One of the most startling Georgia numbers to come out the U.S. Census Bureau data dump last week was the 120,000 people who suddenly went missing in the city of Atlanta.
The bureau’s 2009 estimate for the city was 540,922 – reflecting what was thought to be an influx of new young residents attempting to escape a grinding suburban commute.
Instead, the official 2010 number for the city of Atlanta is 420,003. Not even close to the half-million mark. The ’09 estimate was off by 22 percent. Was it the home mortgage crisis? The collapse of the condo market?
That’s the question more than one politico will be asking this week.
Here’s how the census undercount broke down in metro Atlanta’s top five counties:
– Clayton: 2009 estimate of 275,772; 2010 Census count of 259,424. Gap: -16,348 or 6 percent;
– Cobb: 2009 estimate of 714,692; 2010 Census count of 688,078. Gap: -26,614 or 3.7 percent.
– DeKalb: 2009 estimate of 747,274; 2010 Census count of 691,893. Gap: -55,381 or 7 percent;
– Fulton: 2009 estimate of 1,033,756; 2010 Census count of 920,581. Gap: -113,175 or 11 percent;
– And Gwinnett: 2009 estimate of 808,167; 2010 Census count of 805,321. Gap: -2,846 or .3 percent.
The undercount in metro Atlanta could be good news for south Georgia’s political clout. For instance, number-crunchers were anticipating that growth in metro Atlanta would require a shift of five House districts out of south Georgia. Now, only four may move.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider