When we talked about the 2010 Census a few months ago, Mayor Sal Panto told me he didn't expect to see a huge jump in Easton's population.
And he was right: the number of people living in the city rose from 26,263 in 2000 to 26,800 in 2010, just a two percent increase.
Something else that hasn't changed: Easton still has one of the highest rates of vacant housing in Northampton County. Of the 10,356 housing units in the city, 1,039 -- or 10.1 percent -- are vacant, according to census figures released last week. That's up by one percent from the 2000 Census.
Only Glendon -- the tiny borough bordering Easton -- and Upper Mount Bethel -- a large rural township with a high level of suburban development -- have a higher level of vacant housing, and just by just a few percentage points.
(Overall, the number of vacant housing units in the county rose from 5,159 in 2000 to 6,798 in 2010.)
In the coming days and weeks, we'll have more stories based on census figures, which I think paint a fascinating portrait of Easton's housing, income, and ethnic make-up.
The Census is interesting also for who wasn't counted: Panto told me today he thinks the city could've done a better job reaching out to its fast-growing Spanish-speaking population. He also says the closing and demolition of Easton's Delaware Terrace housing project led to several hundred people being displaced, and therefore, missed by the Census.
The communities with the highest levels of vacant housing in Northampton County:
- Glendon: 10.5 percent
- Upper Mount Bethel: 10.3 percent
- Easton: 10.1 percent
- Walnutport: 9.3 percent
- Lower Mount Bethel: 9 percent
The communities with the lowest levels:
- Lower Nazareth: 2.6 percent
- Bethlehem Township: 2.8 percent
- Tatamy: 3.1 percent
- Allen: 3.2 percent
- Palmer: 3.3 percent
We've attached a chart to the story which breaks down the housing figures for each municipality.