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Macomb to Seek Special Census

Feb 6, 2013

In what’s become a once-a-decade tradition, Macomb will ask the US Census Bureau to conduct a special census.

The 2010 census came up with a headcount of 19,288. But the city believes its population is closer to 20,000.

Macomb City Hall
Credit Rich Egger

The city also had a special census done after the 1990 and 2000 headcounts came up with totals below 20,000. In both cases, the special census returned the city’s population to 20,000.

Chad Sperry of the GIS Center at Western Illinois University told aldermen the Census Bureau will be asked to focus most of this year’s recount in and around the WIU campus.

“We have the choice to select which blocks we want,” said Sperry. “We have identified 14 total blocks.”

Community Development Coordinator Ed Basch said he would like to have the special census done sometime around October 1. The 2010 census was done in the spring. The city prefers to have a headcount done in the fall, when WIU’s enrollment is generally at its peak.

The city will receive more federal and state money if its population is higher.

Aldermen approved the request for the special census during their February 4 meeting.

Also during the meeting, aldermen agreed to submit an application for a National Historic District designation for the courthouse square.

The application is a formality – it’s a required show of support before the city makes its presentation to a state panel on February 22. The state is expected to make its decision that day and will forward its recommendation to the federal government, which usually follows the panel’s advice.

The federal government is expected to announce its decision within 90 days after that.