Starksboro: U.S. Census numbers appear to be off

STARKSBORO — Starksboro selectmen are skeptical about U.S. Census results that show a population drop in their town, and they plan to contact Census officials to question the data.
According to the 2010 Census, Starksboro’s population is 1,787, down 121 from the 2000 number of 1,898.
But according to Town Clerk Cheryl Estey, the town’s voter checklist increased by 257 in the same decade, from 986 to 1,243.
“I was actually flabbergasted when I saw the (Census) numbers,” Estey said.
The selectboard discussed the issue at its meeting last week and will take action, said chairwoman Susan Jefferies.
“It’s our intention to approach the Census Bureau and see what process we have to follow to have them recheck the Census data,” Jefferies said.
She acknowledged one trend that could point to a population decrease: There are fewer students at the town’s elementary school.
On the other hand, Jefferies said, town data shows there are more homes in Starksboro, and there has been no decrease in the occupancy rate of those properties.
Furthermore, she noted that in contrast with the final 2010 count, every interim Census report showed a growing population.
“It just seems sort of odd that all the interim numbers showed Starksboro increasing,” Jefferies said.
Furthermore, Census data showed the other towns in Addison County’s northern tier, Monkton and Ferrisburgh, growing. According to the 2010 Census Monkton, which borders Starksboro, added 221 residents, and Ferrisburgh added 118.
“We think it deserves a closer look,” Jefferies said.
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected].

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