The U.S. Census Bureau, on Wednesday, released a new set of information about North Carolina’s residents. Statewide data from last year’s census count was released earlier, but this latest release offers overall clues into how Western North Carolina — and the entire state — has changed on the county level.

Among the most immediate discoveries is that Mitchell is the only one of the 17 westernmost Western North Carolina counties to have decreased in population in the last 10 years. Buncombe, Henderson, Jackson and Clay counties grew the fastest in the region, with between 15 and 25 percent increases in their populations since 2000.

Here’s an interactive map, provided by the Census Bureau, that details population changes.

Click here for more information from the Census Bureau

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Angie Newsome is the executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact her at (828) 774-5290 or e-mail her at

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