Coweta’s growth continues

Thu, 08/14/2008 - 3:24pm
By: John Thompson

If you thought that Coweta’s growth is continuing, last week’s Census Bureau report confirmed that suspicion.

Coweta’s population was 118,936 as of July 1, 2007, and the county had 29,881 residents classified as minority, 25.3 percent of the population. Coweta’s white population increased from 81,012 in 2003 to 95,261 in 2007 for a growth rate of 17.5 percent.

Coweta’s African-American population saw a similar growth rate. The population grew from 17,622 in 2003 to 20,817 in 2007 for an 18.1 percent growth rate.

But the news was not the same in neighboring Fayette. According to the report, Fayette’s population on July 1, 2007 was 106,144. Compared to the 2006 figure, the county’s growth rate was an anemic 1.2 percent. But the figures revealed that Fayette’s minority population increase is far outstripping the overall growth numbers.

In 2007, Fayette had 29,296 residents who are classified as minority, and in 2006 the number stood at 27,367 for a growth rate of 7 percent. The county’s minority population is now 27.6 of the population, and the biggest minority group in the county is African-Americans, who number 20,071.

Looking deeper into the numbers, since 2003, the county’s white population has grown 1 percent, while the African-American population grew by 32.3 percent.

In one year, from 2006 to 2007, Fayette’s white population dropped by 363, while the African-American population increased 1,326.

Fayette’s population base seems to mirror those of other suburban counties outside of Atlanta. Henry County’s minority population grew by 13.3 percent.

Nationally, 302 counties, or nearly one in every 10, are “majority-minority,” said the Census Bureau, meaning the county had a population with more than 50 percent minority residents.

In the Atlanta region, Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton and Rockdale are majority-minority counties.

Any race — including Hispanic, Asian, native American, etc. — other than white is counted as a minority for census purposes.

Among the majority-minority counties with a minority population of 1 million or more were Bronx, N.Y.; Miami-Dade, Fla.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Queens, N.Y.; Bexar (San Antonio) and Dallas, Texas; San Bernardino, Calif.; Kings (Brooklyn), N.Y.; Harris (Houston), Texas; Santa Clara (San Jose) and Riverside, Calif.; Cook (Chicago), Ill.; and Orange, Calif.

Los Angeles County had the largest minority population in the country in 2007. At 7 million, or 71 percent of its total, Los Angeles County was home to one in every 14 of the nation’s minority residents.

The county’s minority population was higher than the total population of all but 12 states.

Maricopa County, Ariz., gained 79,000 minority residents between 2006 and 2007, to lead the nation. Maricopa (Phoenix is its largest city) now has a minority population of 1.6 million, comprising 41 percent of its total. Its minority population ranks seventh nationally.

Based on total population, Starr County in south Texas had the highest proportion of minorities of all counties, at 98 percent. All but two of the top 10 counties in this category were along or near the Mexican border.

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