New census estimates show growth in Marshall

MARSHALL — New population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show that Marshall was undercounted in the 2020 census, the city of Marshall said Wednesday.

In a news release, the city said the Census Bureau now estimates that Marshall’s population in April 2020 was 13,890, instead of the official 2020 census of 13,628.

On May 16, the Census Bureau released July 1, 2023, population estimates for U.S. cities and towns, including the city of Marshall. Their estimate for Marshall’s population was 13,906.

The updated population number won’t be used for purposes like Congressional reapportionment, Marshall Mayor Bob Byrnes said Wednesday.

“But for other purposes, it is the public number now,” he said.

The city went through a lengthy appeals process after the 2020 census showed a population decline in Marshall. The city claimed that, with the campus of Southwest Minnesota State University closed during the COVID pandemic, the census count didn’t accurately reflect the student population in Marshall.

In January 2023, the city learned that their request for a Count Question Resolution (CQR) from the Census Bureau had been approved. However, they were later told the Census Bureau wouldn’t release the new population numbers due to data privacy concerns.

“There was not a good explanation,” Byrnes said of the Census Bureau’s decision. “These are just bulk numbers, they’re not individual identifiers.”

Byrnes requested assistance from U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Michelle Fischbach, who called on the Census Bureau to give an updated census count for Marshall.

Having an updated population estimate was important, Byrnes said.

“Having an accurate census count is important for economic development reasons,” Byrnes said. “When businesses or employers look at coming to a community, they look at that community’s demographics, and it’s particularly important in our region of the state.”


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