There are not as many people on the East End as we thought.
That’s according to the latest LIPA Population survey, which shows the population of every municipality on Long Island declining between 2010 and 2011.
The LIPA population estimates also were adjusted to reflect population estimates in the 2010 Census, according to Mark Gross, LIPA’s Director of Communications.
The Census figures also found that the population on Long Island was not as great as in LIPA’s previous population estimates, which are issued yearly.
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In Riverhead Town, which had the greatest percentage growth of any Suffolk County town since 2003, the LIPA estimates for 2011 show the population dropping from 34,191 in its 2010 population estimate to 33,455 in 2011, a number that’s lower than what LIPA estimated in 2007.
The 2010 Census put Riverhead Town’s population at 33,506.
In Southold Town, LIPA’s 2011 population estimate of 21,965 is not only seven percent lower than its 2010 estimate of 23,707, it’s also lower than what LIPA estimated that town’s population at in 2004. The 2010 Census put Southold’s population at 21,968.
In Shelter Island, the LIPA estimate dipped from 2,546 in 2010 to 2,396 in 2011. That number also is lower than LIPA’s 2003 estimate for Shelter Island. The 2010 Census put Shelter Island’s population at 2,392.
And in Southampton Town, the LIPA estimates had the town population dropping from 60,693 in 2010 to 56,800 in 2011, a six percent drop to a number that’s also lower than LIPA’s population estimate for Southampton Town in 2003. The 2010 said Southampton Town had 56,790 people.
The Long Island Regional Planning Board, in a 2011 analysis comparing Census and LIPA figures, estimated that both were caught off guard by the economic downtown.
“In all likelihood, both the Census Bureau’s Population Estimates program and the LIPA annual population survey did not capture the sudden but widespread effect on the region’s housing and immigrant populations of the 2007-2010 economic down turn,” wrote Seth Forman, the chief planner for LIRPC. “That is, an increase in the number of housing vacancies, caused by home foreclosures and the departure of low-skilled, mostly undocumented immigrant laborers from abroad due to job declines, eluded the most commonly used survey and forecasting methods.”
The 2011 LIPA Population survey, released this year, is the company’s most recent. The 2012 survey won’t be released until 2013, Mr. Gross said.
LIPA’s estimates are based on utility records on Jan. 1 of each year, but they also use the most recent Census information to estimate the number of persons per household in a given community.
“We adjust the population per household and the household per meter factors as per the Census every 10 years and that’s why our numbers are close to the census numbers,” Mr. Gross said.
That’s also why the numbers are lower than the 2010 LIPA estimates.
“This a study/estimate, not a Census,” he said of LIPA’s population survey.