By Alyssa Schnugg
A new report from the 2020 U.S. Census shows Lafayette County’s population increased more than previously released data suggested.
Dr. Anne Cafer and Dr. Jamiko Deleveaux of the University of Mississippi’s Center for Population Studies presented the Census data to the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors on Monday.
Lafayette County’s population increased 17.9 percent since the 2010 Census. The county is tied with Lamar County for having the second-highest growth in the state. Desoto County saw the highest population growth with a 16.36 percent increase.
The percentage amounts to a growth of 8,462 people.
The growth rate of 1.6 made Lafayette County one of the fastest-growing counties in Mississippi.
The county saw growth in all racial groups except for non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaska Native, which declined by 19 residents.
The county’s Hispanic population almost doubled, going from 1,073 Hispanic people in 2010 to 2,142 in 2020.
Due to the U.S. Census allowing people to self-identify their races, the population of people who are two or more races saw a 289 percent increase in the last decade, from 436 people to 1,698 people of two or more races.
Most cities in Lafayette County also experienced population growth including Oxford, Paris and Taylor. Abbeville’s population dropped 11 percent from 2010, decreasing from 419 people in 2010 to 372 in 2020.
Oxford experienced a 34.4 percent population surge, going from 18,916 residents in 2010 to 25,416 in 2020.
The student population at the University of Mississippi dipped during the past five years. In 2016, the student population was 18,931 and in 2020, the population was 18,693.
Cafer and Deleveaux said the Census asked students to report in Lafayette County because they attend school here for at least nine months out of the year, which could have affected the increase in population numbers.
The median household income for Oxford is $44,283, the median value of a home inside the city limits is $248,200 and the median rent is $771. Oxford has the highest median house value of north Mississippi cities.