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Thursday, March 24, 2011

New Census Data Released: Congratulations, Ruth!

Now that the excitement of International Talk Like William Shatner Day is over, we're back to focusing on dull and boring numbers. Not tax numbers, but the new census data for Rhode Island.

It turns out that Rhode Island is NOT losing population, as the RI Statewide Coalition/OSPRI people have been crying. We actually gained a little.

But the small population gain, which by the way, means that we do not lose a House seat, came about in an interesting way. The state's Latino population grew by almost 40,000 people. If not for that increase, Rhode Island's population would have dropped by 35,587 AND we would have gone from having two Representatives to only one At-Large House member like many other low population states.

I wonder how that's playing within right-wing, anti-immigrant circles? They must be apoplectic over the big jump in the state's Hispanic population but on the other hand, we owe our new Latino neighbors a big thank you for saving a seat in Congress (and BTW, an Electoral vote).

South County showed the greatest amount of population growth in Rhode Island led by South Kingstown.

Census numbers also show the number of children statewide dropped by 2000.

Fewer kids has got to be great news for Charlestown Planning Commissar Ruth Platner and her campaign to purge Charlestown of school-age children. I haven't seen the detailed demographic data for Charlestown yet (that will be available over the next few days), but I'll bet the numbers will show that we shed a higher proportion of our parasitic youth than anywhere else in the state. But let's not forget that we need to get rid of 200 more Chariho kids to make up for the tax base we lost due to revaluations.

As for that troubling statistic about South County's population growth, don't worry - it didn't happen in Charlestown. Thanks to Ruth and Charlestown's ad hoc population policies, Charlestown lost population. We are down by 32 people (0.4%) to 7,827 (not including those who declare Florida as their residence).

Finally, "Anonymous" posted a comment today noting Charlestown's census numbers and asking why we don't just pass an ordinance forbidding the building of ANYTHING in town.  [BTW - please sign your comments - we don't want to be accused of making them up].

I agree. Such an ordinance would save Charlestown lots of time and aggravation. Maybe even money. How much staff time and energy is devoted to receiving, reviewing and ultimately rejecting all those permit applications? Why do we put people through the expense of preparing applications and then put NIMBY groups through the expense of hiring lawyers and rebuttal experts when we aren't going to allow construction anyway?

Author: Will Collette