Lenoir, Greene see population decline

Lenoir, Greene see population decline

The population of two counties in the Neuse News readership area has declined over the last eight years.

Population changes are being felt all over the country, according to the new Census Bureau Estimates released April 18. The Census Bureau's mission is to serve as the nation’s leading provider of quality data about its people and economy. Data from the Census Bureau is used for a variety of reasons, including Congressional seats, providing services for the elderly, public health, education and more.

While many counties across North Carolina saw an increase in population, Lenoir County showed a reduction in population in the Census Bureau Estimates.

“The census provides us with a snapshot of our community,” Lenoir County Manager Michael S. James said.

He stressed the accuracy of the Census is important.

“It allows us to have detailed demographic information that helps local government’s make well informed decisions in regard to public services,” he said. “More broadly, census data is used by the federal and state government in deciding numerous funding allocations and determining legislative representation. With a high participation rate in Lenoir County, it will ensure that the community is represented accurately.”

According to the report, Greene County saw a 1.2 percent decrease in population from 2010 to 2018.

“Greene County is taking the Census process very seriously,” Greene County Manager Kyle DeHaven said. “The numbers attained directly impact our per capita reimbursement numbers for sales and use tax revenue from the state. We are taking this seriously, so we don’t limit an important resource for Greene County.”

DeHaven added, “Greene County intends to work vigorously to make sure all residents are counted to avoid an adverse impact from a declining population. The alleged decline in population has not affected our voting districts, or budgets for social or welfare programs.”

Both Lenoir and Greene counties have grants and incentives in place to draw new economic growth including the Business Incentive Grant in Greene County. Lenoir County Economic Development works with the local government to create financial packages and incentives for businesses interested in the area.

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