REXBURG − The data collected in this year’s 2020 Census could bring new businesses to Madison County, if population estimates are correct.

Local government officials feel that Madison County’s population has been undercounted by at least 4,500 people since the 2010 Census. A more accurate count of the population of Rexburg, Sugar City and Madison County could draw additional retail, food, and office jobs to the County. 

“While population is not the final determining factor in attracting new businesses, it can play a critical factor in the initial analysis by those tasked in finding new markets for their businesses to expand to,” says Daniel Torres, Economic Developer for the City of Rexburg.

Retail Trade Areas Explained 

A retail trade area is a geographic region that a store, restaurant or business draws from. Its size depends on both the variety of goods and services available and other retail stores that exist already in the area. Companies use this information to analyze a potential market and determine whether it offers them sufficient potential to open a store. Retailers and restaurant chains want to know where their customers will come from, and they use this information to select good sites, assess their competitors and create their marketing.

“A great example is Darden, the parent company of Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Yard House, and other casual/upscale restaurant chains,” says Torres. “Olive Garden has specific criteria on site locations. In 2012 the chain's demographic requirements were a trade area with 100,000 people, and the area of focus was a "prime regional location for the trade area." Since then, Darden has gone through some changes, such as selling Red Lobster, so the corporation may have reconsidered some of its requirements.”

Golden Corral is a franchise operation with a demographic requirement of 50,000 for a market area and a location with an average daily traffic count of 21,500 to 45,000, depending on the size of the restaurant. 

“These are a couple of examples of how population affects business location decisions. By participating in the 2020 Census, you can help Madison County get a complete and accurate count,” says Torres. 

More information about the 2020 Census and how it will affect Madison County can be found at Madison County Complete Count Committee’s website: You can follow the Madison County Complete Count Committee on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @countmadison.