UPDATED: Augusta retains status as state's 2nd largest city

Augusta retained its status as the state’s second-largest city in the latest U.S. Census numbers, but it is growing at a snail’s pace.


The consolidated city – which doesn’t include Hephzibah and Blythe – only grew a little less than 1 percent during the Census Bureau’s reporting period from July 1, 2007, to July 1, 2008. Augusta’s population went from 192,407 to 194,149, according to census estimates.

The pace of growth ranked fourth among the nine Georgia cities with populations of at least 50,000. Atlanta had the highest growth rate, 3.4 percent, and was ranked 13th on the list of fastest-growing cities in the U.S. with populations of at least 100,000.

Hephzibah had the highest growth rate among the three incorporated areas in Richmond County. The city’s population increased 2 percent, from 4,437 to 4,533, while Blythe’s grew by 0.9 percent, from 797 to 804. (A small part of Blythe falls in Burke County.)

In Columbia County, Grovetown’s population grew by nearly 6 percent – from 8,721 to 9,224. Harlem’s growth was just over 2 percent, from 2,012 to 2,057. North Augusta was Aiken County’s fastest growing city, with 2.1 percent growth.

Richmond County’s total population of 199,486 – which includes Blythe and Hephzibah – is only 289 fewer than it had at the start of this decade after years of reported decline. However, much of that total is the result of what is termed natural population increase.

From April 1, 2000, to July 1, 2008, an estimated 9,922 more people left Richmond County than moved in, the third-highest negative net migration in Georgia during that time. Only DeKalb (18,827) and Liberty (11,706) had a higher negative amount among the state’s 159 counties, according to census estimates. However, the number of births in Richmond County far surpassed deaths. There were 26,399 births in the nine-year period compared to 15,682 deaths, giving the county a natural population increase of 10,717.


Growth among cities in Georgia with populations of at least 50,000 from July 1, 2007 to July 1, 2008:

l Atlanta: 520,368 to 537,958; 3.4 percent

l Warner Robins: 59,601 to 60,944; 2.2 percent

l Athens-Clarke: 111,951 to 113,398; 1.3 percent

l Augusta: 192,409 to 194,149; 0.9 percent

l Roswell: 87,222 to 87,674; 0.5 percent

l Albany: 75,799 to 75,831: 0.4 percent

l Savannah: 132,063 to 132,410; 0.3 percent

l Sandy Springs: 82,879 to 82,674; -0.2 percent

l Macon: 93,191 to 92,775; -0.4 percent


Growth among Augusta-Aiken-area cities and towns from July 1, 2007, to July 1, 2008:

Richmond County

l Augusta: 192,409 to 194,149

l Hephzibah: 4,437 to 4,533

l Blythe: 797 to 804 (a small part of Blythe falls in Burke County)

Columbia County

l Grovetown: 8,721 to 9,224

l Harlem: 2,012 to 2,057

Aiken County

l Aiken: 29,215 to 29,434

l Burnettown: 2,654 to 2,665

l Jackson: 1,640 to 1,647

l Monetta: 142 (no change)

l New Ellenton: 2,235 to 2,227

l North Augusta: 20,113 to 20,547

l Perry: 238 to 239

l Salley: 412 to 414

l Wagener: 873 to 875

l Windsor: 131 (no change)

Source: U.S. Census Bureau



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