Houston County’s population continues to climb past the 100,000 milestone, while Coffee County continues to make significant gains, according to recent estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The bureau estimates Houston County’s population grew about 1 percent in 2012. The county’s 2011 estimated population was 102,425, and grew to 103,402 in 2012 for an increase of 977.
Coffee County added 767 residents, increasing its 2011 population of 50,485 to 51,252 in 2012, an increase of 1.5 percent.
Other Wiregrass counties adding residents in 2012 according to the bureau include Dale (303 residents), Geneva (128) and Pike (289). Henry (-136) and Barbour (-112) counties lost residents according to the estimates.
According to the bureau, population estimates are based on evaluation of birth and death records, along with domestic and international in-migration and out-migration.
The combined populations of Houston, Henry and Geneva counties make up what is known as the Dothan Metropolitan Statistical Area. With growth in Geneva County offset by a loss in Henry County, the area still grew by about 1,000 residents each year in 2011 and 2012.
The bureau estimates a combined 2012 population of 147,620, almost 2,000 more than the 2010 Census estimate of 145,639. The bureau also estimates a 2011 population of 146,651.
The .7 percent increase in 2012 compares favorably with other population centers in Alabama.
The Auburn-Opelika area enjoyed the fastest growth over that time frame, growing 2.6 percent, the 11th fastest growth rate over a one-year period in the nation. The Huntsville Metropolitan Area grew 1.8 percent. Birmingham-Hoover grew by only .4 percent and the Mobile metro area grew by only .2 percent.
Meanwhile, the Montgomery area, Anniston-Oxford area and Decatur area population all decreased by .4 percent.
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