Tri-state leaders probably crossed their fingers earlier this week awaiting the 2020 census figures.
Would numbers be down because the survey had been done during a pandemic? Did residents move away because they weren’t happy with the political climate? Was the availability of adequate housing a contributing factor?
Thursday, the good news emerged: most major metro area communities grew.
North Sioux City increased by 20 percent, Sergeant Bluff went up 19 percent, South Sioux City grew by 5 percent and Sioux City edged near 4 percent.
Sioux City officials say their numbers could be even higher and may challenge the count.
Growth? We’ve got it – which counts on many levels.
With more people we get more representation in government. When leaders move those lines for legislative districts, we shouldn’t see our influence diminish. Further, federal funds for a number of things – from hospital and emergency services to roads and schools – should increase.
Even more interesting: Our diversity is growing. In Sioux City the diversity index rating increased in the past decade by 17 points. The largest jump was in Pacific Islander representation – a whopping 528 percent change.
All this says the region is growing, diversifying and gaining clout.
Business leaders have done a good job attracting workers to the region. Quality of life options have increased and, as the pandemic pointed out, we may be the beneficiary of those wanting to work from home in a place that isn’t congested.
Now, the real challenge is to use the results in a way that will benefit all.
Recognizing our population – and serving all sectors – should be the goal of elected officials. If we’re more diverse, they should reflect that change in the decisions they make. They shouldn’t move lines just to protect the few. They should consider the needs of all and act accordingly.
Residents who responded to the census survey, thank you.
You can see those five or 10 minutes it took to complete the form brought positive results. You responded. You counted. You matter.