Dickinson expects population growth of 50 percentFor 2015, Dickinson officials are projecting a population increase of nearly 50 percent compared to the most recent figures released from the U.S. Census Bureau.
By: By Sean M. Soehren, Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
For 2015, Dickinson officials are projecting a population increase of nearly 50 percent compared to the most recent figures released from the U.S. Census Bureau.
According to the 2010 census report, Dickinson had a population of 17,787, but that number has continually been on the rise, City Administrator Shawn Kessel said.
“We believe we have grown quite a bit due to anecdotal evidence,” he said. “We are using a working census number between 20,000 and 21,000.”
Kessel said the numbers are figured using increases in wastewater, the number of building permits issued and the amount of active utilities accounts.
“Through our budgeting process, we have projected the next three years,” Kessel said. “We use 22,500 for next year, 24,000 the year following and 25,000 by 2015.”
The “working census” gives a more accurate depiction of the number of people in town because it takes into account workers who consistently “reside in hotels,” Kessel said.
Job Service North Dakota Dickinson Manager Mary Urlacher said she suspects there will be more people based on the steady increase of job opportunities and increase of applicants in the local office.
“We are getting about 300 calls and 300 people walking in the door each day,” she said, adding that those numbers are relatively high to previous years. “The increase has been gradual, but consistent.”
Urlacher said she remembers a time about five years ago when there were roughly 800 jobs listed. Now the number is close to 1,800, depending on the season.
A lot of the increase may be caused from an influx of people from outside the state, Urlacher said.
“We don’t necessarily track where applicants are from, but our parking lot is pretty varied with license plates from other states,” she said.
Dickinson Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lexi Sebastian said she has noticed increased activity with her organization.
“We deal a lot with daily traffic that’s coming here for work, that has employment or may be looking for employment and every month we see an increase,” she said. “We see an increase in our relocation packets, our phone calls, our walk-in traffic, and it is not one particular industry.”
Although there is an anticipated increase, it is not something that can be guaranteed, Kessel and Urlacher said.
“Your crystal ball is about as good as mine,” Kessel said.
“Everything hinges on so many things,” Urlacher said.
Sean M. Soehren is a reporter for The Dickinson Press, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.