Census estimates show small towns continue to shrink

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By: Associated Press
May 25, 2019

ATLANTA, Ga. (AP) -- More than a third of small towns in Georgia lost population in the last year, highlighting the challenges of reviving rural areas.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that new census estimates show that Camilla fell below 5,000 residents. Sparks fell below 2,000, Fort Gaines dropped below 1,000 and Milan fell to 661 residents for a loss of 7% of its population. All four towns are in South Georgia.

Meanwhile, Georgia's cities are growing.

Atlanta grew more than 1% in the past year and is now nearing the half-million-resident mark. The city now boasts 498,044 residents and will cross 500,000 next year if current growth rates continue.

The trend is hardly a new one. But continued population losses have raised questions about whether rural areas can do anything to reverse the tide.

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