Butler County Population Shrinking
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Butler County population numbers have been on a steady decline since 2010, according data from the U.S. Census Bureau. On average, more than 150 left Butler County every year.
County Commission Chairman Joey Peavy attributes this loss on Butler County’s businesses moving out of the area over a number of years.
“We have lost some textiles jobs over the past few years,” Peavy says. “And I think that has had an effect on us.”
He and his fellow county commissioners are doing their best to turn the negative growth into a positive. It is motivating them to fight harder to bring more companies into Butler County.
“We have aggressively sought after economic development,” he says. “And that’s the key to turning this thing around and keeping Butler County on the positive side.”
The shrinking population means Butler County loses out on income tax revenue, and the potential employee pool dwindles as well.
Even the local schools suffer when there is a shortage of people in the area. A single student accrues around $7,000 in government funds. Every time a student is lost to another area, the school loses that much money. Which leaves them with less teaching staff and less money for necessary spending.
But the Butler County Commission for Economic Development and Butler County School System are hoping to change that, with Butler County’s Career and Technical Academy.
“We’re involved with workforce development through preparing students for careers,” Butler County Superintendent Amy Bryan says. “Not only the academic college prep kind of careers, but the skill centered careers as well, that are more technical in nature.”
County officials hope that by investing in the future workforce, Butler County may start growing again.
“You know, you want to talk about the future, well talk about the kids. That is the future,” Peavy says.
“And it might help them come, or even stay if we can work with the businesses to train the students to be their future employees,” Bryan says.
For more information on the census data, click here.