New Census Bureau population estimates reveal Smith County continues on a steady growth trend.

The numbers released Thursday that show population data collected between July 1, 2013 and July 1, 2014 indicate Smith County grew by an estimated 2,172 residents to 218,842 compared to 216,670 in 2013.

Since the 2010 Census, Smith County has averaged just below 2,100 people in annual population growth to 218,842 in 2014 compared to 210,455 in 2010.

Other neighboring counties showed a mix of small increases and small decreases in population, according to the report.

Anderson County lost 307 residents since 2013, when the population was estimated at 57,934 compared to 57,627 in 2014.

Cherokee County grew slightly to 50,902 residents from 50,965 in 2013.

Estimates showed Gregg County grew by 10 residents to 123,204 compared to 123,194 in 2013.

Henderson County was estimated to experience the most growth among neighboring counties by gaining 662 residents to 79,280 compared to 78,618.

Rusk County experienced a slight loss of population with 53,923 in 2014 compared to 53,973 the year before.

Van Zandt County grew slightly to 52,910 estimated residents compared to 52,462 in 2013.

Wood County's estimated population growth was similar to Van Zandt's with 42,852 compared to 42,570 in 2013.

Texas' growth continued to outpace other states in population growth. Texas' population grew by an estimated 451,321 from July 2013 to July 2014 to 26,956,958, including 239,104 domestic and international migrations to the state.

Tyler Economic Development Council CEO Tom Mullins said the numbers regarding Texas and Smith County suggests the overall trend that strong, diverse economies are attracting families.

"I'm happy to see Smith County grow," he said. "It benefits businesses. It means there are jobs. It means we're attracting investment and all of that activity is positive for the community."

Mullins said the flipside is that community leaders must stay ahead of the curve regarding providing infrastructure, including roads and schools, to accommodate that growth.

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