In Northampton County, population drop startles some

June 10, 2020
 |
Northampton County

Northampton’s population is shrinking to a level that on Tuesday night surprised even the chairman of its Board of Supervisors.

The upshot of the population loss is a downswing in funding, including with federal coronavirus aid.

The county’s lax Census 2020 responses also portend funding cuts. Figures released by the county in late May show just over one-third of residents have bothered to self-respond to Census count requests.

That could mean fewer dollars for education, school lunches and more.

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A total of $1.02 million in federal coronavirus relief money was based on the county having 11,710 people, more than a 5 percent drop from the last Census a decade ago.

“Why did I think about 12,000?” asked Chairman Oliver Bennett during the meeting.

“I think it was about 10 years ago,” said Supervisor John Coker.

County Administrator Charles Kolakowski told supervisors that the Census 2020 count will update the number, but Bennett didn’t hold hope it would be higher. This number won’t be available for several more months.

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“From what I’m seeing, it’s going down,” he said.

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