Coastal Georgia Population to Grow 50 Percent

Using a scientific and context-specific approach to population projections

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Karen Leone de Nie
Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development
Contact Karen Leone de Nie
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Summary Sentence:

CQGRD projects coastal Georgia population in 2030

Full Summary:

By 2030, projections show that over 840,000 people will call the Georgia coast home. That is up 50 percent from the roughly 558,000 people living there in 2000. These findings are the result of a recently released study commissioned by the Coastal Georgia Regional Development Center and conducted by the Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development, a research arm of Georgia Tech's College of Architecture.

By 2030, projections show that over 840,000 people will call the Georgia coast home. That is up 50 percent from the roughly 558,000 people living there in 2000.

These findings are the result of a recently released study commissioned by the Coastal Georgia Regional Development Center (CGRDC) and conducted by the Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development (CQGRD) a research arm of Georgia Tech's College of Architecture. The results of this six-month study were unanimously approved by the board of directors at the CGRDC board meeting held on October 11, 2006 in the City of Richmond Hill.

Between 1990 and 2000, the population of the Georgia coast increased by 17.5 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Since 2000, in-migration and development have continued in the 10-county coastal area, which includes Bryan, Bulloch, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, McIntosh and Screven Counties, causing population numbers to continue to rise. Many believe this growth will persist.

The impetus for this study was the impression among local communities that commonly used projection methods did not adjust for the unique context of coastal Georgia. Therefore, CGRDC asked Georgia Tech researchers to apply a modeling strategy that considered recent growth in the region. Dr. Catherine Ross, Director of CQGRD, said, "This project is an example of the coastal region's leadership in assessing the growth in this very important area of our state."

Tech used a scientific and context-specific methodology to arrive at population projections by age and sex for each county. The model measures the three components of population change: birth, death, and migration as they relate to different age and gender groups. Because this method primarily uses 1995 and 2000 data, researchers had to adjust the process to reflect more recent trends. To uncover these trends, the CQGRD research team conducted over 45 interviews with local representatives including commissioners, mayors, city managers, planners, school administrators and others. These interviews led to the examination of additional data, including building permits, certificates of occupancy, military base personnel changes, and school enrollment. This information was used to adjust the projections to reflect the most recent activity on the coast.

For example, local stakeholders cited the region's proximity to the International Airports in Savannah, GA and Jacksonville, FL, the ports of Savannah and Brunswick, interstate access, three military bases, and growing local colleges as some of the key economic drivers in the region. Local representatives also pointed to the transition of former timber lands to residential and commercial uses as additional significant forces in regional population growth.

Based on the study, all 10 counties are projected to gain population between now and 2030, with the three fastest growing counties being Long, Effingham, and Bryan. The study also estimated population growth for the 35 incorporated cities, which also indicated continued growth.

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CQGRD - Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development

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Status
  • Created By: Joanie Chembars
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Oct 19, 2006 - 8:00pm
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 11:10pm