As with Leflore County and most of the Delta, Greenwood continued its slow decline in population during 2018, according to the latest federal estimates.
The city lost 218 people, falling from 14,008 in 2017 to 13,790 in 2018, the U.S. Census Bureau reported this past week in releasing its estimates of municipal populations around the country. That would put the number of people living in Greenwood at about the same level as between 1930 and 1940, although that was a period of rapid growth, when the city grew nearly 33% over 10 years.
The city’s population decline started in the 1970s, when Greenwood’s population shrank by 10.2% for the decade. But that was also from the all-time population high of 22,400 posted in 1970.
Since the beginning of the decade in 2010, Greenwood has lost 2,371 people, a drop of 14.7%.
The decline mirrors the Census Bureau report in April that showed Leflore County’s population falling by 405 during the year, from 29,324 in 2017 to 28,919 in 2018. That would represent the fewest people living in the county since between 1900 and 1910, but the population also was rapidly growing during that era, adding about 50% every 10 years. It wasn’t until the 1940s that the county’s population started falling. It continues to do so, with the exception of 1990-2000, a period of small growth following by large declines in the past 18 years.
Since the beginning of the decade, Leflore County has lost 3,499 people, or 10.8% of its population.
As in prior years, the losses have been regionwide.
The 2018 estimates indicate the population dropped by 2,854 in the central Delta area composed of Leflore, Grenada, Bolivar, Tallahatchie, Washington, Sunflower, Carroll and Montgomery counties.
This isn’t the first time Greenwood Mayor Carolyn McAdams has been asked to comment on the fall in her city’s population.
“I hate it,” she said. “It’s very, very sad, especially since all of the great things happening in Greenwood.” McAdams went down the list of business openings and ribbon-cuttings, successful business recruitment efforts by the Greenwood-Leflore-Carroll Economic Development Foundation, hard work by the Greenwood-Leflore County Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Greenwood, and the Greenwood Convention and Visitors Bureau, not only on business development but in sponsoring events for the community to enjoy.
“We’ve got great businesses here that have been working for four generations,” she said. “I know it’s a great community. I know it’s a great city. I don’t know why we’re losing population.”
In the past eight years, Greenwood has lost more people than live in Itta Bena, which declined by 29 people in 2018 and by 206 since 2010 for a total population of 1,845.
Among nearby cities, Greenwood’s loss ranked only less than the 17.4% posted by Winona, which declined from 5,020 in 2010 to 4,146 last year, and is about equal to the loss experience by Clarksdale, which declined by 2,626 people, or 14.6%.
The census estimates for the year show Greenville, the region’s largest city, losing the most people in number over the past year and since 2010. An estimated 780 people left that city in 2018, and 4,468 people have left since 2010, for a 13% decline. Greenville’s population fell to levels not seen since the 1940s.
Certain cities are nearly disappearing in population. Carrollton has fallen to 174 people in the last year, a decline of four. Glendora lost two people in the past year, bringing the total population to 135.
While the population in the city of Grenada declined during 2018 by 32 people to 12,466, the population of Grenada County declined by only one during the year to stand at 21,055.
All other nearby cities posted declines for the year. The numbers since 2010 are also all negative. North Carrollton lost 8.5%. Indianola was down 12.8%. Cleveland lost 6.6%.
The U.S. Census estimates for 2018 can be found at factfinder.census.gov.
•Contact Gavin Maliska at 581-7235 or email@example.com.