The population of Hillsboro County is, overall, growing, with projected growth of over five percent in the next five years. However, significant disparities exist among the towns in the area, resulting in two communities with very different make ups – the town of Middleboro and its surrounding villages, which on the whole is not growing in population and is generally older than the US population as a whole, and Jasper, a geographically remote town that is almost singlehandedly driving the population growth of the entire County. Jasper is also significantly younger that much of the rest of the County population. As a result, there are notable disparities that have arisen in terms of healthcare need and the ability to support healthcare delivery organizations. Below are some descriptions of the specific demographic changes that the County is undergoing and recommendations to address these changes, as well as current need. Demographic and Population Analysis
Over the last decade there has been significant disparity in changes in population from one community to the next in Hillsboro County, but the picture is different depending on the time frame examined. In the last five years, Jasper, Statesville, and Carterville have experienced greater percentage gain in population (10 percent, 8.1 percent, and 10.9 percent, respectively) than Hillsboro County as a whole (4.3 percent) but over the last 10 years, only Jasper has made significant gains above the percent increase of Hillsboro County, at 17.6 percent over 8.3 percent. (Statesville grew at roughly the same rate as the County over that period at a rate of 8.5 percent.)
In the last 10 years, the tremendous growth experienced by Jasper County has almost singlehandedly driven the overall growth in Hillsboro. Nearly every other community has posted only moderate increases in population compared to the County overall, while Minortown has even seen a 4.9 percent decrease in population. Carterville, in particular, experienced a large decrease in population between five and 10 years ago, losing 9.4 percent of its population during this time, which resulted in growth of only .5 percent in the last decade. In the last 10 years, only Statesville and Jasper have kept or exceeded the rate of growth for the County. In the last five years, Middleboro, Harris City and Mifflenville have had less than one percent growth and Minortown and Boalsburg have seen decreases in population. (See Figure 1 of the Appendix for graphic representation of change in population for the towns of Hillsboro County.) Given the variability of growth among some of the towns in Hillsboro County, in order to determine the best projection of percent growth in the next five years, it is necessary to trend more than the past 10 years discussed above. However, data much farther back than that would be decreasingly representative of current trends. Using the average of the past 15 years of growth data, the projected population of each of the towns is as follows: TOWN
| Population CY
| Projected Population CY+5
| Percent Change
Although the age profile of Hillsboro County closely mirrors the age profile reported in the most recent US census (US Census Bureau), there is significant variation in the overall makeup of individual towns in the County. (Table 1 lists the percentages of the population in the age ranges of under five years of age, five to 14, 15 to 24, 25 to 44, 45 to 64, 65 to 74 and 75 years of age and older.) Graphic representation of this data in Figure 2 shows that Jasper represents the population with the greatest number of people under the...
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