Today the KC Star’s Matt Campbell has an odd story that tries to whip up panic about how the population of Omaha is set to surpass that of Kansas City. He cites 2008 Census data that lists KC with 452,000 and Omaha with 439,000. But his numbers are wrong. This past February the Census Bureau acknowledged that they had significantly under-counted KC and revised our population up to 475,000. And there is evidence that our population might actually be over half a million. The Star reported this in June 2008 and February 2009, but apparently Mr. Campbell forgot to read his own newspaper.
Another omission is the fact that Omaha has few suburbs. Most of the suburban-style areas are in the city limits. It would be as if Overland Park, Leawood, Lee’s Summit, and Independence weren’t independent cities but part of KCMO, easily pushing our population up towards one million. Regardless of central city size, the KC metro area is still twice the size of the Omaha metro area. And our economy is more than twice the size.
It’s unfortunate that such a prominently placed story has such glaring omissions.
John Landsberg at Bottom Line Communications says Campbell's conclusions are "deeply flawed."
A good copy editor would have helped Campbell avoid mistakes like using flawed census data that has subsequently been corrected and updated -- but most of the experienced copy editors are gone.