PREBLE COUNTY — Recent data from the 2020 census shows a small decline in Preble County’s population since 2010.
Sitting at 42,270 residents in 2010, Preble County’s population fell to 40,999 in the most recent census, a decrease of 1,271 people, or three percent.
Historic census data showed continual increases in Preble County’s population from 1940 to 2000, followed by decreases in 2010 and 2020.
While the City of Eaton and Village of West Alexandria both experienced drops in population, neither were significant, as Eaton fell just 32 residents (now 8,375), while West Alexandria lost just six residents, now at 1,334 residents.
Small drops in population were also seen in Camden (down 57 residents), Gratis (down 39 residents), Lewisburg (down 75 residents) and College Corner (down 20 residents), none eclipsing a five percent decrease.
While the not biggest decline in percentage (just eight percent), New Paris had 135 residents leave since 2010, the most among Preble County municipalities. The village’s population now sits at 1,494 people.
Heading outside of the county’s population centers, the villages of Verona, West Elkton, West Manchester and Eldorado all saw population percentages fall in the double digits. Verona had the biggest decline, falling from 494 residents in 2010 to 403 in 2020, down 18 percent.
West Elkton dropped from 197 to 164 (17 percent), while West Manchester fell 12 percent from 474 residents to 415 residents. Eldorado also saw a significant decline, dropping from 509 residents in 2010 to 458 in 2020, down 10 percent.
Data breaking down the county’s demographics show Preble County’s population is 94.8 percent white (97.6% in 2010), 0.5 percent black or African American (0.4% in 2010), 0.2 percent American Indian (no change), 0.4 percent Asian (no change), 0.4 percent from other races (0.2% in 2010) and 3.7 percent from two or more races. 1,529 residents reported having two or more races, up 1,034 (209 percent) from 2010.
Hispanic or Latino ethnicities made up 0.9 percent of the population, up from 0.6 percent in 2010.
Housing data showed 17,888 total housing units in Preble County, 16,341 of which are occupied, leaving nine percent (or 1,547) vacant.
Full data can be found online at https://www.census.gov/en.html.
Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @BradenMoles