Thursday, March 19, 2009

Regional Growth Accelerating; More People Chosing to Live in Owensboro

Owensboro-Daviess County grew by 2,869 people -- an average of 358 people a year -- in the first eight years of the decade to a population of 94,418.  But the 3.1 percent growth rate is accelerating as the decade ends.

A U.S. Census Bureau report being released today estimates that the county grew by 655 people in the year ending July 1, 2007, and 728 in the year ending July 1, 2008.

One reason for the accelerated growth in the past couple of years is an increase in people moving into the county.  Since 2000, Daviess has added 3,512 people through natural increase -- more births than deaths.But the county has lost 225 people through migration.  Although 249 more people moved here from outside the U.S. during that period, 474 more Americans moved away to somewhere else in the country.  But last year, the report shows, the county gained 226 people from migration -- 30 from outside the U.S. and 196 from other parts of the country.

"That's an outstanding reversal," Nick Brake, president of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corp., said Wednesday. "It's great news."Brake said the growth "validates the concept of place making" as a strategy for growth. "Our emphasis on community renewal was probably a contributing factor" to the growth."

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