County Growing By 18 People Each Day, Could Surpass 200,000 Residents In 2018

Johnston County was formed in 1746 from a portion of Craven County.

A 1790 census estimated our population at 5,691 residents.

Fast forward to 1900 when the county’s population was at 32,250 and in 1950 at 65,906. In 2000, the US Census reported 121,965 people were living here.

The 2015 census reported 185,660 people called Johnston County home.

Johnston County Planning Director Barry Gray who keeps a close eye on trends and growth said the county is growing at a rapid rate.  Based on residential housing numbers from 2016 and then working off the average US family size of 2.5 persons per household, the county is gaining an average of about 18 new residents every day.

Estimates place the county’s population at 192,230 residents as of January 1, 2017.

If the current growth trend continues, the county will add another 6,570 residents in 2017 and surpass 200,000 residents in February 2018.

Again, these are estimates based on 2016 new housing numbers and aren’t scientific or official census numbers. But Gray says the projections are close.

“It took Johnston County 249 years (1746 to 1995) to reach 100,000 but will only take 23 years (1995 to 2018) to reach 200,000,” Gray said. The Clayton, Wilders, and Cleveland townships are the three fastest growing areas.

At the end of 2016, there were approximately 11,519 building lots already approved and ready for new housing.  1,600 new subdivision lots were added last year, up from about 1,000 in 2015.

“Johnston County is growing and has an exciting future,” according to Johnston County Manager Rick Hester. “County officials will continue to plan, develop and build critical infrastructure primarily in the areas of education, public safety, water and wastewater services. The County will also continue to aggressively pursue economic development projects.”

The median age of a county resident in 37. The median household income is just over $50,000. About 15 percent of county residents live below the poverty level.