March 15, 2011
Official figures on population change in Salinas, Soledad and Marina over the past decade are inaccurate because of unexplained errors in the 2000 census, according to a demographer hired by the county to help crunch data needed for redistricting. Jeanne Gobalet, of Saratoga-based Lapkoff & Gobalet Demographic Research, Inc., found that the Census Bureau misplaced institutional populations of both inmates and campus residents, listing group quarters in the wrong municipalities.
One major error placed the state prison in Soledad and some 8600 inmates on a residential block Salinas that actually fits less than 20 single-family houses. CSUMB housing in Marina was also incorrectly located.
As a result of the errors, the population of Salinas was overreported, so the record indicates the population of Salinas declined, when in fact it grew by 5.6 percent over the past ten years. Marina’s population grew by .5 percent, and Soledad’s by 1.4 percent.