Pike ranks 35th in growth

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 16, 2001

Managing Editor

When it comes to growth, Pike County, though not leading the pack in the state of Alabama, got its fair share in the last 10 years.

According to final tallies released by the U.S. Census Bureau from the 2000 Census, Pike County ranked 35th among 67 counties in the state for growth, falling very close to the center of the pack with a 7.3 percent increase in the general population.

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Pike County’s showing was in line with other Wiregrass counties, shaving Montgomery County by a few percentage points and falling about a percent behind neighboring Coffee County. Pike County showed significantly more growth than most other area counties including Bullock, Crenshaw, and Butler.

Pike County’s total population was 29,605 compared to a 27,595 in 1990.

Some other key statistics shown by Census data are aging numbers. According to 2000 data, there was an increase of 8.03 percent in the total population in the county that is 18 years old and older, while the numbers for those in the 17 years and younger bracket increased at a much slower rate of 5.02 percent.

Another key factor shown in the 2000 Census is that our Hispanic and Latino population is increasing at a rate of nearly double the state average.

Though Pike County showed a relatively low number of Hispanic and Latino residents in 2000 – a mere 1.2 percent compared to the state average of 1.7 percent – that number is 500 percent greater than it was in 1990 when less than .4 percent of the population was reported to be Latino or Hispanic.

That 500 percent increase is greater than the state’s increase of a little less than 300 percent.

According to the numbers, there were fewer than 400 Hispanic or Latino residents in Pike County when the Census was conducted.

Despite the growth in the Latino and Hispanic population, Pike County still seems to be largely following its historical patterns of being a black and white county.

The Census reported that 17,990 residents of Pike County are white compared to 10,835 black residents. Whites make up nearly 60.77 percent of Pike County’s population with blacks accounting for another 36.6 percent. Less than 400 residents of Pike County claimed to be multi-racial, or being descended from two or more ethnic backgrounds.

American Indians numbered 194 in Pike County at the time the 2000 Census was conducted and 105 county residents claim to be Asian.

Other neighboring counties also tended to remain mostly black and white.

Coffee County is 77 percent white and 18 percent black among 43,000 residents while Crenshaw County is 74 percent white and 25 percent black among its 13,000 residents.

Butler County closely resembles Pike County in racial breakdown with 58 percent of its 21,000 residents listed as being white and 41 percent reported as black.

Additional stories regarding the 2001 Census will appear in subsequent beginning with a four-part series that will begin publication on Wednesday, March 21.