At yesterday’s Cherokee Advisory Committee Meeting, the Council hosted ARC Research and Analytics Division Manager Mike Alexander, where he gave an extensive and engaging presentation unlike any other on the demographic and economic trends of Cherokee County. In addition to touching on a wealth of facts and figures relating to attributes such as age, crime, diversity, education, growth patterns, health, socioeconomics, he also discussed what the future is projected to hold given current data trends.
Alexander began by presenting the areas of Cherokee that have experienced the highest growth rates. The fastest growing area was located just west of Holly Springs, and it experienced a population increase of over 12,000 between 2000 and 2010. This also happened to have the largest increase of children under the age of 5 during the same time frame. Just below this area, west of Woodstock, is home to the county’s highest concentration of Bachelor’s degrees. Contrasting from the southern half of Cherokee county, the northern parts of the county have the highest concentration of seniors that are 65 years and older. As Alexander pointed out, Cherokee is also home to several affluent areas. The county’s eastern edge northeast of Woodstock has the highest average for median household income at nearly $98,000.
Alexander also stressed Cherokee’s orientation towards families. This was demonstrative in the county’s age distribution as there is a very large proportion of children and adults over 35 while there is a smaller number of young adults. Cherokee’s high number of families is indicative of the county’s strong education and employment characteristics. Among all of Cherokee’s Elementary Schools, the 3rd grade CRCT reading pass rates exceeded 83%, which is a strong indicator of future graduation rates. Cherokee’s current graduation rate stands at 74.8% which ranks 10th among the metro area’s 27 school districts. As for Cherokee’s strong employment performance, this is evident looking at the impact on the county’s employment levels during the Great Recession. Cherokee fared much better than the metro region as a whole.
Included in Alexander’s presentation are several interactive videos, one of which showing 110 years of Cherokee’s growth in relation to other metro counties. This video depicts two significant growth spurts around 1985 and 2003 that initiated consistent population increases. Currently as the sixth most populated county in the region, the video showed that Cherokee is poised for continued growth, reaching a population of around 450,000 by 2040.
To see this video and the rest of Mike Alexander’s presentation, click HERE.