Polk population grows by 1,500 over last decade

Published 8:00 pm Wednesday, January 6, 2016

By Leah Justice



Polk County’s population has been increasing over the last few years after taking a dip in 2012, according to Polk County’s audit report for year-end June 30, 2015.

Polk County’s annual audit contains statistical information, including population trends since 2006, personal income, per capita income, median age, school enrollment and annual unemployment rates.

In 2015, Polk County’s population was 20,755 residents, compared to 19,207 residents in 2006, according to the report.

Polk’s population had grown to 20,588 residents in 2011 and dropped to 20,433 in 2012. Polk’s 2014 population was 20,603 in 2014, 20,422 in 2013 and 20,433 in 2012.

Per capita personal income was not available for 2014 and 2015 but was $41,372 in 2013, according to the report. In 2006, Polk’s per capita personal income was $37,873.

The median age in Polk County has also grown over the past decade. In 2006 Polk’s median age was 45.80 compared to a median age of 50.36 in 2015.

School enrollment has dropped slightly in Polk County over the past decade. Enrollment in Polk’s schools was 2,472 in 2006 compared to 2,276 in 2015. The highest school enrollment in the last decade occurred in 2008 when there were 2,477 students enrolled at Polk County schools. The lowest school enrollment in the last decade occurred in 2014 when there were 2,246 students enrolled in Polk County schools.

Polk County’s unemployment rates have fluctuated over the last decade with the highest unemployment rate occurring in 2009 when the unemployment rate was 8.8 percent. Polk’s lowest unemployment rate over the past decade occurred in 2006 at 3.5 percent and in 2007, Polk’s unemployment rate was 3.8 percent, according to the report. Polk’s 2008 unemployment rate was 4.5 percent, then jumped to 8.8 percent in 2009 and 8.1 percent in 2010. Polk’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.7 percent in 2011, then rose to 8 percent in 2012, then dropped to 6.9 percent in 2013, 4.7 percent in 2014 and 5.7 percent in 2015, according to the report.

Information for Polk County’s annual audit statistics are taken from the N.C. Office of State Budget Management; the Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce; the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, First Month Average Daily Membership and the N.C. Employment Security Commission, month of June for each year.