Priceville among state's fastest growing municipalities

By Staff
Leada Gore, Hartselle Enquirer
Priceville's population boom has landed it in the list of Alabama's fastest-growing cities.
Priceville's population increased some 45 percent from 2000 to 2006, from 1,641 people to 2,380. Those figures make Priceville the seventh fastest-growing town in the state, behind Calera, Pine Apple, Gulf Shores, Foley, Moody and Orange Beach. Priceville is just ahead of Millbrook, Pelham and Sardis City.
The State Data Center at the University of Alabama released the new population figures last week. They are based on 2006 numbers.
The state's overall population increased from 2000 to 2006 and most of the areas showing growth are part of a larger metropolitan area, such as the Decatur Metropolitan Statistical Area. And while Decatur showed only a small increase in population, Priceville had a big surge.
"In fact, all metro areas contain incorporated places that are growing and some that are not. But most of the places suffering the heaviest population losses are very small towns of only a few hundred to a few thousand located in the rural parts of the state," Annette Jones Watters, data center manager said.
Priceville was the only Morgan County municipality included in the top 20 fastest-growing cities. Other local rankings are:
Watters said while all towns want to show growth, she cautions against using population increase as the only measure of success.
"Every town needs an economy to keep it vibrant," Watters said. "Some small towns have their own engines, and some help grease the cogs of nearby larger towns. Whatever the situation, population growth isn't actually the town's goal. Prosperity is the goal. Population growth is frequently seen as a measure of success, but people who live in cities that are growing or shrinking know that quality of life is the real success story, no matter the size of the town."

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