Where will Lafayette County be in ten years?

Published 10:22 am Friday, March 23, 2018

Lafayette County is still growing.

That’s hardly a surprise. We see it anecdotally across the community from construction underway and traffic congestion in new places.

But the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau confirms officially that Lafayette County’s growth pace is still on track, having increased almost 23 percent since 2010 to 54,374 residents.

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That’s a lot of growth, especially when one considers that the University of Mississippi has experienced similar growth on its Oxford campus. In 2012, for example, Ole Miss had 17,142 students in fall enrollment. By 2016 that number had grown to 20,453.

When you do the math, you find that our community effectively grew by roughly 10,000 extra people, while simultaneously adding more second homes as the population expanded.

Some cities may take that type of growth without much impact, but Oxford and Lafayette County have long been known for quaintness. Thus, we’ve changed a lot since 2010.

One can’t help but close their eyes and try to imagine what Lafayette County will look like in another decade.

That’s why city and county leaders have been so proactive in recent years with updating planning and continually discussing where we are going and the needs that go along with it.

Our leadership has been up to the challenge, but that doesn’t mean this growth path will be easy. This storyline isn’t about to end anytime soon. For some of us, the growth of Lafayette County will be a leading topic for the rest of our lifetime.

But it’s better to be on the move than not moving at all.