All five counties in our area have seen population growth since 2000. Brunswick County is growing at a faster rate than the others, and estimates suggest that will continue. Since 2000, Brunswick County's population has increased by more than 30,000 people. As the population continues to grow, so will the rest of the county. Rhonda Norris of the North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce said, “People are going to be looking for places to live, they're going to be looking for places to shop, there's going to be more traffic, so of course the expansion as far as the infrastructure of our town.” While surrounding counties aren't growing as quickly as Brunswick County, North Carolina Southeast, which monitors the regions economic development, predicts population increases for Columbus, Bladen, New Hanover and Pender Counties through 2010. Rhonda Norris said those forecasts are already drawing businesses to the area. “They're going to be looking for things to be at home. So there looking for a good doctor, a good dentist, and things of that nature. We do have those things coming.” Officials say newcomers to the Brunswick area have helped the county get through some tough economic times. Jeff Harvell, the chairman of the economic development committee, said, “We still have business opening up every day, not just here in the northern Brunswick County area, but also in the Southport area and in the lower sections of Brunswick County.” Births and retirees aren't the only ones adding to the county's population. Businesses have helped attract an international population to the area. According to the census bureau, the US population will continue to increase with one person immigrating every thirty-six seconds. Births are outpacing deaths, with a birth every 8 seconds in 2009.
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