Here We Grow!

Published 8:46 am Tuesday, March 8, 2011

From Merry Hill to Pleasant Hill; from Como to Henrico; from Bull Hill, to Old Mill to Drum Hill and all points in between, the Roanoke-Chowan area is growing.

The U.S. Census Bureau last week released more detailed 2010 Census population totals and demographic characteristics to the governor and leadership of the state legislature in North Carolina. Those numbers revealed that the state’s population grew by nearly 20 percent between 2000 and 2010. The 2010 census lists 9,535,483 individuals living in North Carolina, up from 8,049,313 was reported in the 2000 Census. That represents an 18.5 percent growth in population and makes North Carolina the tenth most populous state in the nation.

The four counties that comprise the Roanoke-Chowan area aided in the state’s overall growth as each experienced population gains over the last 10 years. Listed in order of highest population, the new numbers for the R-C counties are as follows (with the 2000 Census numbers listed in parenthesis):

Hertford County: 24,669 (2000: 22,601) +2,068

Northampton County: 22,099 (2000: 22,086) +13

Bertie County: 21,282 (2000: 19,733) +1,549 

Gates County: 12,197 (2000: 10,516) +1,681

The combined growth of 5,311 citizens equals a four-county population of 80,247 residents.

Meanwhile, counties just west and south of the R-C area saw populations decline, including Halifax County, Martin, Washington and Hyde.

Numerous local municipalities also experienced growth over the past 10 years. Leading the way was Windsor, which saw its population increase by 56 percent (now at 3,630 residents compared to 2,324 in 2000).

Other notable increases were in Ahoskie (5,039 citizens, marking a population increase of 516), Murfreesboro (2,835; +414), Gaston (1,152; +179), Conway (836; +102), Cofield (413; +66), Askewville (241; +61), Gatesville (321; +40), Rich Square (958; +27), Lasker (122; +19), Como (91; +13), Severn (276; +13), Kelford (251; +6) and Harrellsville (106; +4).

Data for North Carolina show that the five most populous incorporated places and their 2010 Census counts are Charlotte, 731,424; Raleigh, 403,892; Greensboro, 269,666, Winston-Salem, 229,617 and Durham, 228,330. Charlotte grew by 35.2 percent since the 2000 Census. Raleigh grew by 46.3 percent, Greensboro grew by 20.4 percent, Winston-Salem grew by 23.6 percent, and Durham grew by 22.1 percent.

The largest county is Mecklenburg, with a population of 919,628. Its population grew by 32.2 percent since 2000. The other counties in the top five include Wake, with a population of 900,993 (increase of 43.5 percent); Guilford, 488,406 (increase of 16.0 percent); Forsyth, 350,670 (increase of 14.6 percent); and Cumberland, 319,431 (increase of 5.4 percent).

Population in all single race reporting categories for the state increased with overall 18.5% population increase from Census 2000 to the 2010 Census. White alone population 12.5% to 6,528,950 or 68.5% of the total population. Black alone population 17.9% to 2,048,628 or 21.5% of the total. American Indian alone population 22.7% to 122,110 or 1.3% of the total. Asian alone population 83.8% to 208,962 or 2.2% of the total population. Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander alone population 65.8% to 6,604 or .1% of the total. Other race alone population 121.8% to 414,030 or 2.0% of the total Two or more races population 99.7% to 206,199 or 2.2% of the total population.

Counties with the highest percentage White were Clay (96.5%), Madison (96.5%), Ashe and Haywood (each with 95.5%), Mitchell (95.3%), and Yancey (95.2%). Those with the highest percentage of Black or African American were Bertie (62.5%), Hertford (60.5%), Northampton (58.4%), Edgecombe (57.4%), and Halifax (53.2%). For American Indian and Alaska Native the top counties percentage wise were Robeson (38.4%), Swain (27.0%), Scotland (10.9%), Hoke (9.6%), and Jackson (9.4%). For Asian the leaders were Orange (6.7%), Wake (5.4%), Durham and Mecklenburg (each with 4.6%), and Guilford (3.7%). For Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander the top counties were Cumberland (0.4%), Burke and Onslow (each with 0.3%), and Hoke and Henderson (each with 0.2%). Counties with the highest percentage of persons reporting multiple races were Cumberland (4.6%), Hoke (4.5%), Onslow (4.4%), Swain (4.2%), and Harnett (3.1%).

Some counties experienced a decrease in population. They were Lenoir with -0.3% change, Hyde with -0.3%, Mitchell with -0.7%, Jones with -2.2%, Washington with -3.6%, Martin with -4.3% and Halifax with -4.7%.

The new numbers show that the state’s Hispanic population increased dramatically, especially in some localities. Approximately one out of every 13 people in the state is of Hispanic origin. For seven municipalities in North Carolina, Hispanics number more than one in three residents. The Hispanic population of the state increased by 111.1% to 800,120 or 8.4% of the total population.

Counties with the highest percentage Hispanic or Latino origin were Duplin (20.6%), Lee (18.3%), Sampson (16.5%), Greene (14.3%), Montgomery (14.1%), and Durham (13.5%). Macon County experienced the most significant surge in Hispanics with a 391.2% increase between 2000 and 2010, followed by Camden with 338.8%, Perquimans with 320.6%, Anson with 284.8%, Pasquotank with 282.8%, and Clay with 253.4%.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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