White population continues to shrink

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Augusta's white population is continuing to decline, according to the latest U.S. Census data.

New estimates show Richmond County with 848 fewer white residents in July 2007 than in July 2006, a 1 percent decrease. The white population has steadily decreased each year since 2000, when the decennial census put it at 92,874. It's now estimated to be 86,461.

Mayor Deke Copenhaver said he's skeptical about the data.

One of his stated goals has been to reverse this trend, and he said empty nesters and 20-somethings have been steadily moving back toward the city center with the creation of new jobs and the revitalization of downtown.

Realtors have said Columbia County is the destination for many leaving Augusta and that many of them are professionals, of all races, with children and are upwardly mobile.

"Based upon what I'm seeing on the ground, it's difficult for me to put a lot of validity into the estimates," Mr. Copenhaver said. "I will be very interested to see how the 2010 census turns out. I would be shocked if we're not growing in all demographics, and that would be white, black, Hispanic and Asian."

Columbia County continues to grow, and black residents comprise the fastest-growing segment of that growth.

Between 2006 and 2007, the black population rose from 15,492 to 16,448, a 6 percent increase. The white population rose from 84,518 to 86,741, a 3 percent increase.

"When the exodus takes place, the exodus takes place for the same reasons," said Evans resident Alvin Starks, the first black chairman of the Columbia County Republican Party. "If it's about property values and education, that's not indigenous to any race or population."

Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross said that a few years ago, an analysis of tax office data found about half of the people moving to Columbia County came from within the area -- mostly from Richmond County -- and the rest came from outside the region.

Overall, Richmond County's estimated population had a meager increase of 31 people from 2006 to 2007, attributable to gains in the cities of Hephzibah and Blythe.

Columbia County's population rose from 105,655 to 109,100, gaining 2,509 through migration.

The Census Bureau's Web site says its estimates are based on births, deaths, migration trends and Internal Revenue Service and Social Security Administration data, among other things. The estimates aren't considered as reliable as data from the actual census counts, which are constitutionally required every 10 years.

"These figures aren't the gospel, but they're food for thought," said Doug Bachtel, a University of Georgia demographer and professor in the college of family and consumer sciences.

All of Georgia's second-tier cities are hemorrhaging people, and he said he doubts the declining numbers for Augusta's white population are too far off the mark, considering white populations are rising in surrounding counties.

Between 2006 and 2007, the white population increased from 107,641 to 109,310 in Aiken County, from 14,609 to 14,841 in Edgefield County and from 10,902 to 10,936 in Burke County. (The numbers dropped from 13,110 to 13,108 in McDuffie County and from 5,396 to 5,386 in Lincoln County.)

A decrease in the white population usually starts in earnest when a county's school system becomes 60 percent black, Mr. Bachtel said. Richmond County schools' percentage of black students is 73, compared with 38 percent statewide.

"It can boil down to race, and nobody likes to talk about that," Mr. Bachtel said.

Along with shrinking the tax base, the loss of white and black middle- and upper-middle-class families leaves behind people with lower incomes, lower education levels and lower job skills.

Gone are a large number of the people who form self-help, volunteer and civic groups. Many of those remaining are people just trying to figure out how they'll afford their next tank of gas.

"It kind of creates a spiral of decline," Mr. Bachtel said, "and boy is it hard to stop."

Reach Johnny Edwards at (706) 823-3225 or johnny.edwards@augustachronicle.com.

CENSUS BREAKDOWN

RICHMOND COUNTY

  2000 2006 2007
White pop. 103,074 87,309 86,461
Black pop 100,150 102,563 103,323
Total pop 199,775 197,341 197,372

COLUMBIA COUNTY

  2000 2006 2007
White pop. 76,644 84,518 86,741
Black pop 10,085 15,492 109,100
Total pop 89,288 105,655 109,100

AIKEN COUNTY

  2000 2006 2007
White pop. 103,074 107,641 109,310
Black pop 36,622 39,194 39,509
Total pop 142,552 150,220 152,307

Note: The numbers for 2006 and 2007 are estimates.

