BY O.J. EARLY
Population growth has been stable in Greene County since at least 2010, dropping by .01 percent since the last census, data from the U.S. Census Bureau show.
The bureau released earlier this month its national and state-by-state population estimates, which are different from the census that happens every 10 years.
Tennessee's population grew over the past three years, moving from 6,346,113 in 2010 to 6,459,978 in 2013.
Nationwide, population totals barely moved, inching forward at 0.7 percent from 2012 to 2013, the Census Bureau data estimates.
That's the slowest year-to-year growth in the U.S. since the 1930s, the Associated Press reported.
The number of people living in Greene County dropped by 12 from 2010 to 2012, according to Census Bureau data.
In 2012, an estimated 68,819 people lived in Greene County, according to the bureau. In 2010, 68,831 people resided in the county, a decrease of .01 percent.
Since the 1960s, the number of people living in Greene County has increased every 10 years by at least 1,400.
The largest jump in any decade over the last 50 years came between 1990 and 2000. Population increased by more than 7,000, from 55,853 in 1990 to 62,909 in 2000, data from the bureau show.
"The reason for what I
would call the growth spurt in the '90s has to do with, No. 1, the industries that we recruited,"
said Tom Ferugson, president/CEO of the Greene County Partnership.
"Jobs do attract people. It attracts other services."
Ferguson said 17 industries came to Greene County in the 1990s, creating hundreds of new jobs.
A poor economy was likely the top reason for a slow-down in people moving to Greene County during the late 2000s, he said.
NEIGHBORING COUNTIES, STATES
Here is how Greene County's population trend relates to neighboring East Tennessee counties, according to the Census Bureau estimates:
* Cocke County: the population dropped from 35,662 in 2010 to 35,571 in 2012.
* Hawkins County: the population decreased from 56,833 in 2010 to 56,587 in 2012.
* Hamblen County: the population increased from 62,544 in 2010 to 62,746 in 2012.
* Washington County: the population moved from 122,979 in 2010 to 125,094 in 2012.
* Unicoi County: the population fell from 18,313 in 2010 to 18,235 in 2012.
* Sullivan County: the population ticked down from 156,823 in 2010 to 156,786 in 2012.
The Volunteer State added just over 100,000 citizens since 2010. Tennessee is the 17th most populous state in the U.S.
North Carolina, on Greene County's southern border, remained the 10th highest among states in population, adding nearly 100,000 people from 2012 to 2013. An estimated 9.85 million live in North Carolina.
Only two states, Maine and Rhode Island, had lower population estimates in 2013 than in 2010, the Associated Press reported.
The bureau estimated the nation's population at 316.1 million.