2020 Census data shows growth in Lafayette County – The Oxford Eagle
The Lafayette County Board of Supervisors knows there has been growth over the past decade in Lafayette County and on Monday they were shown the proof.
During the regular Council meeting, Dr. Anne Cafer and Dr. Jamiko Deleveaux from the Center for Population Studies at the University of Mississippi presented the results of the 2020 census data. The presentation showed that while the population of the Mississippi as a whole fell by more than 6,000 (2,961,279 million), Lafayette County grew by 17.9% (population 55,813) from 2010 to 2020. Lafayette County saw an increase of 8,462 new residents over the past decade.
The growth rate of 1.6 has made Lafayette County one of the fastest growing counties in the state. The county’s deviation rate, which affects redistricting, was less than two percent.
Lafayette County saw growth in all racial groups except for non-Hispanic American Indians and Alaska Natives, which decreased by 19 residents. The county also saw an increase in the population of two or more races in a household, from 436 in 2010 to 1,698 in 2020.
Census data affects congressional redistricting, which was provided to counties last month. Monday’s presentation was the first time the oversight board has seen the disaggregated data.
“The results were caught off guard,” supervisor Mike Roberts said. “We just thought the growth was there, but the sub-2% gap sort of surprised us. But to see the positive news, the county continues to grow and grow in the right direction.
The city of Oxford has seen the biggest increase with 6,500 new residents over the past 10 years. Toccopola saw an increase of 40 new residents and Taylor saw an increase of 33 residents. The commune of Abbeville experienced a drop of 47 inhabitants. The average annual growth of cities and towns in Lafayette County was 1.08.
One thing last year’s census focused on was a push for students to be counted in the county where they attend school because they live there nine months out of the year, according to Cafer.
The University of Mississippi student population has been declining over the past five years, and Lafayette County, like other college counties nationwide, is experiencing differences in its 2020 census count and total population expectations. .
While students are counted in Lafayette County with respect to census data, they are not counted as eligible Lafayette County voters.
“One of the reasons we encourage students is that they’re here nine months out of the year, taxing a lot of our infrastructure,” Cafer said. “I ask my students to register to vote here. I was like, ‘You live here nine months a year. You might as well vote here. ‘ In census terms, having them count themselves (in Lafayette County) is important because of the infrastructure dollars, in particular.
Lafayette County Circuit Clerk Jeff Busby was in attendance and mentioned that students apply to register to vote and will occasionally use the physical address of a friend in the county, which is then discovered during the summons of the jury. Because of this, Busby noted that voter rolls are affected.
If a student registers to vote in another county after graduation, they are removed from the Lafayette County voter rolls and transferred to their new county of residence, but if they leave the state, they remain on the Lafayette County voter rolls.
“On an overall percentage, I’m still sure it’s low, from the number of students that are enrolled here,” Busby said. “But when they enroll here and they go back to Texas or Louisiana, they don’t unenroll here. So our poll books show 33-34-36,000 voters when in reality we probably have (fewer than that).
At the end of the presentation, Lafayette County attorney David O’Donnell asked Cafer and Deleveaux if they could provide any additional data to help explain the county’s deviation rate.