2020 Census yields a surprise

Block Island is used to thinking of its year-round population being “about a 1,000.” The 2020 U.S. Census data suddenly tells a different story. Population data by city and town was released last week and New Shoreham’s population has somehow increased by awhopping 34.2 percent, from 1,051 in 2010 to 1410 in 2020. That’s 359 more residents.
By contrast, the annual Groundhog’s Day census, which is thought to be more accurate by many, and is, of course, conducted on February 2, found that there were 1094 people on the island in 2021, and 902 ten years earlier, in 2011.The island led the state in population increase – by percentage, that is. Central Falls’ population increased by 16.6 percent but none of the other cities or towns varied in either direction by more than 9 percent. Narragansett decreased by 8.4 percent (1336 people).The United States census was first conducted in 1790 and over the years the methods of counting have changed. According to one former census worker on Block Island, in 2010 census takers went door to door conducting interviews. In 2020, census packets were dropped off at every house or known dwelling unit. Respondents could mail them back

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