What a difference a decade makes! The 2010 census results for the Swannanoa Census Designated Place (CDP) are in, and they tell us a lot about who we are as a community and how we’ve changed since the last census in 2000. The Swannanoa CDP is a geographic area used by the Census Bureau — it encompasses the most densely populated areas in Swannanoa, but is much smaller than the Swannanoa Fire District.
The census shows that the Swannanoa CDP now has a population of 4,576, which is a 10.7% increase from the year 2000. The nature of the typical Swannanoa household has changed in the past decade, too, as the percentage of households designated as “family households” (a household with at least 2 related family members) declined to 64.5% from 67.4% in 2000. “Non-family” households increased from 32.6% in 2000 to 35.5% in 2010. Married couples dropped from 50.1% of all households in 2000 to only 45% of households in 2010.
We’re becoming a more diverse community as well. White-only residents in the Swannanoa CDP dropped from 3,782 in 2000 to All hands were counted in the 2010 census.3,767 in 2010, a decrease from 91.5% of the population to 82.3%. While the number of African American residents stayed almost level (209 residents in 2000 and 208 in 2010), the American Indian population rose from 19 to 22, while the number of Asian residents doubled from 27 to 59. Latinos of any race nearly quadrupled from 104 residents in the year 2000 to 409 in 2010.
In keeping with trends elsewhere in the County, we’re getting somewhat older as a community. One exception is the number of residents in the Swannanoa CDP under the age of five years, which actually increased from 213 in 2000 to 286 in 2010. However, the number of “school-age” residents (ages 5 – 19) dropped to 855 in 2010, compared to 1,031 in 2000, a decrease from 24.9% of the population to only 18.7%. In 2010, 2,858 of the Swannanoa CDP residents were in the so-called “working-age” group of 20-64, while in the year 2000 this group was only 2,324 people. This represented an increase from 56.2% of the population to 62.4%. Residents over 65 totaled 564 in 2000, but rose to 851 in 2010, a whopping 51% increase. This represented a change from 17.4% seniors in 2000 to 18.6% in 2010. The median age of Swannanoans rose from 36.2 to 38.2 in the last decade.
The size of our households increased in the past ten years and fewer of us own our own homes. The median size of owner-occupied households in the Swannanoa CDP increased to 2.41 people from 2000’s 2.36 people. The median size of renter-occupied households increased even more – from 2.26 people per household in 2000 to 2.52 people in 2010, an increase of 11.5%.
The housing vacancy rate went up from 6.9% to 10.1%. Owner-occupied housing units dropped from 74.9% to 70.5%, with a concurrent increase in renter-occupied units from 25.1% in 2000 to 29.5% in 2010.
We don’t know what the next 10 years will bring, but one thing we can probably count on is more change!