Polk County’s population, income increases over past decade

Published 5:48 pm Tuesday, December 31, 2013

by Leah Justice
Over the last 10 years, Polk County’s population, its income and age and have steadily increased, while its school enrollment has slightly decreased.
Demographic and economic statistics were included in the Polk County fiscal year 2012-2013 audit report that was presented to commissioners on Dec. 2.
Demographic and economic information was taken from the N.C. Office of State Budget Management, the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the N.C. Department of Public Instruction and the N.C. Employment Security Commission (June report).
Polk’s population was 18,905 in 2004 and grew to 20,422 in 2013. The highest population was recorded in 2011 with 20,588 Polk residents, according to the audit report.
Per capita personal income increased from $32,309 in 2004 to $37,190 in 2011. Information from 2012 and 2013 was not yet available. The highest per capita personal income was in 2008 at $41,124.
Polk’s median age has steadily increased over the past decade from 45.39 years in 2004 to 49.68 years in 2013.
School enrollment has slightly decreased over the past decade with 2,392 students enrolled in 2004 and 2,294 enrolled in 2013. There were 2,477 enrolled in 2008 (the highest) and 2,293 enrolled in 2012 (the lowest).
Polk’s unemployment rate has increased significantly over the past decade with 3.3 percent unemployed in 2004 and 6.9 percent unemployed in 2013. The highest percentage unemployed occurred in 2009 at 8.8 percent. The number of unemployed remained steady from 2009 to 2012 going from 8.1 percent in 2010 to 7.7 percent in 2011 to 8 percent in 2012. The largest jump occurred between 2008 and 2009 when the rate went from 4.5 percent to 8.8 percent in one year.

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