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City leaders unhappy with Census count
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Richmond Hill City Manager Mike Melton is not thrilled with U.S. Census Bureau data that show the city’s population increased by 33 percent from 2000 to 2010.

Melton had anticipated a larger increase than the one shown in the census. The bureau lists the city’s population as 6,959 residents in 2000 and 9,281 in 2010.

A 2008 census estimate projected the Richmond Hill population to be about 10,500, and Melton said a 2009 estimate placed the number at almost 12,000.

“I’m quite surprised and disappointed by these (2010 Census) numbers,” he said Tuesday. “I think we have a lot more folks than that.”
Melton attributes the smaller than anticipated increase to the numerous soldiers from Fort Stewart who were still deployed overseas last year.

“If a soldier is living here in Richmond Hill and their home of record is in California and they’re not deployed, they’re counted as living in Richmond Hill,” he said. “But if they’re deployed, the census counts them as living at their home of record.”

Melton said the city’s smaller than anticipated population might hurt Richmond Hill’s chances of receiving certain types of federal funding.

“There are a lot of different federal programs that you’re funded on from the Census Bureau,” he said. “I can’t say what programs right off the top of my head.”

For more, pick up a copy of the March 26 edition of the News.

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