COVINGTON -- Newton County's population fell just shy of the 100,000 mark, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau this week.
Newton County's population is 99,958, as reported in the 2010 census. That's a bit lower than expected, as local officials had predicted the population would exceed 100,000. Still, Newton had phenomenal growth of more than 60 percent over the past decade. The county's population was reported at 62,001 in the 2000 census.
Newton County officials could not be reached for comment regarding census data.
The data shows a decrease in the white population from 75.3 percent in 2000 to 53.8 percent in 2010 and increase in the black population from 22.2 percent in 2000 to 40.9 percent in 2010. The Hispanic and Latino population more than doubled, from 1.9 percent to 4.6 percent.
City populations were also reported. Covington's population is at 13,118. The second most populous municipality is Oxford, with 2,134, followed by Porterdale at 1,429, Newborn at 695 and Mansfield at 410. Residents in Social Circle who are still part of Newton County numbered 41.
According to the census, there are 38,342 housing units in Newton County and 10.3 percent of those are unoccupied. That's an increase of more than 15,000 housing units since 2000. At that time, the total number was 23,033, and 4.5 percent were vacant.
The growth rate for Georgia was just over 18 percent, with a population reported at 9,687,653. Georgia added more than 1.5 million people in the past decade.
The census data will be used to redraw federal, state and local legislative districts. On the local level, public hearings will be required and the Board of Commissioners must unanimously pass a resolution to request local legislation establishing the new districts be approved by the General Assembly. The new districts will take effect in 2012.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.