Sulphur Springs' growth rate near 6 percent for decade

By BRUCE ALSOBROOK, News-Telegram Managing Editor

July 10, 2008 - The number of people living inside Sulphur Springs' city limits continued to increase in the past year, bringing the municipality's growth rate for the decade to almost 6 percent.

New estimates released today by the U.S. Census Bureau put the population count for Sulphur Springs at 15,387 on July 1, 2007. That's up 5.7 percent from the 2000 census count of 14,551.

The census bureau updates estimates of populations in all U.S. cities and towns every summer. This year's estimates are for population counts as of July 1, 2007.

As happened last year, the Census Bureau also downgraded some past estimates of growth in the city. One year ago, for example, the federal agency pegged the city's population at 15,290 on July 1, 2006. The most recent approximations lowered that estimate to 15,224. The bureau has also lowered the 2005 estimate from the original figure of 15,228 to 15,149.

One fact hasn't changed, however. Sulphur Springs has already seen a bigger increase in its population -- by 836 people -- the first seven years of this decade than in all of the 1990s. From 1990 to the 2000 census, the population rose from 14,062 to 14,551, or 489 people.

This decade's increases are due in large part to strong growth from 2001 to 2004, when the city gained an estimated 578 people, numbers that have stayed essentially unchanged in subsequent estimates.

Three other towns in Hopkins County on the list were virtually unchanged from last year's projections: Como at 653 (647 last year), Cumby at 672 (666) and Tira at 258 (256).

Those three communities have accounted for 98 more people in the county's population numbers. At the start of the decade, Como registered 621 residents, Cumby had 616 and Tira 248.

Elsewhere in the area, Emory continues to be the fastest-growing city in the region by percentage since the 2000 census, with the populace increasing 45.5 percent from 1,021 to 1,486. From 2006 to 2007, however, Emory only gained 21 new residents, according to the estimates.

Mount Vernon has the second-highest growth rate over the first seven years of the decade, rising 22.7 percent to 2,805. The city added 23 residents in the lastest estimate.

Mount Pleasant was credited with the highest numerical growth in the area from July 2006 to 2007, adding 329 residents for a count of 14,770. The city's projected population was up 6 percent from the 13,935 in the year 2000.

Commerce has seen in population climb 21 percent this decade, from 7,669 to 9,279, but only by 21 people from 2006 to 2007.

Greenville had the second-largest numerical growth in the area from 2006 to 2007 at 228 people. The city has risen from 23,960 in 2000 to 25,674 last year.

Winnsboro has grown by 9 percent this decade to 3,584 people as of July 2007, but was only projected to have added about 20 residents from 2006 to 2007.

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