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2020 Census shows drop in Franklin, county populations

The 2020 U.S. Census revealed drops in population compared to the 2010 Census for both the City of Franklin and Southampton County.

Franklin’s total population in the 2020 Census is listed at 8,180, which is 402 fewer people than were counted in 2010, representing a 4.7% drop.

Southampton County’s total population in the 2020 Census is 17,996, which is 574 fewer people than were counted in 2010, representing a 3.1% drop.

“Most of that I think is due to a lot of our youths moving away from here because there’s no jobs,” Southampton County Board of Supervisors Chair Dr. Alan W. Edwards said on Thursday afternoon when asked for reaction to the numbers. “I think that’s one of the things.”

He noted that the county’s planning commission studied population trends and expectations and the results were present in a previous comprehensive plan.

“It looks like from the people we consulted that we’re not going to have any significant increase in population up through 2030, maybe 2032,” he said. “A slight decline is what they predicted every year. Not a big one but a slight one, but I think they felt that was mostly our young people moving away because we don’t have jobs, which we’re trying desperately to correct, trying to get some commerce and get some industry in here. About the only thing kids have is come back and teach at schools.”

The number of housing units in the county in 2020 — 7,724 — represented a 3.4% rise compared to 2010.

Meanwhile, the number of housing units in Franklin for 2020 was down 0.4% compared to the 2010 number, going from 3,901 to 3,886.

Comparing these numbers to those in the region and the state from 2010 to 2020, the tally of housing units increased 1.4% in Southside Virginia and 7.6% in the state overall.

The 2020 Census’s race and ethnicity breakdown for Franklin stated that 56.7% of its population was Black, 36.8% was White, 4.1% was multiracial, 1.4% selected “other” and 1% was Asian.

The percentage of people in Franklin who identified as Hispanic or Latino in 2010 was 1.6%, and this grew to 2.7% in 2020.

The U.S. Census Bureau tracks Hispanic/Latino ethnicity separately from race. People who identify as Hispanic/Latino can be of any race.

The 2020 Census’s race and ethnicity breakdown for Southampton County stated that 61.6% of its population was White, 32.9% was Black, 4.0% was multiracial, 1.1% identified as “other” and 0.4% was Asian.

The percentage of people in the county who identified as Hispanic or Latino in 2010 was 1.1%, and this grew to 1.8% in 2020.

The 2020 Census marked the 24th census in U.S. history and the first time that households were invited to respond to the census online.

This story will be updated.