2010 Census: Kings Beach overall population declines; number of Latinos rises | SierraSun.com

2010 Census: Kings Beach overall population declines; number of Latinos rises

KINGS BEACH, Calif. and#8212; Like many other municipalities throughout the Lake Tahoe Basin, Kings Beach witnessed a decline in population from 2000-2010, according to recently released statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Kings Beach’s decline was not as sharp as other Tahoe locales such as Incline Village and South Lake Tahoe, as the 2010 data indicates its total population is 3,789, down from the 2000 population of 4,037 and#8212; a 6 percent decline.

Cheri Sprenger, executive director of the North Tahoe Business Association, said the trend is not unique to Kings Beach; she pointed to the cost of living and long winters as reasons for the population drain.

and#8220;People can only handle winter for so long,and#8221; she said.

Sprenger said one way to reverse population decline is to get more involved with the Lake Tahoe Basin Prosperity Plan and#8212; a plan for the entire region that identifies three distinct, yet interrelated business sectors which hope to generate economic prosperity without compromising the ecological serenity of the environment here.

and#8220;The plan addresses concerns while formulating possible solutions,and#8221; she said. and#8220;It’s a great step.and#8221;

One trend bucked an overall pattern of resident decline, as the Hispanic population increased slightly from 1,955 to 2,115 and#8212; an 8 percent bump over the last decade.

In 2000, the Hispanic population composed 48 percent of the total residency in Kings Beach. In 2010, that percentage increased to 55 percent.

Emilio Vaca, executive director of the North Tahoe Family Resource Center, said part of the story relating to the increase in Latinos is attributable to the fact that federal census workers made more of a concerted effort to count residents who were previously undercounted.

and#8220;Finally, we get a real reflection of what Kings Beach has been for a while,and#8221; Vaca said.

Many Latinos moved here during the construction boom previous to 2008 to obtain work, Vaca said. Since, many have established roots, and other family members follow to enjoy the relatively safe environment here.

Vaca further said the statistics will help convince public officials on the local, county, state and federal level the Latino population should have access to a fair share of public services.

The statistics will help organizations such as the family resource center secure grants and public funding for programs, Vaca said.

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