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70 percent of Stanly’s municipalities grew over last decade

Seven of Stanly County’s 10 municipalities experienced population growth over the past decade, U.S. Census Bureau numbers released Thursday show, with the highest percentages occurring in the western end.

Locust experienced the greatest growth, with its population increasing roughly 55 percent since 2010 from 2,930 to 4,537. The City with a Soul added 1,600 residents.

Oakboro was the county’s second fastest growing over the last decade, rising 14.5 percent to 2,128 residents while Stanfield rounded out the top three, increasing 6.7 percent to 1,585 residents.

Albemarle, the county’s largest city, saw its population increase by a modest 3.3 percent to 16,432 residents. While it had the fourth-highest percentage increase, Albemarle gained 529 new residents, second only behind Locust.

Misenheimer’s population shrank the most, decreasing roughly 11 percent from 728 residents in 2010 to 650 in 2020. It lost 78 residents.

Stanly as a whole grew 3.2 percent to 62,504. The 10-year increase for Stanly ranked 41st among North Carolina’s 100 counties. Stanly’s population actually grew at a faster clip from 2000-2010, when it increased 4.3 percent.

Non-Hispanic whites in Stanly saw its population decrease about 2.5 percent to 48,645. The white share of the population fell from 82.3 percent in 2010 to 77.8 percent in 2020.

This comes as many minority groups saw their share of the total population rise. Hispanics grew by 42 percent to 3,086, which now accounts for almost five percent of the population; a decade ago, its share of the population was only 3.6 percent. Blacks grew by about six percent to 7,000, accounting 11.2 percent of the population, though its total share increased by only 0.3 percent since 2010.

The county’s specific growth in municipalities in the western part of Stanly should not come as a surprise due to their those close proximity to Charlotte, which was one of the fastest growing cities in the country, gaining more than 100,000 people.

In fact, Census data show more than 78 percent of North Carolina’s population growth occurred around Charlotte and Raleigh, its two largest metro areas over the last decade.

Here is how the populations changed in each of the county’s municipalities:

  • Albemarle — 16,432, a 3.3 increase from 15,903 in 2010;
  • Badin — 2,024, a 2.5 percent increase from 1,974;
  • Locust — 4,537, a 54.9 percent increase from 2,930;
  • Misenheimer — 650, a 10.7 percent decrease from 728;
  • New London — 607, a 1.2 percent increase from 600;
  • Norwood — 2,367, a .50 decrease from 2,379;
  • Oakboro — 2,128, a 14.5 percent increase from 1,859;
  • Red Cross — 762, a 2.7 percent increase from 742;
  • Richfield — 582, a 5.1 percent decrease from 613; and
  • Stanfield — 1,585, a 6.7 percent increase from 1,486.

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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