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North Carolina counties in light green grew at the fastest rates from 2010 to 2012, while
counties in darker shades had a lesser rate of growth. Map: U.S. Census Bureau

Originally published: 2013-03-15 10:47:00
Last modified: 2013-03-16 13:08:31

Watauga population grows to 51,871

by Anna Oakes

Watauga County's population continued on an upward trend in 2012, growing to an estimated 51,871 as of last July, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates released Thursday.

The Census Bureau released 2012 county, metropolitan and micropolitan statistical estimates for the United States and Puerto Rico this week. The Census Bureau estimates population change since the most recent Census using births, deaths, administrative records and survey data.

Watauga's 2012 estimate is 792 persons higher than the 2010 Census count of 51,079, an increase of 1.6 percent. The county's growth rate over the two-year period ranked 27th of the 100 counties in the state. North Carolina's estimated population was 9,752,073 on July 1, 2012 -- a 2.3 percent increase since 2010.

From 2000 to 2010, Watauga County grew at a rate of 19.6 percent, while the town of Boone increased by 27.1 percent, according to the 2010 Census.

Among the fastest growing metropolitan and micropolitan areas and counties last year were those located in the Great Plains and West Texas, which the Census Bureau attributed to the oil and natural gas boom.

Midland, Texas, was the fastest growing metro area over the July 1, 2011, to July 1, 2012, period, with its population increasing 4.6 percent, the Census said.

In the coming months, the Census Bureau will release 2012 estimates of the total population of cities and towns, as well as national, state and county population estimates by age, sex, race and Hispanic origin.

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