Area sees housing increases

Published 5:00 am Thursday, May 23, 2002

Recent 2000 Census statistics showing the county outpacing thecity in terms of residential housing units is further evidence ofgrowth patterns in the community, said Chandler Russ, executivevice-president of the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber ofCommerce.

Census totals showed Lincoln County with 14,052 housing units in2000. That represented an increase of 1,919, or 15 percent, over1990’s total of 12,133, Russ said.

The number of homes inside the city grew by 395 from 3,845 in1990 to 4,240 in 2000, which represented only a 10 percentincrease. The significant number is that city housing made up 32percent of all housing in 1990, but that percentage fell by 2000,Russ said.

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“In 2000, that number went down to 30 percent,” Russ said.

Russ attributed the housing unit percentage decline to largesubdivision development just outside the city limits and otherdevelopments around the county.

“County housing development has grown faster than the city has,”Russ said.

Population totals released earlier also showed the countyaccounting for a larger percentage of growth. In southwestMississippi, Lincoln County had both the highest percentage andactual number of people growth over the 10-year period.

From 1990 to 2000, Lincoln County’s population grew from 30,278to 33,166. That represented an increase of 2,888 people and a 9.5percent growth rate.

However, the city saw a population decline from 10,243 in 1990to 9,861 in 2000.

Russ said additional census data would have to be studied, buthe speculated the higher housing unit total and lower populationtotal could mean fewer people per household, more single-personhomes and more unoccupied housing. Additional census data on citiesand counties is expected to be released in the future, Russsaid.

In terms of housing, the county accounted for 79 percent of theincrease while the city made up 21 percent. Russ said that shows ageneral pattern of residential growth, which is typically followedby other growth.

“I think it’s a case in point as the city looks at annexationand sees that the tax base is shrinking,” Russ said of the totals.”It shows where the growth is from a housing and tax basestandpoint.”