The city of Bowling Green’s population has passed the 65,000 mark for the first time, according to population figures released this week by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The latest numbers have Bowling Green’s 2016 estimated population at 65,234, up from 63,889 in 2015 and up from 58,895 in 2010.
“It’s very satisfying that people find Bowling Green a desirable place to live and work,” said Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson, adding that the city views its role as working on quality of life for not only newcomers, but longtime residents as well.
Owensboro, which Bowling Green had battled for the title of being the third-largest city in the state, is still below the 60,000 mark at 59,273 in 2016. That represents only a modest increase from 2015’s 59,088. Bowling Green bypassed Owensboro in population in 2001 and has been widening the gap ever since.
The new Census Bureau figures released this week only contained basic population figures. More local demographic information will be released later this year.
The figures show the state as a whole has also grown, from 4,424,611 in 2015 to 4,436,974 last year.
Wilkerson said the biggest challenge as a result of the city’s growth is traffic.
“As the population grows, the increased number of vehicles becomes a problem,” Wilkerson said.
Along with road projects, the city’s walkability efforts, such as expanding sidewalks and greenways, helps to alleviate those issues, Wilkerson said.
The Census Bureau figures released this week show that 10 of the 15 fastest-growing large cities were located in the South in 2016.
Conroe, Texas, near Houston, “was the fastest-growing large city (population of 50,000 or more) between 2015 and 2016 at 7.8 percent, making its growth rate more than 11 times the nation’s growth rate of 0.7 percent. Some of the other fastest-growing cities were:…