ANKENY, Iowa - The City of Ankeny will continue its 2015 Special Census through April, though officials say they believe they'll have completed data collection by the first or second week of the month.
Ankeny's population has been quickly growing over the past three decades, Community Development Director John Peterson says, and that's why the city continues to conduct a midterm census. A city's population plays into how much road funding it receives, and as Ankeny continues to expand and develop, officials say they want to secure as much of those funds as possible.
In 2010, Ankeny's population was approximately 45,600. In 2015, the city expects the population to be close to 53,000. Hitting that "50,000" mark is a big milestone for a city, Peterson says, because it puts it on the map for big retailers and other companies.
"We really want to see a good population jump with this count," he said. "Especially with the number, expecting to be over 50,000. 50,000 is a significant number on a lot of companies radars. So you get on a list to be looked at when you have that kind of population."
Peterson says the city initially struggled with getting enough census enumerators when the process started in December; the Census Bureau is operating at about a third of its normal size, and because of a lack of feet on the ground, the process is still ongoing. Peterson says the city originally had hoped to complete the census by the end of December.
"We're getting close to having everything we need," he said. "We just hope people will answer their doors and answer the questions."