GROWING NUMBERS: Population increase perpetuates trend

COLUMBIA CITY — By the numbers, Whitley County had an increase in new citizens during 2012. There were 225 births in Whitley County in 2012, as of Dec. 18. That is an increase compared to 188 in 2011 and 185 in 2010.“I think a lot of that was because of the new ob/gyn’s at the hospital,” said Joann Miller, office administrator of the Whitley County Health Department.The number of deaths held steady compared to previous years, with 229 as of Dec. 18, compared to 234 and 233 in the previous two years.This growth perpetuates a trend in the 21st century for the area. Columbia City had a population increase of 23.64 percent between 2000 and 2010, according to the U.S. Census.The state average growth for the 10 years between 2000 and 2010 is 6.63 percent, and the national average is 9.71 percent.The 2010 population figure for the county was 33,292, up from 30,707. The 2011 population estimate for Columbia City is 8,775 and it is 33,392 for the county.