Oconee County grew at nearly three times the rate of the state as a whole from 2010 to 2020, and it became more diverse in the process, according to data released late on Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The data are at the Census Block level, as is required for redistricting, but they also provide the first look at how larger units such as counties have changed.
Oconee County’s 2020 population was 41,799, up from 32,808 in 2010. That is a growth of 27.4 percent.
The state of Georgia increased in size from 9,687,653 to 10,711,908, or a growth of 10.6 percent.
Clarke County increased in population from 116,714 to 128,671, or by 10.2 percent.
Oconee County’s population also is younger than the population of the state and the population of neighboring Clarke County.
For Oconee County, 27.7 percent of the population is under 18, while that figure is 23.3 in the state as a whole and 17.0 in Clarke County.
Race And Ethnicity
In Oconee County, 82.4 percent of the population is White, compared with 51.9 percent in the state and 58.2 percent in Clarke County.
|Oconee, State, Clark From Census Bureau Maps|
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Oconee’s population is only 4.6 percent Black, versus 31.0 percent in the state and 24.6 percent in neighboring Clarke County.
Asians make up 5.0 percent of Oconee County’s population compared with 4.5 percent in the state as a whole and 3.9 percent in Clarke County.
And 5.6 percent of Oconee County’s population is Hispanic or Latino, compared with 10.5 percent in the state and 11.1 percent in Clarke County.
More Complex Racial Classification
The way in which race is measured has changed over the years in the Census, and it changed again in 2020.
If multi-race categories are used, Oconee County’s Black and Black in combination population is 5.5 percent, and its Asian and Asian in combination population is 6.0 percent.
The percentage of the Oconee County population classified as White Alone was 88.5 in 2010, or six percentage points above the 82.4 percent in 2020.
The percentage of the Oconee County population that was Asian alone increased from 3.1 percent in 2010 to the 5.0 percent, and the percentage of the population that was Hispanic in 2010 was 4.4, compared with 5.6 percent in 2020.
Only the Black Alone population fell slightly, from 5.0 percent in 2010 to 4.6 in 2020.
The number of Black Alone residents of Oconee County increased from 1,635 in 2010 to 1,921 in 2020, or by 17.4 percent. That compares with the overall growth rate for the county of 27.4 percent.