Recent Census data brings positive news to Chambers County

Published 7:50 am Thursday, August 19, 2021

LANETT — The census workers who handled the 2020 U.S. Census in Chambers County did an excellent job of finding and counting everyone who was living in Chambers County on April 1, 2020.

Both state, county and city officials were bracing for bad news with the census, but it turned out much better than expected.

On the state level, officials were concerned that a low count could cost the state one, and possibly two members, of Congress. Fortunately for Alabama that won’t be happening. The state will continue to have the same representation in the House of Representatives through 2030.

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The final tally shows Chambers County reversing a decades-long trend and gaining population over a 10-year period. The county grew by some two percent, from 34,215 in 2010 to 34,772 in 2020.

The news is especially good for the City of Valley, which gained more than 1,000 people over the past ten years.

With the 2010 Census likely reflecting the offshoring of WestPoint Home in 2008, Valley’s population fell from more than 10,000 to 9,524. The current figure is back over the 10,000 mark to 10,529.

Lanett did much better than expected. An early projection had the city losing almost 5 percent of its population from the previous census. The final tally had the city growing by more than seven percent, from 6,151 ten years ago to 6,970 in 2020.

Had the Point University student dorm not been closed because of Covid, the city’s population would have easily surged past the 7,000 mark. The dorm is located on North 15th Street just across the Georgia state line.

“We are so close to 7,000 that we can round off the number and claim to be a city of 7,000 people,” an upbeat Mayor Kyle McCoy said Monday evening.

LaFayette fell some 10 percent, from 3,003 in 2010 to 2,684 in 2020.

Governor Kay Ivey was especially pleased for Alabama to pass the five million mark. The state’s total population of 5.03 million is more than enough for Alabama to retain its seven seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The City of Auburn is easily the fastest growing city in east Alabama. It grew from 53,380 people in 2010 to 76,143 in 2020. That’s an increase of 42.3 percent.

Opelika grew some 17 percent, from 26,447 ten years ago to 30,995 by 2020. Lee County grew by just under 25 percent, from 140,247 in 2010 to 174,241 in 2020.

Georgia gained over one million people over the past 10 years, but it wasn’t enough to pick up a new seat in the U.S. House. Georgia grew substantially more diverse over the past 10 years. The state’s Black, Latino and Asian populations surged. The Black population grew by 13 percent while the white population dropped one percent. Overall, Georgia has more than 10.7 million people, more than twice the population of Alabama.

LaGrange is the 42nd largest city in Georgia. Its population grew from a little over 29,000 in 2010 to just over 30,000 in 2020. West Point is Number 202 in population in Georgia. It grew some 7.8 percent over the past ten years, from 3,460 in 2010 to 3,731 in 2020. Hogansville is Number 230. It grew from 3,037 in 2010 to 3,150 in 2020. Troup County is the 33rd most populous county in Georgia with just under 70,000 people. Muscogee County (Columbus) is No. 12 with a little more than 195,000 people, Coweta County (Newnan) is No. 18 with more than 140,000 people and Carroll County is No. 20 with just over 117,000. Harris County is No. 54 with a little more than 34,000 people.