Ashe County sees slight decrease in population

By Alan Bulluck

March 31, 2014

Ashe County’s population continues to decrease, albeit ever so slightly.

Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau released its 2013 Population Estimates for counties.

“As with the past two years, Ashe County has seen small decreases in population,” Director of Planning Adam Stumb said in a press release.

Between 2010 and 2013, the county’s population dropped from 27,281 to 27,151 - a total of 130 residents.

The county’s population decreased by .03 percent between 2012 (27,160) and 2013 (27,151).

“With the exception of Watauga and Avery (counties) who saw modest increases, the rest of the High Country saw similar drops in population,” Stumb said. “The state as a whole saw an increase in population with counties that have a major city seeing an increase (Wake, Guilford and Mecklenburg).”

The population estimates for neighboring counties are as follows:

Alleghany County saw a similarly slight decrease in population by .03 percent between 2012 (10,977) and 2013 (10,939).

Avery County’s population grew by .4 percent between 2012 (17,633) and 2013 (17,713).

Watauga County’s population increased by .5 percent between 2012 (52,106) and 2013 (52,372).

Wilkes County saw a .2 percent decrease in population between 2012 (69,208) and 2013 (69,023).

Change and growth for the High Country as a whole may be on the horizon, however.

The High Country Association of Realtors (HCAR) announced on March 26 that home sales for January and February of this year were at a six-year high.

164 homes were sold in the High Country in the first two months of 2014, according to a report released by the HCAR.

The HCAR of a group of realtors who serve Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties.

Alan Bulluck can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @albulluck.