Where is everyone going?

That is a good question to ask in counties such as the one in which I live — Jefferson County, Texas.

The U.S. Census Bureau released its county population estimates as of July 1, 2005 this morning and it seems we’ve lost nearly 4,500 people in Jefferson County since the 2000 Census. So where did they go?

Perhaps some of them drove up north to adjoining Hardin County. The latest figures show that county gained slightly more than 2,900 people in five years. But that still leaves 1,600 from Jefferson County for which we cannot account. Did they go to our eastern neighbor, Orange County? Well, if so, only 17 people did in the past five years. They probably didn’t go to the Lakes Area up north — near Toledo Bend and Sam Rayburn reservoirs — either. Jasper County lost 17 people in five years. Do you think they may have been the same 17 who moved to Orange? And Newton County lost 763 people between 2000 and 2005. What is happening to all the people in Southeast Texas? We’re they eaten by Bigfoot, supposedly seen a number of times in this area?

I don’t know what happened to tell you the truth. If I called the state’s demographer I bet he could tell me. But I am just willing to sit back and let my pals in the media find out. Okay guys and gals, get busy! Don’t let me down.

You may have correctly guessed that I am somewhat of a nerd who enjoys comparative figures and such. I plead guilty. My favorite books growing up were “The World Almanac” and the “Texas Almanac.” So I find these population changes kind of interesting. Perhaps the most interesting of all to me was the 34.1 percent population increase between 2000 and 2005 in Collin County, a suburban county just north of Dallas. It gained more than 167,000 people in five years for a population of 659,457. That just blew my socks off. Well, that is an expression because I am not wearing socks. Or pants. Okay, I don’t want to gross you out. I am wearing walking shorts and a T-shirt. My blogging attire aside, I found the Collin County increase interesting because I have watched that county grow.

Two of my buds — Ross and Bruce — live in Collin County in Allen. When they moved there in the late 80s and early 90s the place was like eating lettuce — not much to it. Today, you drive up North Central Expressway past the High Five interchange and you’ve got growth through Plano and Allen practically all the way to Oklahoma. And friends, if all of the people who left here in Jefferson County moved to Oklahoma then I just don’t know what to say except … Traitors!

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