Census-to-Census Observations ...
When the Census Bureau takes a census count (or enumeration) for Saint Paul, they start by specifying the boundaries of the area to be counted. This area (or sampling area) is a polygon and its shape can be quite complex - it may or may not match the geographical boundaries of Saint Paul. It's important to note that from one Census to the next, the shape and location of the polygon can change.
If you need precision or details about the methodology of the Census, you should visit the U.S. Census Bureau for a definitive answer.
There is only a very minor difference in the sampling area given between the 2010 Census and the 2000 Census.
The 2010 Census shows that the total area for Saint Paul was 295.5 square miles [765.3 km²]. Of this total, 40.31 square miles [104.4 km²] is land, with the balance (86.4%) being water (255.2 square miles [660.8 km²]).
The 2000 Census shows a total area of 295.5 square miles [765.4 km²]. Of this total, 40.32 square miles [104.4 km²] is land, with the balance (86.4%) being water (255.2 square miles [661 km²]).
While generally coinciding with the GPS location (latitude/longitude) of Saint Paul, the latitude and longitude given by the Census Bureau actually indicates the GPS location of the polygon for Saint Paul.
For the 2010 Census, the location was given as:
Lat: 57.179041° (or 57°10'44" N)
Lon: -170.325068° (or -170°19'30" W)
For the 2000 Census, the location given was:
Lat: 57.133806° (or 57°8'1" N)
Lon: -170.266614° (or -170°15'59" W)
The difference indicates that the U.S. Census Bureau moved the location of the polygon for the 2010 Census 3 miles to the northwest<4> of the location that was used in the 2000 Census.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN) have assigned a unique GNIS identifier (#2419461) to Saint Paul. This identifier also marks a GSP point on the map, and that point lies within the boundaries of Saint Paul. The GNIS point has been mapped to the latitude/longitude:
Lat: 57.167416° (or 57°10'2" N)
Lon: -170.242390° (or -170°14'32" W)
The GSP location given for the 2010 Census lies 3 miles to the west<5> of the point given by the GNIS for Saint Paul. For more information about this and the relationship of the various Federal Codes, please visit our Misc Page for Saint Paul.