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Carroll County population remains 'flat' despite largest year-over-year increase since 2006

Carroll County added 809 residents between 2017 and 2018, the largest single-year increase since 2006, when the county grew by 1,431 residents, according to census estimates published by the Maryland State Data Center.

The total estimated population as of July 1, 2018, was 168,429 residents, an increase from July 1, 2017’s 167,620. However, the 809-resident growth represents just 0.4% of the county’s overall population.

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“So it’s a very small increase,” said Linda Eisenberg, director of planning for the county. “Our population is flat.”

Carroll's population has remained more or less flat since a short period of growth in the early 2000s.
Carroll's population has remained more or less flat since a short period of growth in the early 2000s. (Data via Maryland Data Center / Graph by Cody Boteler / Carroll County Times)

Carroll County saw a short period of growth at the turn of the century, with the population growing by an estimated 15,979 residents between 2000 and 2008. Since then, the population has fluctuated and trended slightly upward since 2016.

Eisenberg said, though, that year-to-year shifts in population — a couple hundred here, a couple hundred there — are not as important as the long-term trends.

She said the U.S. Census, coming up in 2020, will give the local government a better idea of what kind of service or planning changes the county might need to make to accommodate its population.

“[The Census is] what we’re really gearing up for,” she said.

Between July 2017 and July 2018, Baltimore City saw its largest population decrease in one year since 2001, according to The Baltimore Sun. Baltimore County’s year-over-year numbers remained flat between July 2017 and July 2018 but all other counties in the Baltimore region experienced upticks.

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