Pike County population drops amid growth trend

Published 3:00 am Saturday, April 20, 2019

New figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau estimate that the population of Pike County declined from 2017 to 2018, continuing a trend of decreasing population since 2015.

However, Pike County remains one of only 24 counties in Alabama that have grown overall since the 2010 census; 43 counties actually have less residents since then.

Robin Sullivan, chair of the Pike County Commission, said he thinks the overall trend is more indicative of where the county is at than the recent decline.

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“I would hope that the county is headed in that growth direction,” Sullivan said. “We’ve tried to bring in things that would convince our young people to stay instead of moving off to get a job. Certainly in the future, we’ll have something that will attract our young people to stay. We want them to be able to do everything from engineering to operating a forklift.”

According to the Census data, Pike County has grown 1.3 percent since 2010, rising from a population of 32,899 to 33,338 in that timespan. However, the county population has declined 0.5 percent since 2015, when the population was estimated at 33,522.

Sullivan said he believes the recent recruitment of industry will put Pike County back on that growth track.

“I do believe that we are structured now to do a little bit of growing,” Sullivan said. “The numbers should be more on the positive side. Between the existing business and industry and that we’ve brought, with the amount of jobs available we feel like it will bring some growth automatically.”

Out of the 24 counties experiencing growth since the 2010 Census, Pike County ranks 16th. Baldwin County has seen the most growth at nearly 20 percent, growing 2.5 percent from 2017 to 2018 alone.

The numbers in the report are only estimates and are based on the projected population as of July 1, 2018.