Franklin gained 518 black residents since 2000, lost 436 white

Published 10:03 am Saturday, February 19, 2011


FRANKLIN—The City of Franklin’s black population over the last 10 years grew by 518 people and now makes up 57 percent of the city’s population of 8,582, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.

At the same time, the white population fell by 436 and now makes up 39 percent of total residents.

In Southampton County during the same time period, the white population increased by 1,432, and now makes up 60 percent of the county’s 18,309 residents, according to the Census. The county’s black population fell by 579 and now represents 37 percent of its residents.

And in Isle of Wight County, the white population grew by 4,188 and accounts for nearly 72 percent of the 35,270 residents. The black population grew by 641, making up nearly 25 percent of the population.

Franklin Mayor Jim Councill said he wasn’t sure what caused the shifts in the black and white populations, but was pleased to hear the overall population grew by 2.8 percent or 236 residents.

Councill said he was interested in finding out the reasons for the change in racial makeup.

Councilman Greg McLemore declined to comment. Councilman Don Blythe said he wanted to research the issue more thoroughly before commenting.

Southampton County Supervisor Walt Brown, who represents the Newsoms District, attributed the county’s overall 6.2 percent growth, or 1,088 new residents, to people looking for a quiet place to live with lower taxes.

“It’s natural that people would have a tendency to move this way,” Brown said.

He said he thinks the decrease in the black population occurred because of the closing of IP. Some folks may have left to find jobs.

Don Robertson, spokesman for Isle of Wight County, said he thinks the housing boom from the past 10 years is why the county saw an 18.6 percent spike in its population, or 5,532 more residents.

Robertson said the minority populations are growing at a slower rate.