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Roane population growth slow over past decade

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By Damon Lawrence

Roane County touts its lakefront living, but the county is  well behind many of its neighbors in population growth.

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows the county’s population increased 3.1 percent from April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2009.

“That’s almost zero growth,” Commissioner Ron Berry said.  

That hasn’t been the case with some neighboring counties. Loudon, Monroe, Cumberland and Knox counties are booming in terms of population, according to the Census data.

Loudon has experienced an increase of 19.5 percent.

Monroe (17.6 percent), Cumberland (15.6 percent) and Knox (14.1 percent) also experienced double-digit growth during the decade.

“Obviously, the economy is a reason, the last three or four years especially,” Berry said about Roane’s slim increase. “We just need to make a concerted effort to grow.”

The only nearby county to experience a smaller increase than Roane was Morgan County.

The population there decreased by 5.2 percent.

Anderson County also experienced modest growth at 4.9 percent.

The state population as a whole increased 10.7 percent from April 1, 2000, to July 1, 2009.

The information is available online at quickfacts.census.gov.
Census spokeswoman Jewel Carter Warnock said the quickfacts data is different from the 2010 Census data that was collected this year.  

“The quickfacts data is a compilation of data from multiple census surveys done over multiple years,” she said. “The 2010 data is only the information collected from the 10 questions on the 2010 Census form.”

The forms were mailed to households earlier this year.

The 2010 Census numbers should be released early in 2011.

“This information will be given to President Obama by Dec. 31, 2010, and released to the public by February or March of 2011,” Carter said.

According to the Census Bureau, the data helps the federal government determine how to divvy up funds for things such as schools, emergency services and infrastructure projects.