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Tuscaloosa counts over 100,000 residents in updated 2020 Census

City of Tuscaloosa

The city of Tuscaloosa has received the results from an updated 2020 census. This comes after the city speculated that the original Census from that time period was inaccurate. The population for the Druid City now stands at over 100,000 people for 2020.

After working alongside The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa leaders were able to uncover the original Census taken back in 2020 did not account for at least 1,100 citizens. That census showed the city had a population of 99,000.

Chad Hobbs, a senior attorney for city of Tuscaloosa said he believes the miscount can be blamed on the fact that the student population was absent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools such as UA make up a large portion of the population.

“The students at the university left town and went home for the break, but due to COVID, most of the institutions didn't reopen to in-person classes for the rest of the year,” said Hobbs. “So, a lot of people didn't come back to the city. We feel like that really contributed to an undercount.”

Now that the students are back on campus and all residents have been accounted for in the updated count, Tuscaloosa has hit the threshold of having over 100,000 residents for the 2020 time period. Hobbs said an accurate Census count is important for qualifying for federal grants and even for economic development.

“There are a lot of businesses and employers who are looking for certain market size. Being able to say that we've that we have hit that 100,000 threshold helps get the attention of a lot of those employers and businesses,” said Hobbs.

Since 2020, the annual Census estimates were 109,000 in 2021 and 110,600 for 2022. More information on Tuscaloosa’s updated count for the 2020 census can be found here.

Hannah Holcombe is a student intern at the Alabama Public Radio newsroom. She is a Sophomore at the University of Alabama and is studying news media. She has a love for plants, dogs and writing. She hopes to pursue a career as a reporter.
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