tallies because of one or all of these;
1) They use different criteria for what constitutes a resident
2) They use different methodology to calculate the number of residents
3) Blackhearted devils are conspiring to inflate the PSU numbers

Anonymous said...

Census is a fraud ran to create new seats for politicians and gerrymandering.
PSU is a fraud on behalf of PUBIC edoocation.
Bend Boosters are the queen HO's of Fraud.
When this miserable little town is a ghost town there will still be a sign that say's 80,000 souls.
Bend leads in suicide, but in Bend corpses are included in the count.
It can be agreed that those who are left don't go because there is no job to go to, but what about the kid's the 'wanderers' the lost generation of 25 white-males are they still coming to Bend to couch-surf? With their 'retired' cali parents?? My suspect is a BIG no, why live in the cold, when you got distant family still in the warm area's of cali.
Well it's all FUN, but we can all agree on one thing, and that is NOBODY is going to admit that we fell to 60,000 until its fucking obvious.
An interesting question, is how? How do you do a quick measurement?? DMV? Demographics? Utility bills? Certainly somebody has an idea? Public schools would be a good indicator, that could lead a gut estimate.
Personally I know most of my valley friends have quit coming over to Bend, as its just not fun anymore. That means second homes have the lights off. I remember back in the day we used to talk about counting the lights on per block?
The Bend Boosters never want to admit, they got to sell this place, shit who would buy here if anybody thought for a moment we were in negative population growth?? Tell me it ain't so.

LSMFT said...

Census is a fraud……
PSU is a fraud……
Bend is miserable…….

The amount of anger out there is the blogisphere may be equal to the energy contained in the sun and America needs to start tapping this valuable resource.

I’m imagining steam generation plants where rows of angry bloggers sit in front of computers with buckets of water strapped to their heads. As their rhetoric became heated the water would boil and wa la –Cheap Electricity

The only problem I can see is that some jokester might get on the blog and suggest that real estate prices are recovering or some other kind of positive news--This would cause the plant to overheat in a Chernobyl style meltdown.