Athens Review, Athens, Texas

September 27, 2013

Numbers of people in counties have deviated

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

Athens — Many Texas counties have had decades of population loss in their history and Henderson County is no exception. However, recent years have seen the county adding to its numbers.

A study of long-term population trends in the Texas Association of Counties publication, “County,” shows county growth from 1930 to 2010, and also breaks it down from 1960 to 2010.

Henderson County joins numerous other counties whose population has more than doubled from 1930 to 2010. In the 1960 to 2010 totals, the county shows even more dramatic growth, with an increase of more than 200 percent.

County Information Program Senior Analyst Tim Brown said 1930 was chosen as the start date for the comparison, because that was the first census to include all 254 Texas counties. Kennedy County was the last county organized in 1921, carved out of Willacy, Cameron and Hidalgo counties.

The study uses 1960 as the start date for the second period  of comparison because many Texas counties, among them Henderson, had periods of population decline after World War II.

  Henderson County had an estimated population of 79,094 in 2012. The population in the 2010 census was 78,523, up from 73,277 in 2000. The county population had reached 30,583 in 1930, but had fallen to 21,786 in 1960

Henderson County saw its most dramatic period of growth in the 1970s, increasing from 26,466 to 42,606, a 61-percent gain. The county’s greatest population loss was between 1940 and 1950, a decrease of 26.5 percent brought about by World War II and flight to the urban areas in the aftermath.

Navarro County is among those that has lost population since 1930. The estimated population for the county in 2012 was 47,979. The Navarro County population peaked in 1930 at 60,507.  The county experienced four consecutive decades of population decline falling to 31,150 in 1970.

Anderson and Van Zandt counties saw significant growth from 1930, but fell below the Henderson County spurt. Anderson County had a 2012 estimate of 58,190, up from 34,643. Van Zandt County’s 2012 estimate was 52,427, after a population of 32,315 in the 1930 census.