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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Louisville has grown slightly this decade, but new Census estimates show outlying areas are adding people at a faster rate.
There were 756,832 residents of Jefferson County last year, up about 2.1 percent from 2010, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released Thursday. The population of the larger, 13-county metropolitan area in Kentucky and Southern Indiana climbed to 1.3 million and increased at roughly the same rate.
Kentucky counties are leading the region’s growth. Shelby County’s population climbed by 5 percent to 44,216, making it the metro area’s 6th-largest county. Oldham, Spencer and Bullitt counties all grew by about 3.4 percent.
In Indiana, Clark and Floyd counties added people at a slightly faster clip than their neighbors in Louisville. Farther from the economic hub of the region, Harrison and Washington counties continued a pattern of losing population.
Louisville largely showed the same demographic trends seen in recent years: The city is getting older (the median age is now 38.1) and remains mostly white, although minority Hispanics and Asians populations are growing the fastest.
Here are some takeaways from the latest Census statistics, which use birth, death, tax and other public records to estimate national, state and county population data by race, sex and age:
- Non-Hispanic whites are the majority in Jefferson County, accounting for about 70 percent of all residents. However, that’s down about one percentage point since 2010.
- The non-Hispanic white population grew by less than one percent, while blacks who don’t identify as Hispanic increased by just under 4 percent. Non-Hispanic blacks account for about 21 percent of the city’s residents.
- The Hispanic population grew by about 3,000 people, to 35,644, and accounts for roughly 5 percent of the overall population. The overall increase among Hispanics was 9.5 percent.
-The Asian population, now about 18,350 in Jefferson County, had the biggest gains. While representing less than 3 percent of all residents, Asians grew by about 10 percent
-The non-Hispanic white population rose by 3,768 over the last three years. By comparison, the non-Hispanic black population rose by 5,724 and the Hispanic population climbed by 3,102.
The Census estimates also show the effects of the “Baby Boom” generation getting older, and the impact of declining birth rates, said Ron Crouch, director of research and statistics for the Kentucky Education & Workforce Development Cabinet.
In Jefferson County, the number of people in their 60s increased by about 10,000 during the past three years. At the same time, the number of people in their 40s declined.
“The Boomer cohort is much larger than the cohort behind it,” Crouch said. “They’re going to age and they’re going to get dramatically older over the next 10 to 20 years.”
Another factor at work, Crouch said, is a drop in birth rates as women wait longer to have children or have fewer children. That may help explain why Jefferson County had about 2,200 fewer 10-to-19-year-olds in the past three years.
“We’re seeing a demographic revolution, where basically children -- birth numbers -- are going down,” he said.