by Brent Addleman
Connecticut’s nine planning regions will now be used by the U.S. Census rather than traditional counties when the next decennial county rolls around, Gov. Ned Lamont said.
The governor announced the state has received approval of a request sent to the U.S. Census Bureau that will allow each planning region, represented by a Council of Government, to be used for tabulating and disseminating census data. The planning regions will be used as a county equivalent.
“This is a positive change that will benefit all of Connecticut’s cities and towns to ensure that census data and products are provided in a way that more accurately reflects how the state functions today,” Lamont said in the release. “Connecticut has had nonfunctioning counties since 1960.”
The state’s Office of Policy and Management, according to the release, asked for the change in 2017 on behalf of the councils.
According to the release, each region will be represented by a Council of Government, which is comprised of mayors and first selectman of participating municipalities. The councils will meet regularly to plan, coordinate, and work on mutual interest matters.
“There will be no significant impact on how state or local governments are run because of this change, however by ensuring that future census data and products are published along planning region boundaries, town leaders will be in a stronger position to coordinate regionally on matters such as procurement of goods and services, public safety, education, health, transportation, tourism, and other shared issues,” OPM Secretary Jeffrey Beckham said in the release.
The state’s planning regions include Capitol, Greater Bridgeport, Lower Connecticut River Valley, Naugatuck Valley, Northeastern Connecticut, Northwest Hills, South Central Connecticut, Southeastern Connecticut, and Western Connecticut, the release says.
The census bureau, according to the release, will be making the change in 2022, and public data and geospatial products changes will be completed by the end of the calendar year. The bureau, by 2024, will have all internal and external operations and publications using the nine regions format published by June 1.
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Brent Addleman is an Associate Editor and a veteran journalist with more than 25 years of experience. He has served as editor of newspapers in Pennsylvania and Texas, and has also worked at newspapers in Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Kentucky.
Photo “U.S. Census Worker” by U.S. Census Bureau.