Country Facts and Folklore
By Andy Reddick

Estimated Population Statistics

The Census Bureau estimates the population of states, counties, and incorporated towns and cities each year on July 1, and this information becomes available to the public sometime during the following year, usually in June. Statistics for Iowa counties and cities for July 1, 2005 were released on June 21, 2006 and are available on line.

One of the interesting things that I found on that website was the following paragraph statement: These estimates are used in federal funding allocations, as denominators for vital rates and per capita time series, as survey controls, and in monitoring recent demographic changes. With each new issue of July 1 estimates, we revise estimates for years back to the last census. Previously published estimates are superseded and archived.

In other words, they may change the estimates for 2004 or 2003 according to their discretion. Therefore, it is obviously difficult to rely with certainty on any published estimate of population. As a result, tabulations in different sections of the same publication may show different figures for towns/cities. For example, Milton’s population estimate for 2005 is shown as 502* on one table, and 550 on another.

In addition to this, Rand McNally also publishes estimates of population that do not always correspond to the estimates of the U. S. Census Bureau. When using an estimate from Rand McNally, the U.S. Census Bureau, or any other source it is always wise to identify where this material was obtained.

I have assembled the latest estimates of population for Van Buren County and its villages. For the county, Rand McNally estimated the population as 7,777 on July 1, 2005 showing a continuing loss of residents. The US Census Bureau estimated the county’s population as 7,739 on July 1, 2004 and 7,786 on July 1, 2005 for a growth of 47 residents within the latest year of tabulation.

Village population estimates are as follows:

Village        Census Bureau     Census Bureau    Rand McNally

               July 1, 2004     July 1, 2005         2005


Bonaparte          454                 455            450

Cantril            256                 259            258

Farmington         729                 731            705

Keosauqua         1,061               1,076         1,084

Milton             497                 502*

Stockport          283                 286            284

Birmingham         426                 427            420

Douds                                                 165

Leando                                                 88

Mt. Sterling        40                  40

Douds and Leando are not incorporated, but are considered "census designated areas" and are tabulated with other incorporated areas, or at the bottom of the list. Bentonsport is no longer incorporated. Vernon and Selma were never incorporated. None of these villages are considered as "census designated areas," thus the only estimates will come from Rand McNally or from local citizens.

The latest population figure I have for Selma is 75, c.1995. I believe Joe Stump is listing Selma’s current population as 61. My last estimates for Bentonsport and Vernon are also quite old and out-of-date (75 and 25 respectively.) My best guess is that there are no more than 65-70 people in the two villages combined.

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Contributed to the Van Buren Co. IAGenWeb Project by Andy Reddick