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Older residents opt to live in Brookhaven

The City of Brookhaven is losing population, and citizens whoare staying are older than their Lincoln County counterparts,according to data from 2000 Census.

“It looks like a larger percentage of the 65 and over group isliving in the city,” said Chandler Russ, executive vice-presidentof the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce.

The 1,819 in the over-65 group represented 18.4 percent of thecity’s 9,861 population in 2000. That compared to 13.9 percent inthe over 65 group in the total county population, which indicated aheavier concentration of senior citizens in the city.

The totals suggest that 39.3 percent of the county’s over-65population lived in the city in 2000. In 1990, the city had 43percent of the county’s over-65 population.

The median age of city residents was 37.1, compared to 35.8 forthe county as a whole. The state median age was was 31.8 and thenational number was 35.3.

Despite a city population decline from 10,243 in 1990 to 9,861in 2000, Russ said the area remained strong. The drop in citypopulation was more than offset by growth in the county, which sawa population increase from 30,278 in 1990 to 33,166 in 2000.

“I don’t think there’s any negative effects in the growth of ournumbers,” Russ said.

Russ echoed other officials’ sentiments on county populationgrowth.

“There was an enormous amount of growth just outside the citylimits,” Russ said.

In other age group areas, the number and percentage of cityresidents under age 18 shrank from 1990-2000. In 1990, the 2,838under-18 total accounted for 27.7 percent of the population whilein 2000, the numbers had fallen to 2,594 and 26.3 percent.

The number of working-age city residents — those between age 25and 64, changed relatively little over the 10-year period. The 1990working age population was 4,604 and by 2000, it had dropped lessthan 100 to 4,535.

In total household numbers, the city’s total fell by only 35from 1990 to 2000. In 1990, the city had 3,845 households while ithad 3,810 in 2000.

Of the 1990 households, 2,659 were family households. Withinthat total, 1794 were married couple families, with others beingmale or female householders with other family memberarrangements.

There 1,186 were non-family households, which included 614 whowere householders over age 65 and living alone.

Of the 2000 households, 2,481 were families and 1,329 werenon-families.

Within the 2000 family household total, 2,481 were marriedfamilies, with the remainder being male or female householders withother family members present. Of the 2000 non-family number, 608were householders over age 65 and living alone.

Overall, Russ indicated the city and county remain in good shapefrom a census standpoint.

“As long as the population growing from a county standpoint andwhat you have is health growth, we’ll be OK,” Russ said.