U.S. Census Bureau estimates population in Pearl River County has dropped within the last year

Published 7:00 am Friday, March 23, 2018

According to an estimate released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Thursday, the population in Pearl River County has decreased by 0.9 percent between April 1, 2010 and July 1, 2017.

The document states that the population decreased to an estimated 55,270 compared to 55,310 in 2016. The population of the county was 55,834 in 2010.

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Picayune Mayor Ed Pinero said because the figures show a loss in population of less than 100 people, it’s hard to pinpoint a single reason.

“One of the reasons could involve families going back to Louisiana after they left because of Hurricane Katrina or maybe they started a new job at Stennis Space Center and decided to relocate closer to their new job,” Pinero said.

The estimates by the U.S. Census bureau show neighboring counties experienced a population increase during the same timeframe.

Hancock County’s population increased by 6.9 percent, Lamar County by 10.2 percent and Stone County saw an estimated population increase of 1.8 percent.

Poplarville Mayor Rossie Creel said in order to improve the lifestyle of current and future residents, the city of Poplarville is focused on economic development.

“One of our big projects from an economic development point of view involves the new shopping center that is being built by Pearl River Community College,” Creel said. “The shopping center will include a new supermarket and eight retail units that will be occupied by other businesses.”

He said information regarding the other businesses will be released at a later date because negotiations are still underway.

According to previous coverage, the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors approved the appointment of five members to the newly formed economic development agency.

County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin said the Board is currently working on hiring a director for the new agency.

“…five days a week, the responsibility of the newly hired director will be to promote Pearl River County and to bring new businesses into our county,” Lumpkin said.

In the city of Picayune, Pinero said there are four economic development projects underway. While he could not provide details, he said each project will create between 10 to 50 new jobs.