When the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce presented
its comprehensive economic development strategy to the Kodiak Island Borough
Assembly recently, it was noted in the document that the borough's population
fell by about 200 from 2007 to 2008 and by about 500 since the last U.S. census was
conducted. According to Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development
statistics, that trend is expected to continue over the next 20 years.
Kodiak Chamber of Commerce economic
development specialist Trevor Brown, who presented the report to the assembly,
says the population numbers may be misleading.
1 31 sec. "The Alaska Department of Labor ... it's up in the air.")
that prediction, Brown said that certain key indicators seem to suggest that
Kodiak's population is not in fact currently on the decline.
2 42 sec. "With the addition of the new ... state
is predicted to decline.")
account for the disparity, he speculated that some of the state's estimates are
based in part on transient labor and that village population is likely to have
decreased between 2007 and 2008 as a result of high fuel costs. However, he
said people seem to be returning to the villages as those costs have come down
from their highest levels.
Dan Robinson, an economist with the Department
of Labor, who participates in population studies, said the state's population
estimates and projections are based on four factors. He also said factors such
as employment and housing are not necessarily accurate predictors of population
growth or decline.
3 50 sec. "Births and deaths, which ... about
the population estimates.")
Brown said he's not
placing a lot of stock in the state's numbers at this point until the 2010
census is conducted and the hard numbers resulting from it are tallied. He
noted, however, that the state's estimates are important when it comes to government
4 42 sec. "A lot of things depend on ... and
that won't be an estimate.")
According to the Alaska Department
of Labor and Workforce Development, Kodiak's population is
expected to decline to less than 13-thousand by the year 2030. The U.S. census is
conducted every 10 years as mandated by the U.S. Constitution. The next census will
be conducted in 2010.