Census numbers quantify Jackson's population decline - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Census numbers quantify Jackson's population decline

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By Bert Case - bio | email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Jackson is losing residents, more than 10,000 people in 10 years.

According to the latest figures from the U.S. Census, Jackson now has an almost 80 percent black population.

Downtown Jackson has been almost completely renovated and is a beautiful sight from the air.

People are moving back to Jackson, particularly downtown.

Parts of the old city have been renovated and people are moving back there as well. But the overall numbers of Jackson is declining in population, from 184,256 in 2000, to 173,514 in 2010.

That is a decrease of 10,742 people or 5.8 percent.

Jackson has lost 10 percent of it's white population over the last decade.

Mayor Harvey Johnson does not seem to be alarmed about the numbers.

"What I wish we could focus on and would focus on though is just the nature of our regional economy and the region here in Mississippi is actually, the Jackson area rather has grown, " Mayor Johnson said.

The Old King Edward Hotel is beautifully renovated into downtown apartments and a new hotel.

The apartments are full.

The same is nearly true for the nearby Standard Life Building.

But other parts of the city are full of boarded up homes, particularly south Jackson.

Councilman Kenneth Stokes thinks the election of black Mayor Harvey Johnson caused some of the "white flight".

"My position is because of a black man, black majority council - now I heard other people say because of crime, I heard everything from A through Z, but you have crime in New York City, you got crime in Chicago, you got crime everywhere," Councilman Stokes said.

White city Councilwoman Margaret Barrett Simone, thinks the decline in white population is primarily because of the schools.

"Some families, I think, the public school system is huge factor for them," Councilwoman Simone said. "They can got to a public school in another county and sometimes they are not willing to choose that for themselves here in the city."

It is not news that Jackson has "white flight", deteriorating neighborhoods, boarded up homes, and broken water pipes.

That has been happening for 40 years to my knowledge.

But what is new is that the new census numbers are causing people who can do something about it, to start doing it.

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