Do You Know Where You Live? Cloverly, Colesville Neighborhoods Reconfigured in Latest Census
The boundaries of several East County neighborhoods changed in the 2010 U.S. Census, creating significant population changes for Colesville and Cloverly.
The neighborhoods of East Montgomery County are becoming more populous, but that’s difficult to tell from the latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Without towns or cities, areas in this part of the county are bounded by what’s called Census-Designated Places. CDPs are named for the neighborhoods to which they roughly correspond, like Colesville, Cloverly, Calverton, Fairland and Burtonsville.
Sometime in the decade between the last two surveys, the Census Bureau changed its definition of several neighborhoods, including Colesville, Cloverly and Burtonsville.
A new East County CDP, Spencerville, was also created in the 2010 Census from areas that used to be considered Cloverly and Burtonsville. This area roughly corresponds to the area off of Route 198 between New Hampshire Avenue and Peach Orchard Road.
Jennifer Smits, public affairs specialist for the U.S. Census Bureau, says the northern part of the Colesville CDP is now part of the Cloverly CDP.
According to Pamela Zorich, research coordinator with Montgomery County’s planning department, it isn’t uncommon for CDPs to be changed from census to census.
“[CDPs] are more reflective of communities and therefore are more organic in their growth and the way people report out data,” she said. “That section of the county did get some reconfiguration that time around with an effort to try to make the boundaries more reflective of the different communities.”
Zorich said the county had the opportunity to make suggestions to the Census Bureau, some of which, like the changing boundaries of Colesville and Cloverly, were administered.
Population data from the Census Bureau’s American Fact Finder shows that the Colesville CDP experienced a population decline, from 19,810 in 2000 to 14,647 in 2010. Cloverly’s population went from 7,835 in 2000 to 15,126, according to the same data set.
Although census information may be used to determine everything from where to put a new school to how many representatives a location may have in Congress, CDP changes aren’t as important to these communities, said Zorich, since Montgomery County's planning department creates their own geographical data when creating master plans, which determine needs for neighborhoods.
Overall, East County’s population is higher this time around. The combined population for the six CDPs (Burtonsville, Calverton, Colesville, Cloverly, Fairland and Spencerville) is a little over 81,000 people, up from 69,298 in 2000. (Spencerville was not a CDP in 2000, so that figure is based on just five CDPs: Burtonsville, Calverton, Colesville, Cloverly and Fairland.)
Most of the growth in population was in the Calverton CDP, which is split between Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. Their population grew from 12,610 in 2000 to 17,724 in 2010, according to Fact Finder data.
Fairland is still the most populous CDP, with a population of 23,681 in 2010. This CDP includes the Briggs Chaney area, one of the densest in Montgomery County. Over 7,000 people reside in the half-square-mile commercial area at the intersection of Briggs Chaney Road and Castle Boulevard.
Burtonsville’s population also grew slightly, even with some of its land area being moved to the Spencerville CDP. In 2000 7,305 people lived there and in 2010 the number was 8,323.
Spencerville’s population in 2010 was 1,594.
Census place boundaries, unlike town or city boundaries, make it difficult to make historical comparisons, but Zorich said their flexibility is useful in community planning.
“The key thing about this type of data that is reported for these places is it is more of an organic snapshot,” said Zorich. “As areas grow, it’s a better method of kind of capturing certain areas.”
Correction: This article has been corrected to amend the spelling of Pamela Zorich's last name.