Johnston County Surpasses 200,000 Residents

Today (Monday), Johnston County unofficially surpassed 200,000 residents.

Based on statistics from the Johnston County Planning Department and US Census Bureau data, Johnston County statically surpassed 200,000 residents today.    Census data had Johnston County at 185,660 residents in 2015.

Planning Director Berry Gray said based on the average number of new homes being built in Johnston County and the average family size of 2.5 people per household, the 200,000 threshold was surpassed today.

Todd Johnson, Director of the Johnston County Heritage Center said three townships are seeing a majority of the growth. ” Most of the growth has been in three townships—Clayton, Cleveland, and Pleasant Grove—which is the area where I grew up.”

We asked Johnson, in his opinion, the positives and negatives of the county’s rapid growth.

“The only positives I can think of are economic in nature—some landowners have cashed in substantially, there is certainly a lot more business activity, and the county’s tax base has grown. However, it saddens me to see the congested traffic and the loss of farmland, rural character, historic buildings, and close-knit communities in these areas. I spoke to someone in the McGee’s Crossroads area last week, and he is anxious to relocate because of the traffic nightmares anticipated with new subdivisions going up in the 40/210 area. It’s growing too much too fast, in my opinion.”

“I am not surprised the County will pass 200,000 residents,” Johnston County Manager Rick Hester said. “Johnston County is a great place to live, and the future here is bright.”

US Rep. David Rouzer told WTSB News today, “Johnston County has always had a rich tradition of hospitality and community built on her agricultural roots making it an exceptional place to raise a family.  And thanks to the great governance this county has had, businesses are making new investments here, new jobs are being created, and more and more are calling Johnston County home.”

NC House Rep. Larry Strickland said providing essential services will be the key to future growth. “Our challenge will be to protect the quality of life of the past in such a manner that we can continue to provide those same essential services to our future citizens in an affordable way.  As a state legislator, I certainly will do what I can to secure any monies that might be available to assist with funding those essential services.”

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.

“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 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.