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Cary's 1997 Growth Among Highest in State; New Census Sought

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CARY — The Triangle is bursting at the seams with newcomers, and Cary's 5 percent growth last year is among the highest in the state. The addition of more people means more state and federal money and now, Cary wants a census recount.

Cary's growth is evident at the town's Amtrak depot where trains now make several daily stops. Signs of growth are everywhere as new homes and developments continue to spring up. Cary's leaders thinks it's time to get an update on its growth for many reasons.

Town leaders say they would like everyone in Cary to participate in the new census because the state distributes its tax dollars based upon the population of each municipality. Cary spokesperson, Susan Moran predicts the new census will increase Cary's revenue by $2 million over the next two years.

Cary says, based on the number of water and sewer customers it has, its population is closer to 84,000 than to the 69,000 the state reports. A new census count would end the discrepancy.

Howard Johnson, president of Cary's Chamber of Commerce, says a new count would bolster the town's marketability.

The U.S. Census is taken every 10 years, but Cary leaders say with more people moving to the state and the town, a 10-year cycle is just too long to wait.

Representatives of the U.S. Census Bureau will arrive in Cary this week to prepare for the new count. From 600 applicants, they'll select 140 census workers. The Census begins April 4 and will take nearly a month to complete.Editor's Note:

Cary's growth is just one indicator of North Carolina's population boom.

Wake County saw the biggest influx of people -- 125,000 between 1990 and 1997 -- of any North Carolina county. That's nearly a 30 percent increase. Several other counties, excluding Durham, saw double-digit population increases. Of the five largest counties in the state, Cumberland experienced the least growth at 3.4 percent.

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Kelly Wright, Reporter
Joe Frieda, Photographer
MJ Ainsley, Web Editor

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