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Census data: Not much changes

Lincoln County and Brookhaven have seen a slight dip in population since the most recent count by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2010.

The county population was 34,869 in 2010. According to 2016 estimates released recently by the Census Bureau, those figures dropped slightly to 34,523. An estimate in 2015 put the population about halfway between the two at 34,765.

That small shrinkage doesn’t worry Lincoln County Chancery Clerk Tillmon Bishop.

“Minor changes don’t affect us one way or the other,” he said.

Bishop is secretary to the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors, which is divided into five districts based on population and race.

“They look at them (the Census numbers) every 10 years and make sure the district lines don’t need to change,” he said.

Population also slipped in Brookhaven. It was 12,513 in 2010 and had dropped to 12,465 in 2015. Figures for 2016 are not available for smaller cities in the state.

Racial makeup between the county and city are opposite.

Overall, 23,722 residents, or 68 percent of the county’s population, is white. Blacks make up 31 percent of the population, or 10,706 residents. All other races compose the remaining 1 percent. In the city, 57 percent of the population is black, while 42 percent of the population is white. The remaining 3 percent includes all other races.

The population in the city is getting a bit younger. The median age in Brookhaven is 34.4 according to the 2011-2015 American Community Survey five-year estimates. The median age was 36.2 in 2010. However, the median age basically stayed the same overall in Lincoln County, going from 37.4 in 2010 to 37.7 in 2015.

Education remains important with 84.3 percent of the residents reported they earned a high school diploma or college degree.According to the ACS, the median earning for the population 25 years and over is $29,913. Those with less than a high school education earn $18,500 on average. High school graduates earn $25,311 while an associate’s degree can bump that up to $30,486 and a bachelor’s degree can bring $37,050 on average. Those with a graduate or professional degree reported they earned an average of $52,889 annually.

Of the 5,158 housing units in Brookhaven, 85 percent of those are occupied, according to the 2015 ACS.

Of those 5,158 units, 69 percent are single dwelling homes and 12 percent are mobile homes. The other 19 percent are multi-unit structures such as duplexes and apartments.

Most of the homes — 1,398 or 27 percent — were built in the ‘70s. Only 28 homes, not even a full percentage point, have been built since 2014. Ninety-nine homes were built 2010-13.

Older homes in Brookhaven, those built in 1939 or earlier, make up 9.2 percent of the housing. According to the 2015 Census estimates, 473 homes are over 78 years old.

The median value of owner-occupied dwellings is $101,000. Forty-eight are valued at $500,000 to $999,000, while 13 are valued at $1 million or more.

The majority of owner-occupied homes — 1,747 — are valued between $50,000 and $199,000.

Of the 1,340 occupied rental units, the majority, or 61 percent, run $500 to $999 a month for rent, while 373, or 28 percent, cost less than $500. One-hundred and forty-seven rental units cost $1,000 to $1,499.

In Lincoln County, the 2010 Census showed 15,255 housing units. That figure grew to 15,282 in the 2015 ACS.

The median household income is $36,473. In the city, it’s $30,487.

Nearly 27 percent of the population is below the poverty level in the county. That number rises to 37.1 percent in Brookhaven.

There are 1,759 veterans in Lincoln County. Of those, 601 are in Brookhaven.