CENSUS DATA: NATIONAL FINDINGS

- Los Angeles County had the nation's largest minority population in 2007. Seven million of its residents -- 71 percent -- are minorities, and one in every 14 of the nation's minority residents lives there. The county has the largest Hispanic population with 4.7 million residents, the largest Asian population with 1.4 million and the largest American Indian/Alaska Native population with 146,500 residents.


- Cook County (Chicago) has the nation's largest black population with 1.4 million residents.


- Orleans Parish (New Orleans), La., had the largest numeric increase in black population from 2006 to 2007 with 20,800. Neighboring St. Bernard Parish had the largest percentage increase with 97.3 percent.


- La Paz County, Ariz., home of the Colorado River Indian Reservation, has the country's oldest population, with 32 percent of its residents 65 or older. Webb County (Laredo), Texas, has the youngest population, with 12.8 percent of its population younger than 5.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

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dickworth1
954
Points
dickworth1 08/10/08 - 04:03 am
0
0
Just keep raising taxes and
Unpublished

Just keep raising taxes and watch your tax base keep going
to other areas! Rocket science!!!! Duh! Richmond county is
basically supporting those that won't support theirselves including
politicians that are looking for free services. Cut some of your
services instead of raising taxes every time the you have a budget deficit. Why not pick up trash once a week and cut the
cost to tax payers, if the taxpayer needs more than 1 pickup a
week then let that person pay for it. By the way, I was impressed to see an explorer with a Richmond County government tag eating at the golden coral on friday night in
Columbia county at around 6:30Pm. Must have been a meeting!!

rbk
0
Points
rbk 08/10/08 - 05:24 am
0
0
Why in the world does the

Why in the world does the county need SUVs for vehicles. Seems to me if they need to haul things, a small pickup would do the job, if they need to haul people, a mini van will haul one more person than a SUV, if they are just hauling one to four people, a compact car would do the job. All those vehicles would be less expensive to buy and would certainly get better gas mileage. I bet most of the people they supposedly represent or work for can't afford to drive a SUV.

tnm
0
Points
tnm 08/10/08 - 06:00 am
0
0
hmmmm. white population

hmmmm. white population decreasing....well we all know why that is..we don't have babies just to get a freaking welfare checks and foodstamps..we know as white people when to stop producing especially if the state has to take care of the kids popping out everywhere.

when we going to get a naacp for white people..blacks have all the rights because back in the day there were slaves...so freaking what. get over yourselfs..get a job and stop living off taxpayers money...

bigjimjohnstowns
0
Points
bigjimjohnstowns 08/10/08 - 06:11 am
0
0
Keep adding to the

Keep adding to the grasshopper list (welfare and other entitlements programs) and the ants (workers who support the rest) will leave. Cut out pork, un-needed services, perks for the politicos, do nothing jobs, and oh yeah, get rid of the 10 people standing around with shovels while 1 guy fills the holes. Want to see people come back to Augusta, Take the burdens off the worker's backs.

halffull
0
Points
halffull 08/10/08 - 06:19 am
0
0
Did the mayor say, "One of

Did the mayor say, "One of his stated goals has been to reverse this trend,..?" Did I read this right that part of the mission of this adminstration or powers that be is to increase the "white" population in Richmond County. Sounds like Dave Barbie's email may have some new legs.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 08/10/08 - 06:19 am
0
0
Mr Bachtel touched on the

Mr Bachtel touched on the reason in the last few paragraphs of this article. It's an old government adage. If you want more of something, you subsidize it and if you want less of something, you tax it. While it used to be along racial lines, the Columbia County stats show that's changed. It's along economic lines, productive vs. nonproductive. The productive people are tired of carrying the load for the government subsidized. Over the years Augusta has invested heavily in the subsidized. Now the situation is overwhelming the A-RC effort to grow beyond mediocrity. Will the government subsidy programs be this city's Katrina? Stay tuned for further underdevelopments.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 08/10/08 - 06:21 am
0
0
Yes halfful, the mayor said

Yes halfful, the mayor said kill the black man so the white man can survive. You figured out the code. Well done. Hey, guess who those football players are talking about when they huddle.

