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Census: Fayette getting grayer, numbers of households with kids drops

It has often been said that the only constant is change. And that is true of Fayette County as reflected by estimated U.S. Census figures for 2011.

Compared to 2000, the 2011 figures show Fayette with a population that is aging, with the number of households with children shrinking and one that is becoming much more diverse in terms of race and ethnicity.

Fayette County in 2011 had an estimated population of 107,784 compared to a population of 91,263 in 2000, according to

The 2011 data showed 25 percent of Fayette residents under age 18, down from 29 percent in 2000.

Meantime, the 2011 data also showed 13.9 percent of residents are age 65 and over, up from 8.9 percent in 2000.

While on the surface those numbers might not seem significant, a look back at the 2000 census begins to show a different story. Here’s how.

Fayette County in 2000 had a population with a median age of 38.2 years. In 2011 the median age had increased to 43.3 years, an average age increase of more than five years in just over a decade.

Back in 2000, Fayette County households that included children totaled 43.1 percent but by 2010 that figure had dropped to 36.3 percent. That’s a telling decrease of numbers of children, including — most ominously for the Fayette County School System — school-age children. But there is more to the story.

Recession notwithstanding, there is a projection by the Atlanta Regional Commission from a couple of years ago that showed Fayette with the third fastest growing senior population in the 10-county metro Atlanta area. Combined with the aging population in general, the projection was that Fayette’s senior population is expected to increase by 450 percent by 2040.

Those aged 65 and older already account for 13.9 percent of the county’s population, so if the projection is anywhere near accurate it will mean a much larger senior population relative to other age groups in Fayette in the coming years.

That increase in Fayette’s aging population will likely have an impact on property tax revenue for the Fayette County School System. The reason is that at age 65 the homeowner is eligible for a 50 percent exemption on school taxes. Also at age 65 the homeowner or couple is eligible for a 100 percent school tax exemption if the Georgia taxable income is $15,000 or less.

That might not seem like much income, except that Social Security and up to $35,000 of retirement income per person plus regular deductions are not counted in the taxable income equation. The slope for school tax revenues continues to be downhill.

Another adjustment in Fayette County demographics is in terms of race and ethnicity.

A breakdown of census figures in those categories showed a population that was nearly 84 percent white in 2000. Eleven years later, the percentage of whites relative to all other races in Fayette had fallen to 67.2 percent white, a decrease in relative numbers of nearly 17 percent.

During the same period all other race and ethnic populations categories showed increases. The black population in 2000 was 11.5 percent, though by 2011 the black population had increased to 20.8 percent, a relative increase of more than 9 percent.

Similarly, the Hispanic population of 2.8 percent in 2000 more than doubled in relative terms to 6.5 in 2011 percent while the Asian population increased from 2.4 percent in 2000 to 4.1 percent in 2011.

Reflecting the increase in a population of 91,263 in 2000, Fayette in 2011 had a corresponding increase in the number of households, totaling 31,524 in 2000 and 38,167 in 2011.

The number of people per household shrank a bit over the 10-year period, with the average of 2.88 people per household in 2000 decreasing to 2.78 in 2011. Also of note was the percentage of households containing a husband-wife couple. Those figures totaled 71.5 percent in 2000 and 65.7 percent in 2010.



Newsboy's picture

The Census bureau does not differentiate between "white" and "Hispanic" persons; in other words, all Hispanics are considered "white." Therefore, the "white" population of Fayette county is in fact 72.7 percent. The percent of residents who identify themselves as being of "Hispanic origin" is 6.5 percent. Subtract one from the other and you get 67.2 percent. It's a little deceptive.

WHAT'S MORE: Though the percentage of white residents remained virtually unchanged between 2010 and 2011, the percentage of both blacks AND Asians showed slight DECLINES while the percentage of Hispanics AND persons of two or more races both GREW slightly, no doubt a reflection of the community's growing international population!



The most important article in this issue and hardly anyone has anything to say about it. You'd all rather talk about The Chosen One and his silly string incident.

You guys don't deserve Fayette county. I'm done going to bat for you. So long you spineless white people.

RKS's picture

Hey Avenger,
What in this article is there to discuss? Facts are facts, eh?

I don't see why it's such a big deal. So what. The entire nation is becoming more and more diverse. That's a good thing.

Besides, to all those people who constantly have issues with people of color, there's a simple solution: Idaho.

I'm not trying to put down on Idaho, but it's pretty much one of the whitest states in the Union, and people who live in the South need to either embrace the diversity that has always been here or just pack it up and move.

I don't mind people of African, Hispanic, or Asian decent. I don't mind anyone who is willing to not harm me or my family (or community).

So if the county is changing it's changing. There's nothing you can do about it other than move (if that's what you want). Try Union County if you are worried about changing demographics, but good luck with that. Living in the mountains is lonely and inconvenient compared to here. That can be a good thing, but it is what it is.

No Teds, Thai Spice or Banana Republic up there.

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