Census data hurts; let’s get to work

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, February 16, 2011

As more details of the 2010 Census data for Adams County were revealed and interpreted this week, the bleak figures only got worse.

The drop in the population count of approximately 2,000 people was bad enough at first. Now, as we’ve learned recently the count included the addition of another 2,000 or so prisoners housed at the new Adams County Correctional Facility, the overall number looks awful.

Adams County apparently shrunk by at least 4,000 residents in the last 10 years.

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That’s a drop of approximately 12 to 13 percent. On average, that’s more than one resident leaving, each day for the last 10 years — every holiday, every weekend — or, to look at it another way, more than one out of every 10 people.

If that doesn’t evoke a “gulp” moment for each of you, it should.

It’s an ugly trend that must be stopped.

There’s no way to sugarcoat it, and we shouldn’t.

Let’s get it out on the table, look at it, consider how the trend will ultimately effect us all and then get together on building a plan to stop the decline for the next 10 years.

Natchez has some amazingly smart, talented, hard-working people here — even despite the declining population.

For far too long, citizens were asleep at the wheel, believing that elected leaders were just going to take care of everything, that it would all just work itself out.

Our community — from Fenwick to Ferriday and all points between — must rally together to stop the downward trend and start working on a plan to attack the problem — today. This could be the rallying cry that we need to get involved, work together and start to reverse the trend.