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City Population Rises to 30K, Nearly 1 in 5 Houses is Vacant, Census Says

College Park Population

The 2010 Census numbers are in.

The Census Bureau released the numbers for the state of Maryland last Wednesday. It also published the data for the counties and towns within the state through its American FactFinder website.

Once every ten years the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a decennial census, which is mandated by the Constitution. Under Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, the first census was conducted in 1790, shortly after the American Revolution.

According to the Census website, College Park’s population has gone up by about 20% in the past 10 years, from a total of 24,657 in 2000 to 30,413 in 2010.

In terms of population distribution across races, Hispanics / Latinos have added the most to the city’s population in the past 10 years. In terms of percentage, that number is a whopping 58.5%. A similar number for Whites is only 4.25%, Blacks (6.6%) and Asians (5.57%).

Whites, however, remain the dominant race in the city (60%), followed by Blacks (14%), Asian (13%) and Latinos (12%). 

College Park population, between 2000 and 2010

The other striking aspect of the census result is the vacancy figures of housing units inside the city. The city currently has a total of 8,212 housing units. Of that, 1,455 units are unoccupied.

That means, nearly 18% of city’s housings are vacant. In other words, no one lives at 1 in every 5 houses inside our city (almost).

The vacancy number is rather alarming and thus may indicate problems such as recent housing foreclosure may be to blame.

District 2 council member Bob Catlin however has a different explanation for such a huge vacancy rate. Catlin thinks it could be city’s student dwellers who are to blame.

“Many students don’t answer the census and by the time workers are sent to these properties in June, school is out for the summer and the property is vacant.” – Catlin wrote to me in an email.

Catlin thinks the vacancy rates should be around 5%. “I noticed that other cities had vacancy rates of about 5 percent.” – Catlin added.

The theory that absence of UMD’s students is to blame for city’s high vacancy figure, however, fails to explain why 2000 Census saw a very small vacancy rate. The 2000 Census also happened exactly at the same time of the year, yet the vacancy rate was only 3.44%.

For an interactive map of the state’s Census data, please check this report on the Washington Post.

More on the Census statistics of College Park can be seen below.

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1 Comment

  1. Bob Catlin

    The City’s planning department confirmed that the Cenus Bureau counted over 1100 addresses at Mazza Grand Marc and University View in its count of our housing units. So our actual vacancy rate is really at most about 5%.

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