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What the census tells us

SIERRA SUN EDITORIAL

The 2000 census figures for Truckee and the rest of California are here.

The problem is, it may take us a little while to figure out what they’re telling us. The bottom line shows that Truckee has grown quite a bit in the last 10 years – but exactly how much depends on how you measure it.

The Reno Gazette-Journal trumpeted the census figures in a front page article in their Friday paper, claiming that Truckee had grown 300 percent since 1990 – according to “a Reno Gazette-Journal computer-assisted analysis,” that is.

The problem? Well, in Saturday’s Reno Gazette-Journal, a front page correction admitted that figure was incorrect. The base population of Truckee in 1990 was 3,484 and did increase to 13,864 in 2000’s census, which amounts to a nearly 300 percent increase. But Truckee also increased geographically in the past 10 years, expanding town boundaries. Truckee’s actual area in 2001 is several times larger than 1990’s was.

Taking the total population of the current Truckee metropolitan area in 1990 into account, Truckee has actually only grown about 56.7 percent, according to Town staff.

Of course, compared to San Jose or Santa Rosa, we are still a “small mountain town.” But these numbers definitely indicate that the composition of Truckee and Tahoe is changing. This newspaper has featured a story on new development in almost every single issue over the past few years. And that just scratches the surface.

No matter how you look at these census figures, it just confirms what everyone in Truckee already knew: we’re growing.

It will require careful diligence by the town government, developers, watchdog groups and most of all, local residents, to help guide that growth toward a future that’s positive for all of Truckee.


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