For all you Census-population counting nerds, check out the NY Sun story about the city's challenge to the U.S. Census. Some new Census information says that the population of NYC "grew by a total of 587 people between 2005 and 2006," which the city thinks is a ridiculous understatement. What's the big deal? Well, money, of course, since funding comes on a per capita basis.

For the past few years, the Census has been saying that the city's population has been going down and the city has argued that the Census is just wrong, especially given the number of housing permits it has been issuing each year. But what's interesting is how Census methodology may not be totally apt for NYCm hence revising estimates:

In developing its estimates, the Census Bureau tracks births and deaths, along with migration, which can be difficult to measure, demographic experts say. Because New York has a higher proportion of immigrants and young, transient individuals than many parts of the country, a different estimation method is appropriate, a Cornell professor who works with the city on its estimates, Warren Brown, said.

"For certain counties of population, their standard procedure does not work well," Mr. Brown said of the Census Bureau. "Based on the indicators and the data that we have, we expect that the numbers will be revised substantially."

The revised figures are based on data of new residential units. The city has seen a substantial increase in residential building permits issued most every year since 2000. The Census accepts this as an alternative methodology, and barring incomplete data, revises its estimates to match the housing data.

However, a Census Bureau demographer warns, "It's hard to say, given the options of an absolute truth, which method is better." And we have to wonder even thought there is a lot of new housing being developed, there's a growing lack of affordable housing - so it would be realistic to expect some migration.

Here's city's census fact finder, based on info from 2000.

Photograph by akbarsyah on Flickr