By Kristen Miller
DASSEL-COKATO, MN Census forms continue to pour in as the DC area is canvassed for being counted in 2010.
Will the results change demographics in the area? For example, in 2000, Dassel had 22.4% of people over the age of 65 (almost twice the national average). Will the population of Dassel record even more seniors that it did in 2000? To see a breakdown of 2000 census figures, including the percent of citizens over age 65, click here.
This question and more will be answered when the census is complete.
As of March 31, half of Minnesota had returned their census, which had a deadline of April 1. Paid census workers will visit homes between April and July for those who have not returned their census forms yet.
As of March 31, Wright County had a 61 percent participation rate. Of the entities listed, the City of Dassel had the highest participation with 67 percent and French Lake Township had the lowest participation with 39 percent.
Census data helps determine how more than $400 billion in federal funds are distributed to state, local and tribal areas each year, according to the Census Bureau, which is why it’s so important to fill out and return the census.
The US Census Bureau has been tracking the participation for each city, township, and county within the state as they come in.
What will census results bring?
For many, the results of census information will answer many questions about the character of each community, much as it did 10 years ago.
In 2000, Dassel had the highest percent of seniors over age 65 (22.4 percent).
Darwin Township is second with 18.5 percent of population aged 65 and older, and Darwin is third with 15.9 percent. This is higher than the national average, which is 12.4 percent.
‘The age-old question’
The question about age (“how old is the person filling out the census form?”) has been asked since the first census of the population in 1790. Data on the 65-years-and-over population was first published in 1870.
Interestingly enough, the census taken in 2000 was the first time in history that the 65-years-and-over population did not grow faster than the total population.
Nationwide, between 1990 and 2000, the total population increased by 13.2 percent, from 248.7 million to 281.4 million people.
In contrast, the population 65 years and over increased by only 12.0 percent.
Among the older population, those 85 years and over showed the highest percentage increase.
In 2000, there were 18.4 million people ages 65 to 74 years old, representing 53 percent of the older population.
In addition, women outnumbered men in the 65 years and over population.
In 2000, there were 14.4 million men and 20.6 million women aged 65 and over, yielding a male-female ratio (the number who were male times 100 divided by the number who were female) of 70.
When new census figures come in, public officials will be looking closely at these numbers again.