decorahnews.com readers Pat & Mike say all the talk about the 2010 Census has started them thinking about Decorah's population figure. They want to know if the 8,100 population includes the 2,400 Luther College students.
Mr. Answer Person has talked with City Clerk Wanda Hemesath, who is also working on the 2010 Census. She confirms that the City of Decorah's population does indeed include the roughly 2,400 Luther College students.
That helps Decorah to get some grants that are awarded based on population figures. But it also does create some issues. For instance, the city has five wards, which are roughly equal in population. But a ward that was comprised entirely of college students might not have representation during summer months, when students aren't in school. So city officials in the past have created ward boundaries by splitting the Luther College campus in half and adding nearby neighborhoods that have year-round residents.