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County population up by 14.4%

Monday, March 21, 2011

Marshall County's population grew by nearly 14.4 percent in 10 years, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures released this week.

There were 30,617 residents of Marshall County on Census Day, April 1, 2010, the bureau reported. That's an additional 3,850 people, up from the 26,767 counted in 2000.

"I think it would have been more than that had it not been to the economic down turn in 2008," County Mayor Joe Boyd Liggett said Thursday. "I think it prevented some people from moving in."

Reapportionment for congressional districts, as well as city wards and county precincts, is the original reason for the population count every 10 years, but population is the threshold for regulatory measures. When Lewisburg's population exceeded 10,000 in 2000 - by 413 people - it was required to start following stormwater management regulations.

Now, there are 11,100 residents of Lewisburg, according to the 2010 census. That's up by 690 people, revealing a growth rate of 6.6 percent.

"Growth of that size is good," Lewisburg Industrial Development Director Greg Lowe said. "Growth in the city as well as the county is part of the goal for us" in the development offices.

"It's good for our workforce development," Lowe continued. "My goal remains the same - to bring in more jobs, because our unemployment rate of 16 (percent) is still unacceptably high."

Lowe hoped for a population count more like 13,000, he said: "I knew we'd break 11,000."

The increase in Lewisburg's population - those 690 people - exceeds the population of Petersburg, which lost 36 residents between 2000 and 2010. The town on the Marshall-Lincoln county border dropped from 580 to 544. The percent loss was 6.2.

Chapel Hill's population went from 943 in 2000 to 1,445 in 2010. That population increase of 502 results in a growth rate of 53 percent.

"Those figures aren't surprising to us," Lowe said of the fastest growing municipality in the county. "They've done a wonderful job of bringing people in."

Liggett wasn't surprised either about the north Marshall County town's population growing by more than half in 10 years.

"I can believe that," Liggett said. "That's where most of our growth occurred. I think we'll see that when we do the reapportionment" of county election districts.

Meanwhile, Cornersville's population went from 962 in 2000 to 1,194 in 2010. The growth rate was 24 percent with the addition of 232 more residents in 10 years.

Population increases are important in Tennessee because state-shared revenue is distributed on a per capita basis.

Tennessee's population increased 11.5 percent from 5,680,283 to 6,346,105.

Nearby counties also showed growth. Here are the new populations in: Bedford County, 40,058; Maury County, 80,956; Lincoln County, 33,361; Williamson, 183,182; Rutherford, 262,604; and Moore, 6,362.

The figures are from the Census Bureau's Web site.