published Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Census shows steady growth in Bradley County

  • photo
    Robert Egger, left, founder of DC Central Kitchen in Washington D.C., chats with Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis, center, and Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland Friday before the launch of a collaborative effort by local non-profit agencies to reach more people.
    Staff Photo by Randall Higgins

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Bradley County gained about 1,200 more people in the 2010 U.S. Census than was estimated in 2009, according to census results released Wednesday.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Bradley County’s population now is 98,963, compared to the 2009 estimate of 97,710 and the 2000 official census of 87,965.

For Cleveland, the 2010 official census count is 41,285, an 11 percent increase over the 2000 census.

“I really feel we have some population pockets that were not counted or undercounted,” Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland said. “I will discuss this with our City Council. There is an appeal process with the U.S. Census Bureau.”

Still, the new census numbers show a growth rate of about 1,000 people annually for both the city and county, he said.

“So it is a good economic indicator,” Rowland said. “And with the construction and industrial growth on the horizon, we believe the numbers will only grow.”

County Mayor D. Gary Davis said Bradley is “growing economically with great companies like Wacker, Whirlpool, Amazon and Olin choosing to either stay or build in our community.”

“The census figures show that we are also growing numerically, which is important as these industries look for a stable and qualified work force,” Davis said in a statement. “We have added 10,198 new residents since the last census, which means we have grown 12.5 percent in 10 years. While we did not reach the 100,000 [mark], I am excited to see that thousands of people continue to choose Bradley County as their home.”

According to the census figures, Bradley County’s census participation by mail was 69 percent for 2010, the very same rate as in 2000.

“Last year we stressed the importance of participating in the census,” Rowland said. “The census is the basis for many federal grants and programs.”

The Bradley County census count is in line with the estimate of 98,520 made in the 2035 growth study just completed. That project forecasts Bradley’s population to cross the 106,000 mark by 2015 and to be more than 131,000 by 2035.

Those projections were made by AECOM Technical Services Inc. as a subcontractor to consultants McBride Dale Clarion, which performed the study in 2010.

about Randall Higgins...

Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...

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