Census numbers show changing population - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Census numbers show changing population

Posted by Samuel King - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - It's a mixed bag for Alabama cities as the Census Bureau releases the latest population figures from the 2010 Census.   Birmingham and Mobile lost population, while Huntsville and Montgomery gained. 

People in Montgomery see the growth as a positive.

"More homes go up, more businesses more jobs, more people more work," said Mamie Gaston of Montgomery.   "It just follows in sequence like that."

Montgomery grew by 2.1% over the past ten years, and is now within 7,000 of overtaking Birmingham as the most populous city in the state.  Montgomery's population is now 205,764, Birmingham's population dropped by more than 30,000 to 212,237.

Mayor Todd Strange told WSFA 12 News the figures could mean good things for economic development.

"Being in the top 2 will get you noticed, the fact that we are increasing will get you noticed and we will use that to our fullest advantage, when we talk about economic development," Strange said.

Matthew Duke, Senior Director of the Center for Government at Auburn Montgomery said the increase in population means more than just bragging rights.

"It's about dollars funding programs," Duke said. " These are critical dollars especially in today's economy with state and local governments needing more dollars, not having revenue coming in from tax means, getting further funding from the federal government to back fill that would be critical."

Montgomery is also growing more diverse.  The African-American population increased by more than 16,000.  The number of Hispanics almost tripled while the number of Asian-Americans in the city doubled.  The biggest change was in the white population, which declined by more than 20,000 since 2000.

"The more diverse your population is…that can have an impact as well, because again you can bring in the types of services, to fulfill the needs of a more socioeconomically diverse, ethnically diverse population," Duke said.

The larger Montgomery metro area, which includes Montgomery, Autauga, Elmore and Lowndes Counties grew by 8%.  Birmingham remains the state's metro area largest by far, but Huntsville has now leaped into second place over Mobile and Montgomery.

Montgomery County is the fourth largest in the state, behind Jefferson, Madison and Mobile.  Autauga County is one of the fastest growing counties in the state.  But many Black Belt counties including - Macon, Dallas and Marengo - continue to lose population.  Detailed figures can be found here and here.    

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