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Census estimates Stanly’s population increased

Stanly County saw a total population growth of about 2,200 from 2010 to 2019, while Albemarle’s population grew by about 350 over the same period, according to population estimates for municipalities released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Oakboro’s population also increased by a sizable amount, roughly 310, while the other municipalities had much smaller population increases. Stanly County’s 2019 population was 62,806, compared to its 2010 population of 60,585.

The latest population estimates for Stanly County’s municipalities are as follows:

• Albemarle: 16,246

• Locust: 3,238

• Norwood: 2,449

• Badin: 1,973

• Oakboro: 1,912

• Stanfield: 1,548

• Red Cross: 761

• Misenheimer: 756

• New London: 724

• Richfield: 622

Mecklenburg County increased its population by almost 200,000 (and surpassed the 1 million mark in the process), while Charlotte leapfrogged past San Francisco and Indianapolis as the 15th most populous city in the country; its 2019 population stood at 885,708. Charlotte ranked eighth on the list of fastest-growing cities by its population, according to a news release from the U.S. Census Bureau. From 2010-2019, the Queen City had an estimated increase of 150,101, which placed it second-highest on the East Coast, just below New York City’s increase of 161,786.

During the same time, Cabarrus County’s population has grown by nearly 40,000, while Union County’s population has increased roughly 38,500. Other nearby counties that saw increases include Rowan, which increased around 3,500, and Davidson, which increased around 5,000.

Other neighboring counties experienced population decreases over the last decade: Montgomery’s population declined by about 675 while Anson lost about 2,500 people.

While Albemarle has seen only modest growth compared to its much larger counterparts in the area, Mike Walden, professor of economics at North Carolina State University, said that the coronavirus pandemic could convince people to move out of densely populated urban areas — where the virus has wreaked the most havoc — to the more sparsely populated rural ones.

“A county like Stanly could be in a position of actually seeing some benefits from the aftermath (of the pandemic) in terms of where people or businesses choose to locate,” Walden said.

Stanly County Economic Development Director Candice Lowder said as Charlotte and Mecklenburg County continue to grow, “it is critical for all counties in the Charlotte region to make informed decisions and include regional growth projections into long-range plans.”

The municipal population estimates were released while the U.S. Census Bureau is still in the process of collecting responses to the 2020 census. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the deadline for filling out the census has been extended from the end of July to the end of October.

The national self-response rate sits at 61.7 percent. In North Carolina, it’s 58 percent, according to interactive national Census data which can be found at https://2020census.gov/en/response-rates.html. Of the responses, most have been submitted online. Stanly’s response rate of 59.9 percent is almost two percentage points higher than the state, and similar to surrounding counties like Rowan (60.6 percent) and Cabarrus (59.2 percent). Union County has the highest response rate in the state at 69.4 percent.

The response rate of Stanly’s municipalities, as of June 29, is as follows:

  • Red Cross is 72.8 percent
  • Stanfield is 68.8 percent
  • Locust is 68.4 percent
  • Oakboro is 62.0 percent
  • New London is 60.6 percent
  • Richfield is 58.1 percent
  • Albemarle is 58.1 percent
  • Norwood is 43.6 percent
  • Badin is 41.6 percent
  • Misenheimer is 31.o percent

The results gathered during the census determine the numbers of representatives each state will have in Congress and are used by states to draw state legislative and school district lines. The results are also used to help determine how more than $675 billion in federal funds annually are spent across the country. Those funds are used for services like emergency response and fire departments, medical assistance and highways and roads.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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