Municipal services and facilities are based upon the size of the current population and future projections, with particular or special needs being identified through an analysis of population composition. The distribution of the population is also of great importance in order to determine the most efficient manner for the provision of services and facilities.
After an 8.5 percent increase in population from 1990 to 2000, the District saw its population drop two percent from 2000 to 2010. While Mecklenburg County saw a small increase (1.1%), Halifax County’s population dropped three percent, and Brunswick County’s population dropped 5.3 percent. Since the 2010 Census, estimates show another two percent decrease.
In 2013, approximately 83,800 persons resided in the Southside Planning District representing about a five percent decrease since the 2000 Census. The population centers are the twelve incorporated towns and the housing developments around the lakes. Both the 2000 and 2010 Decennial Census indicated that 24 percent of the region’s residents lived within the incorporated limits of a town. Population growth can be an indicator of work force availability, which in turn determines the productivity of existing enterprises and the feasibility of attracting new ones.
The SPDC population remains above state and national averages for 65 & over and three to four percent lower than those averages for ages 19 and under. This trend reinforces the challenge of retaining youth and attracting young families to Southern Virginia. A population decline of around two percent per decade is currently forecast for each decade through 2040.