Wrightsville Beach population inches up

by Michelle Saxton
Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Wrightsville Beach’s population has risen slightly over a year, according to information gathered by North Carolina’s demographer.

The population projection for July 1, 2012, was 2,500 — up from 2,494 in July 2011, reported the North Carolina Office of State Budget and Management.

Wrightsville Beach was given until Sept. 6 to preview the certified estimate for its permanent resident population and challenge it if needed, but town manager Tim Owens said they had no issues with the projection.

“It didn’t seem like it was out of line with prior projections,” Owens said Monday, Sept. 9.

State demographer Jennifer Song sent Wrightsville Beach the memorandum, dated Aug. 19. 

Song was out of the office Sept. 9. Bob Coats, the governor’s Census liaison, said data Song collected from municipalities for projections includes annexations and group quarters information, such as prisons, military barracks and nursing homes.

“She’s collecting all these inputs, and that’s impacting all the estimates she does each year,” Coats said.

Population estimates are used when distributing state-shared revenues to municipalities and are featured on the budget and management office’s website.

Census population counts and annual state population projections help determine distribution of state sales tax dollars, State Street-Aid, educational outlays from the state lottery, Medicaid dollars, emergency telephone system funds and some economic development grants, Coats said.

State population projections are based on Census counts but use a different methodology for annual projections, Coats said.

Wrightsville Beach’s population projection from the April 2010 10-year Census count was 2,477.

Meanwhile, on a larger economic development level, state annual population projections can help determine municipal planning, such as how to provide services and infrastructure — including roads, water and sewer services —  for an increasing population, Coats said.

The state also compiles estimates for age, race and sex, which can help determine services and jobs needed, for example, in places where populations are growing older and places where younger people are coming in.

“It lets us know what our communities are and what those needs are over time,” Coats said.

email michelle@luminanews.com


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