Loss of inmates from local census could impact funding

A change in state law since the 2010 census will remove inmates at Calipatria (pictured) and Centinela state prisons from the Imperial County population count. The change is expected to affect the redrawing of political districts, as well as population-based government funding. COURTESY PHOTO

EL CENTRO — Despite the 2020 census showing a modest population gain in Imperial County over the last decade, a revised count has it losing thousands of residents because California is no longer allowing state prison inmates to be included in the local count.

Specifically, the census data released in August had county population at 179,702, up from 174,528 in 2010. But the loss of the inmates cuts the tally to 173,626, Rebecca Terrazas-Baxter, county intergovernmental relations director, reported in a Friday afternoon email.

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