HYPOCRITES 08
7
Points
HYPOCRITES 08 08/10/08 - 06:23 am
0
0
Have you ever tried to hold a

Have you ever tried to hold a command post at a major fire from a pick up truck? Next you will be asking the S.W.A.T. to use the city bus when responding to a call. TNM, no ypou have them to strave to death in an old shack. What an idiot. First of all that is Federal money not city or county funds when it comes to welfare. I guess you are another victim to Affirmitive Action. IDIOT.

HYPOCRITES 08
7
Points
HYPOCRITES 08 08/10/08 - 06:27 am
0
0
What are you all worried

What are you all worried about, according to some of you, Blacks are just killing eachother off, so it will all even out in the end. Right? At least that is what BIG or HEWHOCHANGESHISNAMEMORETHANHISUNDERWEAR wants.

getalife
4
Points
getalife 08/10/08 - 06:32 am
0
0
Federal money is also

Federal money is also taxpayer's money!!

HYPOCRITES 08
7
Points
HYPOCRITES 08 08/10/08 - 06:34 am
0
0
Yeah, but it's not Richmond

Yeah, but it's not Richmond County's money, nor a reason for " Whites" to be leaving.

tnm
0
Points
tnm 08/10/08 - 06:52 am
0
0
idiot is all you got

idiot is all you got please..i say exactly what is the truth to bad it makes the firefigterhamer upset.....this is a sick country with sick people like you in it,.call me names oohhh so grown up...

HYPOCRITES 08
7
Points
HYPOCRITES 08 08/10/08 - 06:57 am
0
0
Sick, you are the sick

Sick, you are the sick person. You make it sound like " Whites" are the only ones paying taxes. If it makes your little pathetic life better to think so, then so be it.

JimiBob
0
Points
JimiBob 08/10/08 - 07:01 am
0
0
no its not a sick country.

no its not a sick country. This is a sick region of the country. Most of the people on here have actual jobs. Im a 21 year old college student. who the hell wakes up at 5 and 6 in the morning to make racist comments AJC? These horrible comments are the reason why the south is so un-progressive, poor, and dumb. This is why the reconstruction was so slow. We are 1 out the first 13 colonies and we still act like this? thats why people call this "disgusta" and thats why cities on the west coast are so past issues like this. Get over it or go move back to europe-where they probably hate white americans more than anybody.

tnm
0
Points
tnm 08/10/08 - 07:01 am
0
0
it does and i have a far

it does and i have a far better life than you will ever know or experience and pathetic is not the word for my life..yours maybe now go do whatever it is people like you do..i am done wasting time truth is truth.....

tnm
0
Points
tnm 08/10/08 - 07:06 am
0
0
who really cares what jimibob

who really cares what jimibob thinks? anyone ??? nope

HYPOCRITES 08
7
Points
HYPOCRITES 08 08/10/08 - 07:14 am
0
0
You really wish you had

You really wish you had abetter life than I. I know you think all Blacks are on welfare and have section 8 housing. Wrong! So while you arer sweating bullets on how you are going to pay next month's rent, notice that I did not say mortage, I will be relaxing in Munich. Have a cold one for me. What people like me do, is have pity for pathetic woe is me idiots like you.

heartablazing
28
Points
heartablazing 08/10/08 - 07:25 am
0
0
Start taxing drug dealers and

Start taxing drug dealers and prostitutes and Richmond county will get out of the deficit. The police department knows where these areas are. They can become tax assesors while they conduct drug busts. Firefighter I believe the suv comment was for the city workers such as traffic engineering and landscaping not SWAT or the fire department.

pah4r
0
Points
pah4r 08/10/08 - 07:30 am
0
0
Put more section 8 housing in

Put more section 8 housing in CC and see the trends reverse there also. Subsidized living promotes hard working folks to seek areas where people actually have a life, and pride in themselves and their gains; and not waiting for the next handout.

im a namechanger 2day
0
Points
im a namechanger 2day 08/10/08 - 07:32 am
0
0
OOOOhhhhhhhh

OOOOhhhhhhhh brother..................

