County not on list of state's fastest growers
Leada Gore, Hartselle Enquirer
Morgan County remains one of the state's 10 most populated counties, but doesn't rank among its fastest growing.
Data released last week by the U.S. Census Bureau shows Morgan County as the state's ninth most populated. Morgan County has 113,211 residents, with Hartselle accounting for some 12,019 of that total.
Morgan County is just ahead of Calhoun County with 112,425 and behind Lee County at 120,714 residents. Calhoun County is home to Anniston and Oxford. Auburn and Opelika are in Lee County.
Slightly more than one-third of Alabama's 67 counties experienced population growth since 2000.
"All of Alabama's growth rate since 2000 has occurred in 24 of the 67 counties," said Annette Watters, manager of the Alabama State Data Center at The University of Alabama. "Since the turn of the century, other counties have had populations that neither grew nor declined, and the others have lost population."
Thanks mostly to the population of Birmingham and Hoover, Jefferson County remains the state's most populated county. Some 658,495 people live in Jefferson County. It is followed by Mobile County, Madison County and Montgomery County.
While Morgan County is among the most populated, it isn't among the state's fastest growing. Shelby County added more than 22,384 people since 2000 and that 15.6 percent increase makes it the state's fastest growing area.
Shelby is followed by Baldwin, Elmore and Autauga counties. Nearby Madison and Limestone counties ranked as the eighth and ninth fastest growing counties, respectively.
Madison added some 16,121 people since 2000 and Limestone 3,711.
Experts are predicting Morgan County's population will continue to grow, albeit at a slower pace than some of the suburban counties in the center and southern parts of the state. The Census Bureau predicts the county will have 115,944 residents by the year 2005 and 115,944 by 2010. By 2025, the county's population is estimated to be some 131,112.