Campobello fastest growing town in area 2000-09; four of five towns gain population

Published 1:00 pm Friday, July 9, 2010

Campobello was the fastest growing town in the Thermal Belt area over the past nine years, according to 2009 population estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau recently.

Four of the five area municipalities gained population, while Tryon lost ten residents since 2005, according to the Census estimates.

Campobello, which counted 496 residents in April, 2000, grew to 615 residents, a 23 percent gain.

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Landrum, which had a total population of 2,472 in 2000, was up an estimated 8 percent to 2,672 by 2009. The city added 169 of those new residents since 2005, according to the census estimates.

Columbus grew nearly 6 percent, from 992 residents in 2000, but has remained right at 1050 residents since 2005.

Saluda added 16 residents from 2000 to 2009, going from 575 residents to 591, but was down by three residents since 2005.

Tryon had 1,760 residents in 2000, dropping by 41 residents to a population of 1,719 in 2005. The town lost another ten residents to post an estimated population of 1,709 in 2009.

Growth in Polk County, which registered 26.5 percent, rising from 14,416 in 1990 to 18,234 in 2000, slowed over the past nine years, according to census estimates.

Polk County population was 19,255 in 2009, the Census Bureau estimates, a growth of 5.6 percent since 2000.

The bureau estimates that cities in the region continued to grow. Charlotte grew 31 percent from a population of 540,000 in 2000 to 709,000 in 2009, including boundary changes. During the same period, Greenville grew 10 percent from 56,000 to 61,700, and Spartanburg grew 1.7 percent, from 39,600 to 40,300.

Greenville County grew by 71,811 residents, from 379,617 in 2000 to 451,428 in 2009. Spartanburg County grew 12.7 percent, from 254,418 in 2000 to an estimated 286,822 in 2009.

In 2009, there were 309.6 million people in the United States, the census estimates.

Obviously, part of this is a national trend, said Tryon Mayor Alan Peoples regarding his towns population decline. The birth rate in the United States is down.

In addition to aging out, Peoples said Tryon also faces home buyers decisions regarding taxation inside the city and outside. Living just a few feet outside the town limits saves thousands on an average tax bill, he said.

With the death rate and the inside/outside factor, we are losing population faster than we are gaining, he said.

State sales taxes and vehicle taxes are paid to muncipalities based on population, so Peoples said the loss of 51 residents negatively affects the town budget.