The Transylvania Times -

Latest Census Shows Population Growth


Last updated 4/9/2018 at 3:42pm

Transylvania County’s population grew about 2.6 percent between 2010 and 2017, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. That reflects a nationwide trend of rural counties growing and attracting younger generations of people.

Rural areas across the country grew by about 33,000 residents nationwide, after losing 15,000 residents in the years before. The appeal to small towns, green spaces and the ability to work remotely have all contributed to this shift.

In 2010, population estimates for Transylvania County hovered around 33,090 people. By 2017, the county population was 33,956 people. For the City of Brevard, in April of 2010 the city had 7,609 residents. By July of 2016 the number had grown to 7,822. In terms of sex, women made up 51.7 percent of the county population and 56.1 percent of the city of Brevard’s population. People under the age of 18 comprised 17.2 percent of the population in 2010. No data was available for 2017. Persons under the age of 5 made up 4.3 of the county population and 4.7 percent of the city population in 2016.

Those 65 and older made up 25.8 percent of the county’s population in 2010. That increased to 29.4 percent in 2016. That same age bracket accounted for 29.5 percent of the City of Brevard population in 2010, but no data for that same group was available for 2017.

In 2016, those who identified themselves as white accounted for 93.4 percent of the county’s population; black 3.7 percent; Hispanic or Latino, 3.3 percent; mixed with two or more races, 1.8 percent; American Indian, 0.4 percent; and Asian, 0.6 percent.

Veterans, between 2012-2016, accounted for 749 residents in the City of Brevard and 3,556 in the county. Foreign-born persons, in the same years, accounted for 5.7 percent of the city population and 4 percent of the county population.

From 2012-2016, in terms of housing, Transylvania County has a 76 percent homeowner occupation rate in the county. In the City of Brevard, 60.2 percent of the population lives in a home they own.

As of 2010, there were 19,613 housing units in the county and 3,867 in the City of Brevard. By 2016, housing units in the county increased by 314 homes. The median value of owner occupied homes in the county was $203,000, and the median value of those in the city was $198,400.

From 2012- 2016, most of the county residents live in homes with 2.3 people in 13,841 households in the county and 3,358 in the City of Brevard. From 2012- 2016, 88.2 percent of county residents had at least a high school diploma, while 88.8 percent of city residents had at least a high school diploma. Another 32 percent of city residents had a bachelor’s degree, while 29.7 percent of county residents have a bachelor’s degree. Economically, 51.3 percent of county residents meet civilian labor force standards, while 51.9 percent of Brevard residents are considered to be in the labor force. The Bureau of Labor statistics uses two metrics to gauge eligible workers — those that are aged and older and the number of unemployed people. This category does not just mean that they do not hold a job, but an unemployed person must have been available for work during the time of the survey and has to have made efforts to find a job within the last month. People who have given up looking for a job due to injury, lack of jobs or ill are considered to be outside the measurable labor force.

The median household income in 2016 was $43,918 for the county and $38,370 for Brevard. Per capita income, for the years 2012-2016 was $25,394 for the county and $23,478 for the city.

Those considered to be in poverty were 16.6 of the population of the county and 13.5 percent of city residents.

How counties receive some funding comes from formulas based on census information, according to Mark Burrows, the Transylvania County Planning and Community Development director. Many federal program offices that divvy out funding for rural areas distribute funds on a per capita (per person) basis.

“Many funds that would funnel through to counties, not just Transylvania, are going to be on a per capita basis, so for example when the Department of Social Services is looking for funding, a lot of that funding is on a per capita basis,” said Burrows. “Another example of that, and not direct to Transylvania County, the Department of Transportation funding is part of that formula also.”

Burrows said that housing fund allocations are based on census information as well. Those funds are then distributed the regional housing consortium office in Asheville.

Burrows said that anything the county can do to increase the number of residents the better off the county would be when looking for funding. Things are already gearing up for the 2020 census.

“For the 2010 census, we sent a letter to everyone who owned property here in the county,” he said. “We sent them a letter and say we would appreciate it if you would show you are a resident for six months and a day, so we could capture as many people as we could. There are tax advantages to that.”


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