Census reveals ups, downs and questions

BY ROBERT L. BAKER

More 2010 U.S. Census data was released last week showing the gains and losses in Susquehanna County from when the census was taken in 2000 to April 1 of last year.

Overall, the county showed a net growth of 1,118 residents- an 0.7 percent increase from 42,238 in 2000 to 43,356 in 2010.

While six municipalities showed a net gain of 100 or more residents, only one showed a loss of that much.

The biggest loser in raw numbers was Union Dale Borough, which according to the enumeration of last year, dropped from 368 in 2000 to 267, a net loss of 101 residents.

“I don’t think so,” Union Dale Borough Council President Bill Wolfe said Monday night.

It was a sentiment echoed by Mayor Keith Foster, who said he had not yet seen the 2010 Census, but if the numbers were true, “They sure missed a lot of people.”

Interestingly, neighboring Herrick Township grew by 114 residents across the decade, according to the 2010 enumeration.

“We had rerceived word earlier in March about a gain of around 40 residents,” Herrick supervisor Nancy Harvatine said, citing an American Community Survey estimate, also issued by the U.S. Census Bureau, “and that was kind of what we were expecting.”

She said she attends Union Dale United Methodist Church and her mom lives in Union Dale, and she finds it hard to believe the borough lost one-fourth of its residents.

Susquehanna County planner Bob Templeton said he, too, was surprised about the sharp drop in residents for Union Dale and not sure how it could be explained.

He noted that 10 years ago Liberty Township had filed a protest over what it claimed was an undercounting in the 2000 census, but had not heard of any municipality planning to protest this one.

The biggest gainer numerically in the county was New Milford Twp. with an increase of 183 residents across the decade.

Other communities to grow by more than 100 included Bridgewater Twp. (+176), Harford Twp. (+129), Auburn Twp. (+123), Herrick Twp. (+114) and Lenox Twp. (+102).

Friendsville Borough’s increase from 91 in 2000 to 111 in 2010 represented a spike of 22 percent, making it the fastest growing municipality in the county.

That, too, was a puzzle to Templeton.

The county planner said the aggregate number for the county of 43,356 seemed about right, and was substantially less than a projection made in 2008 by the Pennsylvania  State Data Center in Harrisburg.

It showed Susquehanna County’s population nearly doubling by 2030.

Using a formula of in-migrations, out-migrations, deaths, births and school-district reported age statistics, the data center in 2008 projected that by the time of the 2010 census, Susquehanna County would have gained more than 6,000 residents from what was enumerated in 2000, and by the year 2030, its population would be up to 77,530, an 83.6 percent increase, which would have made it the second fastest growing county in Pennsylvania.

“They were fantastic projections, but no one was buying them,” Templeton said. “They just didn’t hold up.”

Susquehanna County’s 43,356 residents enumerated in 2010 mark the sixth straight U.S. Census to show a population increase over the previous one. In 1950, the county had 31,970 residents.

2010      2000      Chg

Apolacon 500      507        -7

Ararat       563      531        +32

Auburn     1,939   1,816     +123

Bridgewater 2,844 2,668 +176

Brooklyn  963     889        +74

Choconut 713      797        -84

Clifford    2,408 2,381     +27

Dimock    1,497 1,398     +99

Forest City 1,911 1,855    +56

Forest Lake 1,193 1,194   -1

Franklin    937     938        -1

Friendsville 111 91           +20

Gibson      1,221 1,129     +92

Great BendB 734 700        +34

Great BendT 1,949 1,890 +59

Hallstead   1,303                1,216     +87

Harford     1,430 1,301     +129

Harmony   528     558        -30

Herrick      713    599        +114

Hop Bottom 337                333        +4

Jackson       848   788        +60

Jessup         536   564        -28

Lanesboro   506 588        -82

Lathrop       841   835        +6

Lenox         1,934 1,832    +102

Liberty       1,292 1,266     +26

Little Meadows 273 290   -17

Middletown 382 340        +42

Montrose    1,617 1,664   -47

New MilfordB 868 878     -10

New MilfordT 2,042 1, 859 +183

OaklandB    616   622        -6

OaklandT    564   550        +14

Rush            1,267 1,290    -23

Silver Lake  1,716 1,729   -13

Springville   1,641 1,555   +86

Susq’hannaDep 1,643 1,690 -47

ThompsonB 299 299        +0

ThompsonT 410 440        -30

Union Dale   267                368        -101