Latest U.S. Census Bureau estimates showed Bartow County's population grew only slightly more diverse through most of this decade.

Despite Bartow's white population growing the most in numbers, its share of the total population dropped and the non-white percentage grew in the eight-year time span, the Census Bureau reported recently.

The county’s overall population increased by 6% in eight years. It added 6,280 residents to total more than 106,000 in April 2018, the U.S. Census Bureau reported.

Bartow County’s white population grew about 3% between 2010 and 2018, rising 2,338 from almost 80,000 in 2010 to 82,242 in 2018.

Its percentage of the total population decreased from 80% in 2010 to 77% in 2018, the census bureau reported.

The county's Hispanic population grew the most in percentage, 24%, between 2010 and 2018.

That segment of the population increased by 1,848 in eight years to 9,538 county residents in 2018.

As a result, Hispanics’ share of the population increased from 7.6% in 2010 to 9% in 2018.

The county’s black population rose by 1,440, or 14%, in eight years. Its share of total Bartow County population increased slightly from 10.0% in 2010 to 10.8% in 2018.

Meanwhile, Bartow’s 6% overall growth rate since 2010 was lower than neighboring Paulding at 15%, Cobb at 10% and Cherokee at 19% in the same time span.

Cherokee and Paulding are only slightly farther from Atlanta than Bartow for commuters, but Paul McDaniel of Kennesaw State University said other factors were affecting this growth trend.

McDaniel, an assistant professor of geography, said while the actual growth rates vary between adjacent counties in the metro area, the overall trend is that of continued growth.

“There's quite a bit of growth going on in the outer fringes of the Atlanta metro area, as well as, of course, in the core area of the metro region right in Atlanta. New businesses and companies are moving to various places in the Atlanta region,” he said.

“New residential and commercial developments continue to emerge as growth continues in areas further out from Atlanta, such as Paulding, Bartow and Cherokee counties, in part due to land cost and land availability relative to other areas of the metro region.

“The Atlanta metro region's growth aligns with broader population and economic growth trends for the sun belt South, with much domestic and international migration to the region, drawn here by growing economic opportunities,” McDaniel said.

Several Georgia counties were in the top 100 U.S. counties for population growth from 2010 to 2018, including Forsyth at No. 9 with a growth rate around 35 percent and Cherokee at No. 77 with growth of around 19%, he said.

He noted that nearly all of the top 100 counties for population growth in the U.S. from 2010 to 2018 were in the southern and western regions of the country.

In addition, the overall Atlanta metro region, which currently has around 6 million people, is expected to continue to grow. The Atlanta Regional Commission forecasts the metro area will grow to over 8 million people by 2040, McDaniel said.

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