HYPOCRITES 08
7
Points
HYPOCRITES 08 08/10/08 - 07:32 am
0
0
Well, I know the Fire Chief

Well, I know the Fire Chief and others in the Fire Department uses them as a Command post.

Ole School
1
Points
Ole School 08/10/08 - 07:33 am
0
0
as long as we keep claiming

as long as we keep claiming BLACK AND WHITE there will always be a difference , why can`t the city see this !! I was born in Augusta My dad was a CITY POLICE , I used to love our city, Lets just keep all the Black Vs. White issues alive. for as long as we keep drawing attention to them they will keep raising their heads!

enana03
0
Points
enana03 08/10/08 - 07:53 am
0
0
Race has nothing to do with

Race has nothing to do with the decline in the white population in Richmond County. The real story is that we have no leadership and are taxed to death! Also, if you construct public housing in Columbia County to equal what is in Richmond County, you would see the black population rise even more.

SargentMidTown
8
Points
SargentMidTown 08/10/08 - 08:07 am
0
0
I would like to see the crime

I would like to see the crime data. I wonder if crime is going up as the number of blacks goes up. That certainly has be the trend that I see downtown, especially with drug dealing and shop lifting. Not making an issue but facts are facts and my decent black friends talk about it too. They are embarrassed by what their people are doing. Augusta has a lot of problems to solve. A ban on those boys in Augusta wearing their pants below their waist would help Augusta. Decent black and white people do not want to be around them.

HYPOCRITES 08
7
Points
HYPOCRITES 08 08/10/08 - 08:09 am
0
0
Out of the 17,000 that left

Out of the 17,000 that left Richmond, Columbia county went up 10,000. Wonder what happened to the other 7, 000?

HYPOCRITES 08
7
Points
HYPOCRITES 08 08/10/08 - 08:12 am
0
0
I hope you meant shoplifting,

I hope you meant shoplifting, but with today's prices, Chop lifting fits. Well, I am so happy that your " Decent" Black friends agree with you. I mean if the " Decent" ones says it is so, then it is so. Yeah, we know that if they stop wearing baggy pants, all the shootings will stop.

DeborahElliott2
4
Points
DeborahElliott2 08/10/08 - 08:14 am
0
0
I plan to leave too when I

I plan to leave too when I have saved up the money to go. You can keep this city and it's higher taxes cause they want to soak up everything from you regardless of race and still make it impossible to meet expenses! I grow tired of minimum wage jobs here, and the bullcrap philosophy of "it's not what you know, it's WHO you know" just to get a job that pays well enough to support a family!!!!!!!!!!!! You are all F-I-R-E-D as soon as I M-O-V-E!!!!!

SargentMidTown
8
Points
SargentMidTown 08/10/08 - 08:20 am
0
0
Firrefighterhamer....I do

Firrefighterhamer....I do sincerely believe that it would be better for the youth not to dress in that manner. I believe that they are alienating opportunity by acting out that way. I also believe that more people would come to Augusta to shop if there were better community standards.

SargentMidTown
8
Points
SargentMidTown 08/10/08 - 08:23 am
0
0
Black and white

Black and white gentrification will help bring opportunity for everyone to downtown.
www.hongkongaugustaga.org

klee0915
38
Points
klee0915 08/10/08 - 08:23 am
0
0
The regular bloggers never

The regular bloggers never cease to amaze me. The racial divide only widens and just gets nastier. TNM you are entitled to your opinion but understand your perception only fuels the fire. Many forget how race is categorized. If a person has 1/8 Black blood in their lineage, then they, too are considered Black. Not because of skin color, but because of the way the law is written. There have been an influx of the Hispanic population who have procreated with the White race, therefore, those offspring are considered Hispanic. The same goes for Middle Eastern, Asian and so on. There is no such thing as a PURE race. Many among us aren't aware of our heritage. Even the darkest skinned man may have had a White Great-Grandfather yet, he would not fall into the category as White. Many extremely light skinned people who are "white enough to pass for white" deny their heritage because of the negative stereotypes associated with being anything other than White. As far as Blacks "getting over themselves", maybe you should truly research your heritage. You just may find you have the blood of another ethnic group running through your veins. Then maybe, YOU will get over yourself.

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