Thomasville Times

It may be a surprise, but Jackson and T’ville were said urban by Census; reclassified now as rural

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The change is likely unnoticed by residents of Jackson and Thomasville who have probably considered their communities rural all along. They weren’t, though, the U.S. Census Bureau designated them and 22 others across the state as urban communities. But no longer.

The U.S. Census Bureau has changed the way it classifieds rural and urban areas. Previously, communities of 2,500 or more populations were considered urban. That rule had been in place since before 1910.

Now, an area must have a population of 5,000 to be considered urban, or 2,000 housing units. There was no housing requirement under the old classification.

Jackson falls short with a population of 4,787 per the 2020 census count even though it has 2,331 housing units.

Thomasville also misses the mark with a population of 3,649. There are 1,836 housing units in Thomasville.

Grove Hill was never in the running with a population of just over 2,000. Recent annexation in the county seat arrived the previous town to become a city in name.

The urban and rural designations effectively mean nothing to residents and everyday life. It is largely a clerical move to help statisticians and officials understand the makeup of the county.

However, the designations could play a factor in economic development with potential new businesses and industries considering the differences at least in preliminary reviews.

The nation’s mushrooming population was likely a factor in the change.

The 22 other Alabama municipalities affected by the change include Evergreen, Columbiana, Haleyville, Tallassee and other small to mid-size cities.

About 100,000 Alabama residents are affected by the change.

Nationally, about 1,000 communities changed statuses, affecting about 3.5 million people.

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