The following presentation is from August 11, 2011. The Catawba County Chamber’s Future Economy Council invited the public to attend the meeting to hear about the “Economic Impact of the 2010 Census Data on the Hickory Metro Region.” The meeting was held at the CVCC auditorium; Taylor Dellinger with Western Piedmont Council of Governments presented the program.
2010 Census topics that were included: population trends; race and Hispanic origin; age group demographics; household composition; housing data; poverty and educational attainment among others. Questions to be answered include: What does Census 2010 tell us about the Hickory Metro? How did the region’s economy impact the Census 2010 results? How can business and industry use the results of the 2010 Census for their benefit?
Taylor Dellinger of the Western Piedmont Council of Governments gives a presentation of the 2010 United States Census as it pertains to the Hickory Metro Area and Catawba County.
This first video includes the introduction of Taylor by Future Economy Council President Terry Bledsoe. Why Does the Census matter? Taylor displays Hickory Metro Growth and the growth in the Individual counties (Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba) and discusses the dynamics of this growth.
Taylor then goes on to compare Hickory's growth with that of other Metropolitan communities in North Carolina and gets into specifics related to the growth of specific geographic locales in the Hickory Metro Area.
The second video delves further into the growth of specific geographic locales in the Hickory Metro before discussing the cultural growth and makeup of the area and thoughts about future population growth in the area. The growth of the Hispanic Demographic in the area. Taylor also compares these numbers to those in the other Metro areas in the State of North Carolina.
The third video in this series breaks down the Population Age Distribution in the area. This subject matter is related to the Brain Drain and the loss of the younger generations versus the aging population and influx of Seniors into the area. Information shows that Hickory ranks dead last in the Metro areas of North Carolina in growth of the 25 to 34 age bracket with a 18.6% loss of citizens in this category. The Statistics also show that the 60-64 age bracket is not keeping pace with most of the rest of the State, but still far outpaces the growth of the younger generations.
Taylor then begins to present the individual population numbers of Alexander, Burke, and Caldwell counties and the effects of these numbers.
The fourth video of this series begins with the discussion of the effects of the population numbers on Catawba County and how this will effect the local social infrastructure. He then answers some question pertaining to the poor population growth numbers in Burke County.
The next subject involved the makeup of households in the area. This involved a discussions of numbers of individuals per household and gets into the categories of types of houses listed by the census.
In the fifth video in this series, Taylor further explores the Household makeup in the area and more specifically Catawba County. He then goes into the progression of build out of homes in the metro and Catawba County. He goes into the issue of Vacant units of Housing in the area. He shows the loss of the Homebuilding Industry in the area over the last decade, which saw 995 permits for homes to be built at the beginning of the decade and has subsequently seen that number decrease to 152 in 2010.
The sixth video is this series exhibits the issues we see in the area pertaining to foreclosures. Annual foreclosures have more than tripled in the area over the past decade. The WPCOG initially attributed most of the foreclosures to complex and possibly predatory lending habits, but what they are now seeing is that people who have lost the jobs are having a tough time making mortgage payments.
There were several questions and comments related to this subject matter. People wanted to understand the effects on the tax base and the breakdown of how the numbers were defined. There were also comments related to the National Policy of housing.
Taylor then talked about the dynamics of Rental versus Owned Housing in the area. Next, he once again compares our area's housing vacancy to other areas in the State and displays how we aren't in that bad of a position related to this matter.
Taylor then discusses the American Community Survey and defines the parameters of that survey. What he relates in that this survey is showing an epidemic of increased poverty in our area and how this is probably hand-in-hand related to the emigration of the young people in our area. It is completely related to the jobs issue. He displays maps that show where this emigration is specifically happening and it is in the industrial corridors of Hickory (Highway 70), Morganton, and Lenoir where furniture and textiles were King not that long ago.
This is the seventh and final video in this series. Taylor speaks about the issue of educational attainment and how we rank dead last in the State of North Carolina.
The IHS Global Insight report for the US Conference of Mayors summarized that it will take over a decade to get back the jobs that we have lost in our area. The trends mesh perfectly with the data. These numbers show the poverty located along the former industrial areas in Hickory, Lenoir, and Morganton where Furniture and Textiles were our cornerstone industries.
What are we doing to bring about a recovery and restoration of our job market? You gotta think something new! Look at that Southeast corner of Catawba County. There is something to be learned there. they are focused on Charlotte.