New census estimates cite slow county growth
The latest estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show Franklin County with the state’s slowest population growth, although that’s more than two other counties, where population was also estimated to have shrunk.
The new estimates, which compare population between April 1, 2010 and July 1, 2012, show Franklin County’s population growth at 0.24 percent, from 71,372 to 71,540. That’s far less than the 1.5 percent growth for the state as a whole, and less than Hampshire County’s 1.1 estimated growth to 159,795, according to the data, released today.
Greenfield showed 0.56 percent growth, a little more than twice the growth rate as Franklin County’s overall growth, adding just under 100 people to its 2010 population of 17,456.
The estimates, based on birth and death rates as well as other available data, show Berkshire County’s population – which saw the state’s greatest population drop from 2000 to 2010 at 2.7 percent, — continuing to decline, at -0.2 percent. Negative growth was even greater in Barnstable County on Cape Cod, at -0.9 percent. Both counties, with older populations than other parts of the state, have higher death rates than birth rates, according to the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute.
The greatest growth was shown in Boston’s Suffolk County, and in Martha’s Vineyard’s Dukes County, both at 3.1 percent.
The state’s 1.5 percent growth rate keeps it ranked as the 14th most populous in the nation, and makes it the fastest growing state in the Northeast, in terms of percentage growth, the Donahue Institute reports. Since 2010, Massachusetts is ranked 28th for percentage growth and approaches the national average of 1.7 percent growth.
But that doesn’t come close to estimated growth in states like Texas, where eight of the fastest growing large cities and towns over the past year are, according to the Census Bureau.
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