Bay County has seen the growth of the U.S. 2020 Census

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG / WECP) – After a decade of planning and headcounts, the U.S. Census Bureau released survey numbers for 2020. In the last 10 years, the country has grown at its slowest rate since the 1930’s. This is a slowdown shown in many areas in the report. But since it’s not a fast increase in numbers, the numbers are still up.

The results show more than 175,000 people are now calling the Bay County That home is almost a 4% jump from 2010.

“Everyone knows Bay County is open,” Bay County Commissioner Robert Carroll said. “There are a lot of new developments, apartments, subdivisions. And with that growth, we think people are moving but they’re not. They’re really moving here from other parts of the country.”

No wonder you’ve been out on the roads lately.

“So, if you drive anywhere around Bay County, you’ll notice traffic. We had traffic at 231, Back Beach Road, Highway 77,” Carroll said.

The report shows more people in Panama City Beach, but not as many in other cities. In the eastern part of town, the numbers are dropping. Places like Panama City and Mexico Beach both showed declines. Carroll said it was likely because of Hurricane Michael.

“Which we already know is that, but they’re coming back. Again, if we take a new snapshot, I think we’ll see those numbers back to where they were pre-storm,” Carroll said.

Higher numbers are critical for funding.

“There’s federal dollars for highways and roads. That’s based on population. And how it’s spread, it affects schools, nursing care is based on population. So, the higher the population, the more there are many opportunities, ”Carroll said.

A higher population count is what Carroll said he expects for the 2030 Census.

“Oh, my goodness. Sure that number will be bigger than I can imagine. You’ll probably see a minimum 10-15% increase, if not higher,” Carroll said.

Growth was seen generally across the state. Results from the 2020 Census gave Florida an extra seat in congress for the next decade.

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