Reporting Carl Stevens
BOSTON (CBS/AP) – It appears the Secretary of State’s office was too quick off the draw in reporting Massachusetts population figures from the U.S. Census Bureau Tuesday.
Secretary of State William Galvin held a news conference Tuesday to announce some of the figures but a spokesman later said they had been “miscalculated” and that corrected numbers would be released during a second meeting with reporters later in the day.
“I very much regret the confusion this has caused,” Galvin said in a statement.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Carl Stevens reports
Galvin’s office explained that a filter system erroneously reported some census tracks as having no population, resulting in the initial calculations being off by about 87,000 people statewide, with most of the errors being in urban areas.
BOSTON GAINS 28,000
The secretary initially reported that Boston had lost 14,453 residents — or just below 2.5 percent of its population — from the 2000 census. The city in fact gained more than 28,000 residents.
Springfield’s population did not drop below 150,000, as initially reported by Galvin, but actually increased slightly to about 153,000. The 150,000-population threshold is a key figure for a city to gain various federal reimbursements.
Statewide, there were significant increases in black, Hispanic and Asian populations. Asians are up 46.9-percent, African Americans increased 26.5-percent while whites are down 1.9-percent.
The census data will help drive the congressional redistricting process, with the state losing one seat in the U.S. House because of overall population shifts.
State Rep. Michael Moran, co-chairman of the Legislature’s Redistricting Committee, said he was reviewing the latest batch of numbers, which he believes will be mostly consistent with earlier estimates made by the panel.
Watch: WBZ’s Jon Keller dissects the results
Those estimates suggest population is shrinking in the Berkshires, Merrimack Valley and Cape Cod but growing in Boston, Cambridge, Blackstone Valley and Worcester County.
Moran said the committee is taking its time to make sure its numbers are air-tight before drafting any new maps. The committee has also bought special software and is hiring a professional demographer.
It is holding the first of 13 public hearing on Saturday in Springfield.
“That last thing I want to do is put out numbers that aren’t correct,” said Moran, a Boston Democrat.
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