DeKalb is Marketing a Population of 50,000


City of DeKalb’s 2011 economic development marketing materials:

DeKalb’s proximity to major markets and the community’s cultural and educational opportunities are primary reasons why the City is steadily growing. In January 2004, and again in October 2007, the U.S Census Bureau conducted a special census. The census determined that the DeKalb had grown from 39,018 residents in 2000 to a population of 45,479 by 2007. Based on new residential developments currently planned or under construction, City staff forecasts DeKalb’s population will grow to over 50,000 as a result of the 2010 Census.

City of DeKalb’s population, 2010 U.S. Census: 43,862

City of DeKalb’s census challenge claim: 44,095

Despite the shrinkage, DeKalb is forecasting robust revenue rebounds for the current budget year. Up to now, the city has attributed all revenue losses to “the economy,” and did not admit to population decline until it had to.

This stubbornly rosy view shows up in the last few years’ revenue projections, and I will post some of them for you soon in selected year-over-year comparisons of projections to actual revenues.

Of course, the most important question is whether DeKalb is continuing to shrink, because the answer has implications for almost everything to do with the city’s financial picture.